From The Gentle Art of Blessing
One day, about seven months after starting the practice of blessing, I was preparing a talk, “Healing the World,” for an international youth meeting in Zürich, Switzerland, when suddenly I was overwhelmed by an inspiration to record the practice of blessing that I had been living. I felt literally like a scribe under dictation, so much so that my hand had difficulty keeping up with the ideas that flowed into my mind. What follows is the result of that inspiration, which describes blessing as a spiritual practice and offers guidelines for incorporating the art into your everyday life.
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 accompany 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 upsets 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.