Blessing: The Art and the Practice

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9781573229340: Blessing: The Art and the Practice
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On the most basic human level, we all want to be blessed. We want life to bring us good things, to shield us from harm, from fear, from loneliness. A blessing can be anything-a kind word, a prayer or ritual, a gesture, an embrace, a gift.

Blessing is the culmination of David Spangler's remarkable career as a spiritual thinker and teacher: the definitive book on how to channel our natural sense of compassion. With specific exercises and examples to guide and inspire us, this book helps us answer the ancient human calling within us all.

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Review:

Blessing, a tender book by internationally recognized spiritual leader David Spangler, teaches the art of invoking and receiving blessings. Yes, it sounds straightforward. But diving into the core of this book, we discover how blessings represent the crux of spiritual development--the ability to hold the world (and oneself) in the palm of loving kindness, and to develop a practice that sheds good intentions upon the world.

When Spangler (Everyday Miracles) was first starting his career as a spiritual leader, a woman approached him after a lecture and asked him to "give me a blessing." Initially he recoiled, feeling it would be grandiose for him to offer a blessing to another. He had a Hollywood image of what she was asking for--"heavenly choirs singing, inner lights blazing ... with the recipient having all her problems solved, her consciousness raised, and life transfigured." Then with a breath of clarity, Spangler realized that a real blessing would be "a soft and warming breeze that invited us to open windows and doors to let stuffiness out and new life in ... It was not meant to impress but to touch and connect." So he simply took her hands, closed his eyes, became still, and reached out to "embrace her in my spirit and to be embraced in hers."

This exchange is the metaphor Spangler returns to time and again. Readers come to understand that a blessing is a simple act of connection, not a holier-than-thou act of ego. Furthermore, blessings always come back to us--we join forces with benevolence and spirit, and in doing so, we can't go wrong. While the early chapters address the "Spirit of Blessing," the rest are devoted to an abundance of exercises and examples of how to invoke blessings. Readers are privy to Spangler's renowned teaching skills, as he offers creative exercises and sample blessings while helping them find their own style of invocation. Spangler finishes with a lesson on casting blessings upon global famines, wars, and oppression, helping readers find a spiritual context for spreading goodwill beyond the boundaries of race and nations. --Gail Hudson

About the Author:

David Spangler has been writing, lecturing, and teaching since the early seventies, when he was codirector of the spiritual community of Findhorn in northern Scotland. He is the author of Revelation: The Birth of a New Age; Emergence: The Rebirth of the Sacred; Everyday Miracles; A Pilgrim in Aquarius; The Call; Parent as Mystic, Mystic as Parent, and most recently Blessing. He also co-authored Reimagination of the World with William Irwin Thompson. Spangler lives in Washington, near Seattle.

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