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Pronounce a Silent Blessing

--by Barbara Brown Taylor (May 02, 2016)


"It is forbidden to taste of the pleasures of this world without a blessing." --The Talmud

I think that the best way to discover what pronouncing blessings is all about is to pronounce a few. The practice itself will teach you what you need to know.

Start with anything you like. Even a stick lying on the ground will do. The first thing to do is to pay attention to it. [...]

The more aware you become, the more blessings you will find.

If you look at the stick long enough, you are bound to begin making it a character in your own story. It will begin to remind you of someone you know, or a piece of furniture you once saw in a craft co-op. There is nothing wrong with these associations, except that they take you away from the stick and back to yourself. To pronounce a blessing on something, it is important to see it as it is. What purpose did this stick serve? Did a bird sit on it? Did it bear leaves that sheltered the ground from the hottest summer sun?

At the very least, it participated in the deep mystery of drawing water from the ground, defying the law of gravity to deliver moisture to its leaves. How does a stick do that, especially one this size? Smell it. Is the scent of sap still there? This is no less than the artery of a tree that you are holding in your hand. Its tissue has come from the sun and from the earth. Put it back where you found it and it will turn back into earth again. Dust to dust and ashes to ashes. Will you say a blessing first? No one can hear you, so you may say whatever you like. [...]

As I said earlier, the practice itself will teach you what you need to know. Start throwing blessings around and chances are you will start noticing all kinds of things you never noticed before.

The next time you are at the airport, try blessing the people sitting at the departure gate with you. Every one of them is dealing with something significant. See that mother trying to contain her explosive two-year-old? See that pock-faced boy with the huge belly? Even if you cannot know for sure what is going on with them, you can still give a care. They are on their way somewhere, the same way you are. They are between places too, with no more certainty than you about what will happen at the other end. Pronounce a silent blessing and pay attention to what happens in the air between you and that other person, all those other people.

[...]

All I am saying is that anyone can do this. Anyone can ask and anyone can bless, whether anyone has authorized you to do it or not. All I am saying is that the world needs you to do this, because there is a real shortage of people willing to kneel wherever they are and recognize the holiness holding its sometimes bony, often tender, always life-giving hand above their heads. That we are able to bless one another at all is evidence that we have been blessed, whether we can remember when or not. That we are willing to bless one another is miracle enough to stagger the very stars.

Excerpted from An Altar in the World, by Barbara Brown Taylor. She is a New York Times best-selling author, professor, and Episcopal priest.

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15 Previous Reflections:

 
On Jun 12, 2017 rita wrote:

 Thanks for sharing ,that's great



On May 8, 2016 Kona wrote:

I have been doing silent blessings for a very long time;  it feels like a very comforting practice.  Whenever I drive by an animal that has been killed by traffic, I always say a blessing.  I also bless the people I notice that seem to need a little extra help and support;  I bless everyone at accident scenes, and the people who show up to help.  When we have forest fires, I bless the trees, the animals and the fire fighters and anyone else that is involved.  In this way, giving a silent blessing from the heart seems to be a way I can contribute something positive to any situation.



On May 3, 2016 Manali wrote:

 It reminds me of one of my friend named Jaimit who believes that giving blessings whenever somebody is in trouble, or somebody is in need of blessing this therapy do  work and he also asked her very special teacher to bless his friends and family whenever he felt they needed.. .So I learned this art of Pronounced silent Blessing from him and his teacher Nivedita Aunty, also the art of thanking every thing around is also a pronouncd blessing.
Thereafter since last one month I am into a practice called "PRAYER" which is a done by a Christian Lady who daily Prays and blesses the people around her and always prays for the world peace..She is also an inspiration for me to do pronounced silent blessing ... And this passage has added a lot to my values...
THANKS :)



On May 3, 2016 Peter Kalmus wrote:

 This is very good. I have had that same thought: there is no greater miracle than simply wishing others real peace and real happiness. When I do this, I realize that there are so many other beings, on this Earth and elsewhere in the Universe, doing the same for me.

However... one who is really aware will realize, while sitting in that airport, that the act of flying itself does so much harm to this Earth and the beings on it. That person will realize that he or she actually prefers not to fly for this reason. It's not only possible to live with far less fossil fuel... it can make you happier. 



