What I would like to share with you is an awesome book by Pierre Pradervand, entitled “The Gentle Art of Blessing”. The book follows in essence a very simple idea, treat others as you would like to be treated. However, this applies not only to our physical actions and interactions, it also applies to how we think.
Along with some great life advice, this book offers some very compelling anecdotes from people all over the world who have found great peace. On a side note, before I forget, another great thing about the book is that half of the royalties from it are donated to charity.
One thing that struck me right off the bat is how this book draws upon many different philosophies, and points to many of the similarities found within them. This excites me because I have always strongly felt that we as a whole have a tendency to focus on the differences, a divisive way of thinking that makes each of us weaker in the process. It’s refreshing to see a text which focuses on the similarities, the positives, and the good that I firmly believe is in the heart of every person, though sometimes you may have to do some digging to find it.
I’d like to share some excerpts from the book, which I found online. Here is the source page where I found a review and excerpts from the book. The book is divided into chapters which expand upon each of the items listed below.
“On awakening, bless this day, for it is already full of unseen good which your blessings will call forth, for to bless is to acknowledge the unlimited good that is embedded in the texture of the universe and awaiting each and all.”
“On passing people in the street, on the bus, in places of work and play, bless them.
The peace of your blessing will companion them on their way, and its aura will be a light on their path.”
“On meeting people and talking to them, bless them in their health, their work, their joy, their relationship to the universe, themselves and others. Bless them in their abundance and their finances, bless them in every conceivable way, for such blessings not only sow seeds of healing but one day will spring forth as flowers in the waste places of your own life.”
“As you walk, bless the city in which you live, its government and teachers, its nurses and street sweepers, its children and bankers, its priests and prostitutes. The minute anyone expresses the least aggression or unkindness to you, respond with a blessing. Bless them totally, sincerely, joyfully—for such blessings are a shield that protects them from the ignorance of their misdeed and deflects the arrow that was aimed at you.”
“To bless means to wish, unconditionally and from the deepest chamber of your heart, unrestricted good for others and events; it means to hallow, to hold in reverence, to behold with awe that which is always a gift from the Creator. He who is hallowed by your blessing is set aside, consecrated, holy, whole. To bless is to invoke divine care upon, to speak or think gratefully for, to confer happiness upon, although we ourselves are never the bestower, but simply the joyful witnesses of life’s abundance.”
“To bless all without distinction is the ultimate form of giving, because those you bless will never know from whence came the sudden ray that burst through the clouds of their skies, and you will rarely be a witness to the sunlight in their lives. When something goes completely askew in your day, when some unexpected event upsets your plans—and you—burst into blessing. For life is teaching you a lesson, and the very event you believe to be unwanted, you yourself called forth, so as to learn the lesson you might balk against were you not to bless it. Trials are blessings in disguise, and hosts of angels follow in their path.”
“To bless is to acknowledge the omnipresent, universal beauty hidden from material eyes; it is to activate that law of attraction which, from the furthest reaches of the universe, will bring into your life exactly what you need to experience and enjoy.”
“When you pass a prison, mentally bless its inmates in their innocence and freedom, their gentleness, pure essence and unconditional forgiveness; for one can only be a prisoner of one’s self-image, and a free man can walk unshackled in jail, just as citizens of a free country may be prisoners of the fear lurking within their thoughts.”
“When you pass a hospital, bless its patients in their present wholeness, for even in their suffering, their wholeness awaits discovery within them. When your eyes behold a man in tears or seemingly broken by life, bless him in his vitality and joy, for the material senses present but the inverted image of the ultimate splendor and perfection that only the inner eye beholds.”
“It is impossible to bless and judge at the same time. So hold constantly as a deep, hallowed, intoned thought the desire to bless, for truly then shall you become a peacemaker, and one day you shall behold, everywhere, the very face of God.”
“P.S. And of course, above all, do not forget to bless the utterly beautiful person YOU are.”
A few Points.
Attitude is everything. It’s much easier to face the day if you do so with a good attitude. I don’t believe you need movies like “The Secret” to affirm this, though I’m not dissing on the film. I think it’s something that really is just a matter of common sense. If you believe you can’t do something, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Likewise if you believe you can do something, you’ll probably succeed. Blessing others helps us to maintain a positive outlook.
All talks of Karma aside, I believe there is another reason these ideas are important. If you spend your mental energy thinking positive, it’s going to register on a subconscious level, either for you or someone else. It can change our thinking, our body language, and in turn drastically change our interactions with people.
This book serves to remind us that at our core we are all connected. This connection causes us to be a part of something greater than ourselves. Call it what you want, love, god, spirit, prana, infinity, nirvana, human potential, whatever it is, I believe it’s real, and it’s powerful.
We have two choices. We can condemn and judge each other, treating our fellow brothers and sisters horribly; forgetting that in the process we’re only serving to alienate and hurt ourselves. OR, instead of just sitting around arguing, judging and feeding our obese egos; we can instead open our hearts and minds, and build up that spark of good which exists in everyone. Let’s lift each other up, instead of tearing each other down.
Thanks for reading, and may you be blessed with all the virtues, love and joy that life has to offer and be a light for others.