I was raised in a traditional Christian family and even studied two years of theology before understanding that it was ABSOLUTELY NOT my cup of tea, a spirituality entirely in the head, nothing in the heart.

For ten years I wandered in a spiritual no man’s land, then in 1969 I received a two-year scholarship to attend the university of Michigan at Ann Arbor, at the time one of the very best US universities. There I started attending Quaker meetings, and an absolutely amazing group called the Word of God which started with four young Christian students praying that the Spirit descend on the campus. When I left in 1971 it was the largest student movement on campus. It was there that I had the most moving spiritual experience in my existence, hearing someone “speaking in tongues » i.e., speaking in a divine language and someone immediately translating it into English. Today, 50 years later, I still feel the music and power of those sounds. 

I also started attending a spiritual healing movement which had a small group on campus. I had been till then a hypochondriac, running to my M.D. the minute I had the slightest problem. The healings I heard there were so stunning – e.g., someone walking perfectly three days after having broken their leg – that I decided to stay with this movement, which I did for many years. But it claimed to be the most evolved spiritual teaching in the world, a claim I just could not accept, so eventually I left the movement. For many years now, I have been spiritually on my own, not belonging to any movement, but with a very active spiritual life.

My spirituality has constantly become simpler and simpler, and I can now summarize it in this brief text I picked up somewhere and to which I have added a few lines:

Creator, bless my eyes that I may look upon all with love,
Bless my mind, that all my thoughts stem from love,
Bless my ears, that I may hear all with an open, loving listening,
Bless my mouth, that I may speak only words of love,
Bless my hands, that all I touch feel loved and all I do is done with love,
Bless my heart, that I may give and receive only love.
Bless my feet, that my walking on this earth brings love to all, everywhere.

I repeat these many times a day. I read less and less spiritual texts because I feel the only thing I need more of is love, (and there I am still in kindergarten). This love does not so much come from books as from daily, hour by hour practice.

Pierre Pradervand
May 2023