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The Structure of Blessings

A blessing can be as simple as extending a flow of loving energy from your heart to that of another; it can be as direct as an act of kindness and compassion done on behalf of another. There need be nothing complex about it. In the exercises offered here, however, there is a structure. It is simple and it is inherent in all acts of blessing. It is based on a four-fold relationship:

  • The relationship to myself and my own innate spirituality;
  • The relationship to the Sacred as the ground of all being, the fundamental connection between me and others, and the source of the impulse for the highest good to emerge in all situations;
  • The relationship to the world as the community of which we are all a part, the source of integration, connection, and nourishment;
  • The relationship to the other, the recipient of the blessing, and the wholeness of that other’s life.

When we offer a blessing, we can, of course, simply ask that another spiritual source, such as God, bless the person or situation. Our role is then that of a mediator and petitioner. However, in Incarnational Spirituality, we recognize and affirm that each of us is also a generative source of spiritual energy and presence. We need not simply be a bystander or petitioner, but one who actively participates in the act of blessing, drawing on our own spiritual resources. The blessing then becomes a gift from our soul to another, strengthened by our human connection and empathy with the recipient. This has the advantage of flexing and developing our spiritual muscles and adding to our own inner growth. We are not the sole source of the blessing, however. By attuning to the presence of God or the Generative Mystery within us and around us, in whatever way we are comfortable in doing so, we draw ourselves into the presence of sacredness which is the deepest and most natural power of connectedness between us and another, as well as being the universal source of goodness and the drive to unfold the highest within us. This power and presence then becomes an integral part of the blessing which empowers both the recipient and ourselves. As incarnate individuals, we are part of the world; in Incarnational Spirituality, we are participants in the life and unfoldment of the World Soul, participants in a planetary consciousness. The world—which in Incarnational Spirituality includes both the physical and non-physical, seen and unseen, dimensions of matter and spirit—is our home, our shared community, the “Commons” that embraces each and all of us and gives us life and form. We find wholeness through our integration with our bodies, nature, life, matter, and the World Soul. A blessing flows not just to the individual by himself or herself, but to an individual embedded in the Commons of the earth, part of an ecology of life and consciousness. Acknowledging this larger wholeness in our blessing helps to integrate its energy and results into the recipient’s life and connections with the world around him or her. Finally, the recipient of the blessing, in addition to being part of the Commons of the World, is an ecology in his or her own right, a complex interweaving of time and space, biography and potentials, energy and body, mind and emotions, consciousness and soul, spirit and sacredness. Our blessing needs to integrate and become part of the coherency of this personal ecology. We are blessing a whole person who has many aspects that are not visible or obvious to us, who is partly known and partly mystery.  We bless on the basis on what we do know and can see, but our attunement and the intent of our blessing also needs to acknowledge the mystery and wonder, the depths and potentials we do not see and do not know. In our own minds and hearts, we want to acknowledge and honor these four elements. This can be done swiftly, lovingly, organically. We might, for instance, simply picture a crossroads in which these four come together and we stand in the center point to call forth the blessing. We may inwardly (or vocally) call upon each of these four in crafting our blessing. Or, we can find our own unique way of honoring these four relationships which hold the power of blessing within us and for another.

Blessing: The Art and The Practice. Blessing: The Art and The Practice, by David Spangler