How to run a blessing circle

The circle is an interdenominational space open to all, free from all political, specific religious or sectarian practice where each one affirms unconditionally their desire that unlimited good be bestowed on people, local, regional or world situations. The term blessing as used on this site means to wish for the real good of one’s neighbor or an event from the innermost secret place of one’s heart. It means calling good or a positive result on a person or an event and making their dimension of light shine through, whatever the element of shade the person or event concerned seem to manifest.

The blessing circle is not a space of introspection for personal or emotional problems but an opening in the service of others and the world in joy, simplicity and love from which is banished the slightest hint of judgment.

This text has been written first and foremost with people in cities of the North in mind. It goes without saying that it should be adapted to the region where it is practiced. Thus the members of a grass roots rural NGO (non governmental organization) in the region of Mopti (Mali) completely transformed the practice as described below according to the needs and culture of the region. Their blessing circles met sometimes a few times a day and lasted only a few minutes. Participants would gather in a circle, standing, and bless some emergency situation that has cropped up then each depart on his or her own way.

The following guidelines have proved useful. It goes without saying that they are simply suggestions each circle will adapt to its own needs.

1. There is an absolute equality between members of the circle. There is no hierarchy, no gurus or leaders of any sort. All the decisions are taken by consensus (no voting).

2. At the beginning of each meeting, members of the circle designate a facilitator so that each one who wishes to facilitate can do so. The facilitator’s role is essentially to ascertain that the guidelines mentioned here are respected. Should participants err from the practice of blessing, (s)he reminds participants that blessing is the one and only reason for meeting. (S)he always intervenes in a spirit of total respect for each member, simply drawing attention to what is happening, never in a spirit of disciplining members or, still less, with a tone of judgment.

3. Each member listens to fellow members with compassion, a total absence of judgment and welcomes the request for blessing with joy and an open heart. Each one speaks in the first person, from their personal experience, avoiding all generalizations.

4. Members of the circle are united by a common intention: solely to bless others and the world. A deep and unconditional respect for fellow-members constitutes the relational basis of the circle.

5. The circle is a space of total security for every single member. This implies complete respect for, and confidentiality of, everything that is shared of a personal nature.

6. Members take as a basis of their practice the text The Gentle Art of Blessing (see on this site).This text has a clear non dualist basis. In other words, participants are not requesting some far-away deity to grant their requests/blessings, but by denying the material appearances, affirming that what they are blessing is already realized on a spiritual level of reality. For instance, in blessing a profoundly depressed person, they will say: we bless X in their serenity, joy and inner peace; when blessing a corrupt dictator creating mayhem in his country, they will say: we bless X in his deep integrity, his spirit of service for his people, his profound compassion, etc.

7. Running a meeting: the following practices are applied in a series of circles we are in contact with in Europe. But it goes without saying that each group can reinvent itself entirely depending upon the inspiration received from the Spirit, infinite divine Love.

a) Each person lights a candle while saying her/his name.
b) A brief meditation or reading an inspired text or both
c) Eventual testimonies related to the practice of blessing by members of the circle. (This can be replaced by reading a story of healing by blessing on this website or anywhere else)
d) Blessing for someone in need: a friend, a parent, a neighbor, a pet, etc. It is essential to avoid any detailed or too emotional description of the problem. This is essential because such a description can easily bring members to lose the serenity needed to bless in a helpful manner.
e) Blessings for collective problems, be they local or on a world level, be they political, environmental, economic, conflicts of any sort, etc.
f) To conclude, members go around the circle clockwise blessing each member in the name of all others: “Dorothy, we bless you” (Each group can create its own final blessings. This is the very simplest).
g) A final moment of meditation and one snuffs the candles and designates a facilitator for the next session (so that they can choose a text to read, propose a meditation, etc)

8) Each circle manages itself in a totally autonomous manner. However, this website is always available for any questions of any sort.

9) Each member can leave at any moment without having to give any justification, freedom being one of the founding principals of the circles, after love. However, each person who joins a circle makes the commitment to assist regularly and not just occasionally. This is extremely important, both for the coherence of the group and the quality of its work. We are world healers and need to make this a deep commitment, not something we do simply when we feel like it.

We wish you all great joy and the deepest peace in this life-sustaining commitment.

“You shall go out with joy and be led forth with peace. The mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the fields shall clap their hands:” (Isaiah55:12)

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