Image by Speedy McVroom
This year we expect that December shopping sales will break all records!
However, we cannot help but think that this anniversary celebrates the coming to earth of one of humanity’s greatest avatars – who, additionally, lived in total poverty according to his own words. But even this simple reminder makes us feel ill at ease in the post-Christian world that we live in.
Translation: An image that breaks the heart. Photo taken by an Iraqi artist in an orphanage. The young girl has never seen her mother, so she made a drawing of a mother on the ground and fell asleep with her. Let's appreciate what we have.
So, this blog is a plea to remember that not everyone can afford a six-kilo turkey or a vacation in Zermatt or Bermuda. In fact, I would like to suggest to you an exercise in compassion which you could use to connect with and relieve the world’s suffering. The image above may have upset me more than any other image in my life. It can help those who need visual support to try this exercise.
The strength of this exercise lies in a truly clear intention to help the world and a deep sincerity. It will help you to do so if you can really see that in the non-dual vision of this website, your sister, your brother is you. You are two waves on the ocean of infinite Love which is your substance and your life as a community. We could not exist outside this ocean and in perfect unity with it. Take at least 20 minutes to do it but the more time you have, the better it will be. (You can also do it on the train or bus on your way to work if you find a quiet spot).
Exercise: Clear Intention To Help The World
Get comfortable, alone in as quiet a place as possible. Sit down, please. Breathe deeply several times. Put your hand on your heart.
Then repeat mentally slowly, several times, “I open my heart to all my brothers and sisters in the world who spend Christmas* in suffering or a lack of anything (safety, resources, support… the list is long whether in the South or here) and I visualize them receiving all the support they need.” Then see them in your mind’s eye receiving this help.
* or any other religious holiday you celebrate
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Alternatively, you can take a situation that is particularly close to your heart (street children, child soldiers, mothers who are raising children alone in slums…) Then you spend a while visualizing the help they need manifesting itself.
Be careful: you must not absorb their suffering inside you, on the contrary, you must send them strength, hope, courage and see them progress.
Feel free to recreate this exercise in your own way. The most important thing is your feeling of deep compassion and your visualizing a solution.
A Tip For Your Holiday Gifts
A TIP FOR YOUR HOLIDAY GIFTS: Instead of gifting things to people who don’t really need them, why not send them a card with the words: “On your behalf, I donated ($, €, £, CHF…) to .... and you indicate the name of the organization for … (and you describe the project).
And if you still eat a six-kilo turkey at Christmas, or even four or five, don’t feel guilty. Enjoy it fully!
A Blessing For the Happiness of All People
There are probably few aspirations on which more people in the world could agree upon than the desire for happiness. Our consumer culture, with the active collaboration of so many of us, has created and continues to feed the myth (or huge lie) that accumulating possessions or money can increase happiness, when often the exact contrary is true. I have encountered in some of the poorest areas of the world where I have lived people owning almost nothing who radiated happiness.
I bless all the inhabitants of this magical planet in their deep, deep happiness.
May they discover that it is first and foremost a state of profound inner contentment and not of outer signs of wealth. May they discover that it flows much more from what we give than what we receive, from saying YES – THANK YOU to life in all circumstances.
I bless us all in our clear understanding that the “Kingdom of Heaven” – that space of deep inner peace, quiet, radiant joy, unshakable trust, which is the hallmark of true happiness – IS within us, as a great teacher once told us, and that we don’t need to run after something that is already ours, albeit hidden in the most secret chamber of our heart.
Finally, may I above all become conscious that happiness is not a delicate plant to be fearfully protected from the frost or hail in a greenhouse, but a gift to be shared with all, a garden where all are invited to rest and pick the flowers of their choice.
Book by this Author
365 Blessings to Heal Myself and the World: Really Living One’s Spirituality in Everyday Life
by Pierre Pradervand.
Can you imagine what it would feel like to never feel any resentment for any wrong done to you, gossip or lie disseminated about you? To respond with full awareness to all situations and people rather than react from your gut? What freedom that would entail! Well, this is just one of the gifts the practice of blessing from the heart, i.e. sending out focused love energy, will do for you. This book, from the bestselling author of The Gentle Art of Blessing, will help you learn to bless all situations and people as you go through the day and add overwhelming joy and presence to your existence.
About The Author
Pierre Pradervand is the author of The Gentle Art of Blessing. He has worked, traveled and lived in over 40 countries on five continents, and has been leading workshops and teaching the art of blessing for many years, with remarkable responses and transformational results. For 20 years Pierre has been practicing blessing and collecting testimonies of blessing as a tool for healing the heart, mind, body and soul. Visit the website at https://gentleartofblessing.org
Watch a audio-visual presentation: The Gentle and Forgotten Art of Blessing