Welcome, dear friend, to a practice which since time immemorial has been uplifting people of all races, beliefs, occupation, age … a non denominational practice which even agnostics can practice. However, there are many ways of practicing it and the one described here is the result of a very powerful spiritual experience I underwent many years ago.
At the time (1986) I was working in the humanitarian field for a group of Swiss NGOs active in the field of international development. My job was to formulate educational programs on Third World issues for the school system. I loved my job and was very committed to it – I even had a camp bed in the office so as to rest when I missed the last train home ! At one moment I very much wanted to create a roving exhibition on hunger for schools to sensitize school children to one of the main world challenges. As there was no money in the budget for the project, I invested a very large chunk of my personal economies into the project. This had never ever happened in the history of these organizations. It was a frank success, toured many schools and was even written up in the press.
However, one of the leaders of the NGOs concerned detested me cordially, and decided he wanted to get rid of me. At the time, next to my work, I was a volunteer in a US-led worldwide campaign to end hunger, The Hunger Project, which had as its motto, “The end of hunger by the year 2000” (which would have been possible had there existed the political will). I used the same motto in my work on hunger in schools, because I had very close connections with large peasant-farmer organizations in West Africa, one of which had exactly the same motto.
One day I was called up to a business meeting and told that either I stopped using that motto simply because the world campaign used it, or I would have to quit my job. Never in my life had I been in a situation where I had to choose between my deepest convictions and my job. For me, that was not even a real choice, so I quit.
But in the weeks following, I developed a huge resentment against these people which was literally eating me up. It became an obsession – I would be thinking of it from the moment I got up till nightfall. I knew I was harming myself, but all my efforts to overcome the resentment were of no avail. Then one day, reading the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus’ statement “Bless those that curse you” stood out as if written in golden letters. On the spot, I started blessing the four people concerned in every imaginable way – in their health, their joy, the serenity, their finances, their family life, their work… I did it from morning till night. And then, suddenly, one day I started blessing people in the street, at the post office or supermarket … just everywhere. It became such a joyful occupation I would walk the whole length of trains in both directions to be sure to miss no one!
I had been asked to give a talk to an international youth meeting in Zürich, Switzerland, on the theme “Healing the world”. While I was composing my text, I suddenly received a gust of inspiration as never in my life. I felt just like a scribe receiving dictation and the text “The Gentle Art of Blessing” just poured through. Some have told me it was channeled. I don’t know. It just appeared under my pen.
In the months following, I included it in my correspondence. A very dear and world-renowned doctor friend of mine started including it in his correspondence too. Little by little, I started receiving letters from people all round the world saying: “Blessing works! Blessing heals! This is what happened to me …” and you will find some of these fine healings in another section of this site. These messages continue reaching me from all around the globe 27 years after the text went public. The book The Gentle Art of Blessing exists now in seven languages (English, French, Dutch, German, Spanish, Danish, Slovene).
This website has a strictly non-denominational and universal dimension. Blessing is one of the oldest spiritual practices of mankind and can be found in numerous religions and spiritual practices of humankind; it could possibly date from the neolithic period (7000-3000 B.C.)
However, the site aims at going much further than the simple practice of blessing, even if this practice remains its cornerstone for the forseeable future. We aim at presenting a clearly non-dualistic view, (i.e. a vision of the oneness of all things) - a spiritual practice which is gaining much acceptance and will be the subject of Pierre’s first blog on October 1st.
The webmaster of the site is Jane Young, who created the superb video on The Gentle Art of Blessing and which has been seen (summer 2014) by well over 200,000 people on YouTube. We are deeply indebted to Jane for having accepted this responsibility.
In addition to the twice monthly BLOG you will find the following new sections:
In this section we will offer a broad array of texts, many which might not be considered "spiritual" in the narrow, traditional meaning of the word but which refer to the spiritual life in the broader meaning of the term. You will find texts by "spiritual anarchists" like George Fox, founder of the pacifist Quakers, or Osho, independent thinkers or the American writer Joel Goldsmith, who one has great difficulty classifying, as well as strictly orthodox and immensely inspiring mystics like 17th century Brother Lawrence whose book on the practice of the presence of God is an all time classic, or Jacob Boehme and Meister Eckhart, not to mention universal thinkers like Tolstoï.
This section will present (at least at the beginning) testimonies of people who have had a healing of a relationship or solved a problem through the practice of blessing. Any person having had such an experience is invited to send us a text and we will be delighted to consider it for publication on the site (2/3 of a page maximum please).
BOOK REVIEW SECTION
This will be an occasional section enabling readers to become acquainted with books which may not be "spiritual" in the narrow sense of the term, but which have a significant tie to the life of the spirit.
THOUGHTS TO PONDER
This section will offer brief thoughts which stimulate people to really think, rather than just digest information. It will refer to all walks of life. So, for a world that is crumbling under the weight of excess consumption (and this includes books and workshops on spirituality!) here is a first quote from Chinese thinker Lao-Tse: "He who knows he has enough is rich".
YOUR QUESTIONS – OUR ANSWERS
With the gentlest rain of blessings on you, dear visitor to this site,