For many years, I have been receiving letters, phone calls and emails from all round the world on the healing impact of blessing. Ultimately, the basic theme of these letters is:
Blessing fills life with joy, vitality and gratitude.
Blessing is love in action.
Let me share some of these stories with you.
In October 2005, I gave a talk on spirituality and, the next day, ran a workshop on blessing at the College of Psychic Studies in London. During the talk, I briefly mentioned the practice of blessing. A participant, an Irish woman, went home on the underground. In the carriage, she started talking to a young man, also Irish, and they got on so well they continued talking on a bench at the underground station where they both got off. He saw a friend and hailed him over. The friend sat the other side of the lady. A moment later, she left to go home. After a few steps, she suddenly realized the second young man had stolen her purse. Instead of screaming or making a scandal of some sort, she told herself, ‘Well, if this blessing Pierre talked about works, I simply need to bless him’. She did that for a few seconds, then turned around: the young pickpocket was coming toward her with her purse in his hand.
She opened the workshop the next day by telling this story – what a golden gift she made to all participants!
Relationship wounds are healed
Andrée, a participant in one of my workshops, had decided to leave her husband following serious problems in the relationship that were destroying her. After her departure, her husband started calling her daily, sometimes two or three times in the same day. His statements became more and more violent, to the extent that Andrée became really fearful. She then took my workshop on blessing, and started blessing her spouse. She wrote a long blessing, which expressed deep gratitude for all the positive qualities and the good expressed by her husband, which she prayed and pondered every day.
After just a few days of blessing, the phone calls abruptly stopped, and later her husband called to present apologies for his earlier behaviour. As a preparation for their appearance in court, Andrée blessed her husband, the judge, the lawyers, the space of the court building. Whereas earlier in her life, such an experience would have almost destroyed her, she stayed extremely calm throughout the whole proceedings, and everything went most harmoniously.
Natalia had four children, all four of them adult with families, except for one of her sons. He and his wife were childless, and modern medicine had not been able to help. They were desperate, and the wife sometimes cried at family reunions. Then Natalia discovered The Gentle Art of Blessing in July 2005. She immediately started blessing the young couple in every imaginable way, including their bodies. In August, the wife became pregnant and later gave birth to an exceptionally beautiful boy. Without knowing anything about my book or Natalias’ blessings for them, they called their son Pierre.
Some scientists will of course interject that there is no proof that Natalia’s blessings had anything to do with the pregnancy. To that I would reply two things. First, when for twenty years one has heard of healings of many different kinds of situations through this practice, by people from all walks of life, one cannot continue believing in ‘chance’ (‘God’s way of staying anonymous’ as chance has been called!).
But more fundamentally, it has been argued that modern science cannot really prove anything, in the sense of giving a definite and certain explanation of how something happens. To really prove anything, one would have to hold all the variables in an experiment constant, and that is strictly impossible, as there are hundreds or even thousands of potential variables in any experiment. For instance, when testing new pharmaceutical drugs, no company on earth has ever managed to take into consideration the thought processes and beliefs of those who make, prescribe and sell the drugs, not to mention the consumers. Yet these might very well bethe most important factors in the efficiency of a drug, as various recent experiments and the huge literature on placebos suggest. So, even in a laboratory, one never has an absolute proof; one only has a temporary working hypothesis, as the ‘Newton of the 20th century’, Stephen Hawking, once observed.
Personally, I prefer living my life with the temporary working hypothesis that blessing is a spiritual law that heals, because:
1) it makes one so joyful and happy to live in a blessing state of mind,
2) I and so many others have so consistently observed that it works, and
3) it certainly doesn’t harm anyone!
Imagine a world where everyone spent their time blessing. One can’t but help believing it would be a slightly better place!
The wonderful thing about blessing is that even atheists can practice it! A very dear friend of over 40 years standing, who at the beginning of one of my workshops on spirituality described herself as a ‘communist-atheist’, told me: ‘Every time you used the word ‘God’, I replaced it by ‘life’ and all was fine.’ She has shared the book on blessing freely.
Since writing The Gentle Art of Blessing in French in 1997, the dimension of blessing as an expression of gratitude is coming forth more and more forcefully. And I truly believe that gratitude is the most powerful mental tool we have at our disposal for completely avoiding the victim mentality, for constantly seeing the cup half full rather than half empty, for constantly keeping our joy intact – and how the world needs our joy in these times of immense turbulence.
Now I’d like to quote rather extensively from the following e-mail received from Caroline in England, as it makes such an important point about blessing not really raised in the book. She speaks about a bad tooth infection for which she had tried just about everything, including antibiotics which didn’t seem to work either:
‘I was in tears with the pain. I asked for an angel… and a prayer. Then I went up to bed and immediately saw your book which a friend had given me recently but I hadn’t started reading yet, so I began. And then things started to change.
It makes so much sense for me. I have always had trouble with the idea of forgiveness. I know I should be able to forgive, but how do you do it? It is never explained in the spiritual traditions; we are just supposed to know that we must forgive and how to do so. But there was always a missing part for me – and The Gentle Art of Blessinghas helped me to find that at last. Because I realise that it is not so much about forgiving, which makes me feel I must somehow let go of the pain I feel over something. It is more about transforming those feelings and replacing them with new ones that simply allow the hurt to dissolve into the background.
When we bless people, it immediately transforms any ill-will we may have towards them, rather than trying to ‘forgive’ and then feeling bad in ourselves because it is so difficult to do! And when we bless it also renders it completely unnecessary to delve into all of our own damaged feelings, or to have to make meaning from painful experiences.
When we bless, all the rest just seems to dissolve!! It seems to simply stop our own negativity in its tracks.
I tried it today, and as I read The Gentle Art of Blessing it began to confirm what I was starting to feel about my tooth infection, which was that the healing would come when I could begin to move outwards from myself, rather than being so deeply focused on my own pain. I found myself just blessing everyone I knew, those I loved, those I didn’t love so much! – everyone. I blessed my tooth and the pain it was bringing me because I am learning from it… And the infection has already changed, not gone but changed, and I feel lighter in myself…
I think the Art of Blessing is a very powerful tool for healing and transformation.’
A US reader made this really lovely comment: ‘Thank you for this text. It met a need and helped me stop an ongoing criticism of others. I am so much happier blessing than judging.’ I just love that last comment, don’t you? A person whose thought radiates the gentleness of blessing is the first beneficiary of this practice, as anyone can verify for themselves.
Of the innumerable responses I have received over the past 20 years, few have rejoiced me as much as the following, because it is so fundamental to the deeper understanding of blessing: ‘This text made me realise that I cannot hope to enter the Kingdom of God if I do not take the whole world with me.’ Translate the metaphor ‘Kingdom of God’ into your own terms, e.g. the consciousness of unconditional love, an abiding sense of universal harmony – whatever speaks to you. Eckhart Tolle, one of the great spiritual teachers alive today, once stated that ‘Loving your neighbour as yourself means your neighbour is yourself, and that recognition of oneness is love.’
Dear reader friend, may your life overflow with blessings!
I even dare promise you that, if you make blessing into a way of life, the following lines from the Book of Isaiah will become true of you:
You shall go out with joy,
and be led forth with peace.
The mountains and the hills
shall break before you into singing,
and all the trees of the fields
shall clap their hands.
I bless you in your divine essence, friend.
Thank you for existing – you are a blessing to our precious little planet and to all of us.
With love, Pierre
© Pierre Pradervand, 2007