Why We Bless
An excerpt from 365 Blessings to Heal Myself and the World, reprinted with permission from O-Books.
There are many reasons to bless. We bless to help heal society. We bless to get out of the shell or cave of our little egos and open up to the world. We bless as a wonderful way of practicing mindfulness and staying present to the present – anywhere. We bless because it is a highly efficient way of solving relationship problems and personal challenges Blessing isn’t associated with any religious denominations.
I do not believe there is any “right” way of blessing. The intention and sincerity of the heart are infinitely more important than any so-called correct way of giving a blessing, and any formulas or rigid forms in this field are a direct route to failure. A blessing that is just on the level of the mind has no healing power whatsoever. One can never stress too much that blessing is one hundred percent heart energy. To heal, I believe it has to be felt in the heart.
It is becoming more and more apparent to a growing number of us on this planet that the material world we live in is, in some manner, a total dream (even though it can often be a nightmare!) and that we are here on earth to learn much-needed lessons (that we ourselves possibly chose before coming on earth).
A Blessing for Political Leaders
Hatsat Abiola, a Nigerian activist, says to us: “Guard your light and protect it. Move it forward into the world and be fully confident that if we connect light to light to light, and join the lights together of the one billion young people in our world today, we will be enough to set our whole planet aglow.” Blessing is a way of joining our lights together. I personally believe that the number needed to move the world is much smaller – maybe a few million really committed spiritual thinkers. So today, our blessings will be for those who still believe themselves to be the world movers, the political leaders of the world.
We bless our leaders that wisdom rather than narrow interests or fear may guide their decisions.
We bless them in their ability to move beyond the narrow confines of nation, class, creed, race or narrow financial or economic concerns.
We bless them in their desire to put the service of mankind and their nations before their thirst for prestige or power. We bless them in their ability to put the care of Mother Earth and the environment before short-term planning and purely economic motives.
We bless them in their authentic compassion that they may be sensitive to the needs of the downtrodden and the marginalized.
We bless them that, despite all the judgments, the prejudices concerning them with which we too often hold them captives, they may be sensitive to the winds of grace which blow freely for all those who hoist their sails.
And finally, we bless ourselves in our ability to hold on to their divine image that too often remains cloistered in their hearts that it may find expression in political courage, deep caring for the outcasts of society and decisive action for the reconciliation of man and nature.
PS: To help you make this blessing more real, may I suggest that you think of three politicians who are your favorite scapegoats and that you visualize and bless them in three qualities they express. And even if you can only think of a single quality, congratulations, that is a good start.
For Those Consumed by Anger, Hatred or Resentment
Few attitudes are more harmful to those who harbor them than the three above-mentioned ones – not to speak of their environment. One cannot help feeling the deepest compassion for people who are eaten up, especially by resentment, which is a bit like a rat gnawing at your entrails (which is what is does to your immune system!). Let our hearts be literally inhabited by this compassion as we carry them in our blessings.
My heart goes out to all those who are consumed by all dark emotions such as resentment or hate.
I bless them in their consciousness of the harm they are doing to themselves by harboring such dubious companions in their hearts, not to mention their human environment.
May they abandon all attempts to justify their attitude by any injustice, loss or harm of which they might have been victim by understanding that such persistence in error just mires them deeper into the pit they have dug for themselves.
May the divine essence hidden in their soul awaken in them the deep yearning to be free of these heavy chains and their constant clutter as they drag them through life.
And finally, may they harken the whispers of love gently prodding them to awaken from their zombie-like state of mind and yearn for the glorious liberty and green pastures of forgiveness.
An excerpt from 365 Blessings to Heal Myself and the World, reprinted with permission from O-Books. A true world citizen, Pierre Pradervand has labored a great deal of his life for social justice, living in or visiting 40 countries on every continent. From his Geneva home Pierre is now active as a writer, speaker and workshop facilitator, helping people to live simpler, yet richer, more contented lives. Pierre is the author of international bestseller The Gentle Art of Blessing.