On May 3, 2016 Mish wrote:

 An attitude of gratitude spontaneously brings forth my desire to share blessings.  It just feels so good too :)))



1 reply: Yvonne | Post Your Reply
On May 3, 2016 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 "The more you become aware, the more there is to bless" has been a definite truth in my own life, though I think I always related it to gratitude. The more we focus on something the more we have the opportunity to open our eyes and hearts. A personal experience of shared silent blessings is whenever I pass an accident I say a blessing to all involved. Another example is a smaller one, when someone rushes ahead of me on the sidewalk or pushes into me at the grocery store or cuts me off in traffic, I say a blessing that they might feel less frantic and be able to breathe. This helps calm my own stress too. The practice of sharing blessings (and gratitude too) has created more compassion and empathy for others and the realization that honestly, there are no "others." Hugs from my heart to yours, Kristin



1 reply: Amy | Post Your Reply
On May 3, 2016 Manuela wrote:

 Ever since I was introduced to The Gentle Art of Blessing, by Pierre Pradervand, it's become a daily practice, admittedly at first intellectually, but soon with sincerity. It brightens my day and I am sure impacts those whom  I bless as we are all one. Imagine the impact on the climate of our current political  campaign in  the US if we were to bless our candidates in their divine nature (love, kindness,compassion, honesty, humble desire to serve, etc)....Tall order but well worth the commitment!
Here is the link to the basic text by Mr. Pradervand
http://gentleartofblessing.org/the-text




1 reply: Patjos | Post Your Reply
On May 1, 2016 david doane wrote:

We sometimes forget that all that is is sacred.  I believe that to bless is to remind ourselves that whatever is being blessed is sacred, that is, is an expression of God or Source.  In blessing the other, I acknowledge that the other is an expression of the Divine, just as I am, and that the other and I are one in Unity.  And blessing gives me an opportunity to be grateful to be part of Oneness and Sacredness that we are all part of.  My coming to awareness of this has gotten me to think and talk as I am and has given my life more meaning.



3 replies: Amy, Chris, Amy | Post Your Reply
On Apr 29, 2016 Jagdish P Dave wrote:

 To me peonouncing a blessing is to remain open and pay attention to what is, not how it should be, could be or would be. Seeing whatever clearly with bare attention, with its unfolding presence, is a miaracle. When I saw the face of a child in a class room filled with sadness, I stopped walking and sat beside him. I held his hands compassionately and said softly " You look sad". He sat quietly. I gave him space to be himself. Slowly he started crying. Hie eyes were filled with tears.I held his hands tenderly letting him feel I am with him.I felt his pain.These were very precious moments of intimacy transcending the age, he beinfg 8 years old and me being 90 years old. These were sacred moments unfolding oneness between two beings. To me it was a miracle. Slowlty we started breathing together, feeling more connected. Slowly a smile dawned upon his face and he said gently 'Thank you." I palced my hand on his head and blessed him. We made each other's day. That little boy filled my  See full.

 To me peonouncing a blessing is to remain open and pay attention to what is, not how it should be, could be or would be. Seeing whatever clearly with bare attention, with its unfolding presence, is a miaracle. When I saw the face of a child in a class room filled with sadness, I stopped walking and sat beside him. I held his hands compassionately and said softly " You look sad". He sat quietly. I gave him space to be himself. Slowly he started crying. Hie eyes were filled with tears.I held his hands tenderly letting him feel I am with him.I felt his pain.These were very precious moments of intimacy transcending the age, he beinfg 8 years old and me being 90 years old. These were sacred moments unfolding oneness between two beings. To me it was a miracle. Slowlty we started breathing together, feeling more connected. Slowly a smile dawned upon his face and he said gently 'Thank you." I palced my hand on his head and blessed him. We made each other's day. That little boy filled my heart with joyful gratitude. He gave me his blessing.

Such expereinces happen quite often in my daily life. Such expereinces blossom my heart. They bring necotr- like sweetness.If we keep our mind and heart open and learn to live mindfully, our life itself becomes a blessing to us and to others.

May our everyday be filled with blessings. Namaste.

Jagdish P Dave

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