Pierre Pradervand

BLESSING: Ancient Blessings by Pierre Pradervand

February 25, 2019

From The Gentle Art of Blessing The ancient spiritual teachers understood the extraordinary power of thoughts – both good or bad – that we have only started to rediscover.  Thought can very literally give life or kill.  Thus the book of Exodus 21:17 condemns to death he who has cursed his parents.  And in the struggle between Jacob and the angel at Peniel in Genesis 32, Jacob refuses to let go of the angel before the angel blesses him.  (This story is to be interpreted in its symbolic sense as the new birth of Jacob, who becomes aware of his spiritual identity; hence his change of name, which indicates his awareness of his divine nature.) That a practice such as blessing could be so universally widespread in almost all cultures, [...]

BLESSING: A History Of Blessing by Pierre Pradervand

February 18, 2019

From The Gentle Art of Blessing Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out. (Deuteronomy 28:6) Blessing is a millennial art.  In the religious context, blessings have existed throughout centuries across almost all cultures.  Lay forms of blessings also permeate our culture in the form of housewarming parties, the European custom of mounting an evergreen on the gable of a new house once the roof has been erected, the rice thrown on newlyweds, and so on.  In some regions of the Swiss Alps, shepherds today sing out a blessing through a very primitive kind of wooden megaphone to the four cardinal directions.  North American Indians have tribal blessings for numerous occasions. Caitlín [...]

BLESSING: Everyday Blessing by Pierre Pradervand

February 11, 2019

From The Gentle Art of Blessing Many spiritual teachings and numerous mystics stress the importance for the spiritual disciple to develop a constant awareness of the divine.  The Vietnamese Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh suggests this be done by striving to live in the present.  One of the great classics of Christian mysticism, The Practice of the Presence of God, by Brother Lawrence, a seventeenth-century Cistercian French monk who worked in the monastery kitchen, stresses this practice as a privileged way of developing such awareness.  Such practices may not be excessively difficult in an ashram in the Himalayas, a monastery in Montana, or with fellow pilgrims during the Muslim hajj to Mecca – or even during your morning [...]

BLESSING: The Gentle Art Of Blessing (Part 2) by Pierre Pradervand

February 4, 2019

From The Gentle Art of Blessing In the following months, I shared this short text with friends in different countries.  As months turned into years, I started receiving letters and phone calls from all around the world, mostly from people I had never met. A mother in a small town in Burkina Faso, West Africa, wrote, “As a result of studying your text, we bless those who harm us and pray for them.”  Mahmooudou, a man who works at the grassroots with farmers in the Mopti region of Mali, a western neighbor of Burkina Faso, shared his experience of blessing in a moving letter: I have started to turn blessing into an everyday experience, in all situations.  It has become part of my very marrow.  And each day, it fills me more and [...]

BLESSING: The Gentle Art Of Blessing (Part 1) by Pierre Pradervand

January 28, 2019

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 [...]

BLESSING: Blessings Returned by Pierre Pradervand

January 21, 2019

From The Gentle Art of Blessing Thanks to this gentle art, I started having rather amazing experiences.  One such incident occurred when in my position as a volunteer in a world campaign against hunger, I organized a benefit concert on World Food Day (October 16), the proceeds of which were to be sent to several peasant-farmer groups in southern Senegal.  An Afro-Caribbean orchestra managed by a friend of mine was offering its services free of charge for the concert, which had been advertised both on the radio and in local newspapers.  The technician of the large college hall where the concert was to be held showed, for no apparent reason, immense hostility toward the project from the start.  He wanted nothing to do with it.  We even [...]

BLESSING: How It All Started by Pierre Pradervand

January 14, 2019

From The Gentle Art of Blessing Bless them that curse you. (Matthew 5:44) At one point in my career, I was employed in the field of international development, working in the Swiss school system with both students and teachers.  During this time I had to make one of the most difficult decisions in my career: keep my job but accept a situation that violated the most elementary professional ethics, or quit.  (I learned later that the people who put me in this situation were actively banking on my leaving!) So, rather than commit moral hara-kiri, I quit. In the following weeks, I developed a deep-seated and all-consuming resentment such as I had never experienced before against the people who had put me in this impossible situation.  When I [...]

BLESSING: The Gentle Art Of Blessing, Introduction by Pierre Pradervand

January 7, 2019

From The Gentle Art of Blessing Blessing has been a spiritual practice of humankind since time immemorial.  The ritualized form of blessing that usually concludes many Christian religious ceremonies is only one of the many forms of blessing found across almost all cultures.  But far from being simply a ritual that punctuates religious ceremonies, the practice of blessing has the power to enrich your life in ways you never dreamed possible, ways that I have experienced personally. This book is born of a spiritual experience that profoundly marked my life and enabled me to discover the deep meaning of the act of blessing.  Blessing rests on spiritual laws that each of us can discover so that we may live better and more fully.  My own [...]