Associate Minister Holly Fuqua has a hair prayer. Each morning, when she dries her hair in preparation for the day, Holly prays. It’s a rather mundane, regular moment on the face of it–something many of us do in the morning. Holly transforms this simple act into a holy moment, an opportunity to connect with God, give thanks for those in her life, and orient her soul for the day.
Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese monk, rings a mindfulness bell on occasion. Everyone who hears the bell in his Buddhist community, Plum Village, pauses from their work, movement, and conversation. The bell signals a stoppage in which everyone takes three silent, mindful breaths. Once finished, everyone is free to return to their work, now enlivened by the Sabbath practice of coming to attention and breathing deeply.
It doesn’t need to be a bell that causes us pause. Perhaps it’s a sound or sight you experience everyday: a text message ding, a stoplight, pulling into or out of the driveway, waiting for the garage door to open or close, whenever our hand touches a door knob, before a meal or a sip of water.
Choose one simple act that occurs commonly. Treat it as a signal for a Sabbath pause.
Pause whenever this signal occurs–the telephone rings or you touch a door knob or you hold a cup of water.
Take three mindful breaths, perhaps say a simple prayer, then continue–answer the phone, go through the door, drink the water.
See how these simple, “tiny” Sabbath moments change your day.