Image by Gerd Altmann
For anyone who has discovered the deep, nourishing satisfaction of life lived in a spirit of service, finding opportunities of service becomes one of the joys of life.
And there are so, so many such opportunities. For those who may be wondering what kind of service they may render because they have not yet made service a 24/24 attitude, there is one my readers know well: blessing.
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Apart from the habit of blessing people in the street, on public transport, when shopping, in the waiting room of your dentist, MD or beauty salon … (I haven’t yet come up with a place or situation where one could not bless!) you could make blessing for world problems on a daily basis one of your New Year’s resolutions for 2020.
And here, to say that you have a superabundance of issues to choose from is the understatement of the year. Worldwide, there are 420 million children living in conflict areas in addition to millions of street children (in the US alone it is estimated there are over two million such children); prisoners in solitary confinement (some stay decades absolutely alone 24/24); the 72 million refugees in the world (latest UN estimate); the environment… If you have any difficulties finding problems to handle, you will find umpteen examples in my latest book, 365 Blessings to Heal Myself and the World.
An important reminder: when you bless, be careful not to take on the suffering of those you bless (which is a very unhelpful form of empathy), but on the contrary just let your heart overflow with this clear sense that right where the material senses claim there is a terrible drama happening, the omnipotence of divine Love’s Presence is the only thing really going on.
The last blessing in my above-mentioned book is by contemporary mystic and creator of the concept of spiritual activism, Andrew Harvey. Often blessing inspires us to turn our spirituality into the real power behind our lives rather than icing on the cake.
“May I not pray for the poor without working tirelessly to end the systems that thrive on poverty.
May I not pray for the animals without working hard to end the systems that are slaughtering them.
May I not pray for justice and compassion and the coming of your kingdom without being willing to give my life to make them real.
May I be saved from the subtle and lethal hypocrisy that would make me believe I love you when I risk nothing to make this love real in your world.”
Blessing As A Form of Service
In one of the most powerful passages on oneness in world spiritual literature, the prophet Isaiah describes service as the ultimate path to enlightenment and the source of real health (the words whole, holy and healthy stem from the same root):
“Is not this the fast that I have chosen? To loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? When thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily.” (Isaiah 58:6-8)
Over a period of 25 years, I have had thousands of people in my workshops. And I have noticed that for many, the spiritual quest is a rather self-centered thing: the search for personal enlightenment and well-being. However, I believe there is no authentic spirituality where there is no healing of one’s community and of the world – just as social, environmental and political activism without a spiritual dimension can easily lead to anger, bitterness and burnout. I have met many people claiming to be ‘spiritual’ who were totally indifferent to the very real sufferings of the world, and too many social activists ruining their health and killing the deep joy born of authentic service by always trying to do more.
The world is not exactly in a good shape, to put it mildly, and many observers of the world scene give us 30-40 years to pull our act together if we want to survive. The need for unselfed world servers has never been so great, for we live in a time of immense urgency: urgency to get off our little spiritual cloud, urgency to help heal the world and become true world servers.
This urgency is not a reason to get frantic; on the contrary it demands quiet inner strength. But it is a time to stop playing marbles and being a passive witness of world events, and really buckle down to serving humanity. I personally believe this should be the first aim of any spirituality worth its salt today.
A Deep Dimension of Healing
The service I have in mind is characterized by a deep dimension of healing: healing relationships (including with oneself!), healing the environment, eradicating all forms of poverty (mental as well as physical), dealing with crises (economic and political), healing disease. I personally have friends who have healed situations of collective violence, diseased crops and a large herd of cattle (overnight) through the very clear understanding of the spiritual laws ultimately governing reality. Over the years, people from all round the world have shared with me healings which happened through the simple practice of blessing.
Tibetan master Djwhal Khul, who inspired the writings of Alice Bailey (author of Serving Humanity, among many other works), wrote the following: ‘True service is the spontaneous outflow of a loving heart and an intelligent mind; it is the result of being in the right place and staying there; it is produced by the inevitable inflow of spiritual force and not by strenuous physical plane activity; it is an effect of a man’s being where he truly is, a divine Son (or Daughter) of God, and not by the studied effect of his words or deeds.”
Each one needs to find her or his own unique path of service. However, in our consumer society, becoming a world servant demands a radical realigning of one’s priorities, starting with one’s time, income and possessions. The question then becomes not, ‘What do I want to do with my time, money, possessions’, but: ‘how do I realign their use to be consistent with my aim of service and healing? And here the daily, sincere practice of blessing and sending focused unconditional love to people, events and situations has an important, healing role to play in raising world consciousness.
©2019 by Pierre Pradervand. All Rights Reserved.
Reprinted with permission of the author
from the author's blog.
Book by this Author
365 Blessings to Heal Myself and the World: Really Living One’s Spirituality in Everyday Life
by Pierre Pradervand.
Can you imagine what it would feel like to never feel any resentment for any wrong done to you, gossip or lie disseminated about you? To respond with full awareness to all situations and people rather than react from your gut? What freedom that would entail! Well, this is just one of the gifts the practice of blessing from the heart, i.e. sending out focused love energy, will do for you. This book, from the bestselling author of The Gentle Art of Blessing, will help you learn to bless all situations and people as you go through the day and add overwhelming joy and presence to your existence.
About The Author
Pierre Pradervand is the author of The Gentle Art of Blessing. He has worked, travelled and lived in over 40 countries on five continents, and has been leading workshops and teaching the art of blessing for many years, with remarkable responses and transformational results. For 20 years Pierre has been practising blessing and collecting testimonies of blessing as a tool for healing the heart, mind, body and soul. Visit the website at https://gentleartofblessing.org
Watch a audio-visual presentation: The Gentle and Forgotten Art of Blessing