Jamie Walters of Sophia’s Children has issued a wonderful invitation for folks to participate in a Blessing Sadhana, or Blesstival – to share blessings into the collective, whether by blog, or Facebook or website. I do hope you’ll consider joining, and do check out this link which provides both the guidelines and collects the links to the blessing posts.
One of my favorite practices which I like to do as I’m walking around the perimeter of our neighborhood park is offer a blessing. I open my heart and imagine I’m sending out heart light as I silently repeat a version of the Buddhist metta prayer:
“May all beings everywhere be well and safe, may they be at ease, may they be at peace.
Whatever living beings there may be, whether moving or standing still, without exception, whether large, great, middling, or small, whether tiny or substantial,
Whether seen or unseen, whether living near or far, born or unborn, known or unknown; may all beings be happy.
Let none deceive or despise another anywhere. Let none wish harm to another, in anger or in hate.”
I repeat this as many times as it takes to walk around the park. I like to imagine this little energetic blessing available to people as they walk past; or imagine it floating up to the trees where it gathers and then is gently blown about by the leaves and branches. I imagine birds landing in the trees, and butterflies and bees in the flowers touching this energy and all of them carrying it to places unknown.
Blessings and breath and bowls are all connected in my mind, and I’ve been thinking about all of those things today.
I often think of the world as a great collection of bowls of all sizes and colors, some inside one another, some balanced on the edges of other bowls, all in a beautiful configuration. I think of each one of us as a bowl because we are such great receivers. We are here on this Earth walk, receiving, receiving, receiving in every moment – awarenesses, inspirations, energies we think of as physical, energies we think of as subtle and spiritual, impulses we interpret through our senses. We are like giant bowls being constantly filled.
Using this image of a bowl filled with an always-arriving myriad of things, it’s an easy jump to work with the image of identifying those things in your bowl that you consider blessings. The things you are grateful for.
The more you allow yourself to see yourself as a receiver, the more you open to the understanding that you are indeed filled and there are endless blessings, endless joys, endless experiences, endless expressions that you can turn your attention and gratitude toward. And in doing that you invite in more. You are literally saying with your attention, I want more of how that feels. And you look for things that resonate with that vibration. You look for more of what feels like a blessing, and move away from what isn’t so much. It’s a beautiful dance. It’s how we live our lives each day, and yet when you pay conscious attention you get to immerse yourself in the delight of it. And for me that’s truly what a gratitude practice is all about.
Because I am one who enjoys touchstones, who enjoys physical representations of what is beautiful for me, I love using bowls as blessing containers. Sometimes I’m inspired to write some of the blessings I’m most grateful for on little slips of paper, fold them and stick them in a bowl on my altar. When I see them it makes me smile. When I walk by they move a bit in the breeze and I think of it as activating a thank you that reaches out into the ethers. Sometimes I burn incense and waft it through the slips for the same purpose. Sometimes I simply breathe on them. It’s all the same. It’s all done in gratitude. It’s all done in joy.
This is a photo of a paper bowl I made years ago that I like to use as a blessing bowl. By now it feels so full of joy energy it literally vibrates. I love this shot of it sitting on one of the staircase posts in my house. I often use these posts as little mini altars and love walking by them countless times during the day as I walk up and down the stairs.
I also love Tibetan singing bowls, and so sometimes I write a thank you note, slip it under the bowl and then sing the bowl. I love the idea of saying thank you in ways that are expressed externally.
Because one the gifts I’m blessed to carry is sometimes being able to see the Language of Light, I often see the air filled with beautiful symbols. And I like remembering this when I’m sending my thanks into the world. Sending out love-filled energy, heart-felt gratitude, joy that becomes part of the cosmic “atmosphere” available to others. Don’t we all want to breathe in more of that kind of energy?
What blessing is it you want to be spilling out into the world from the bowl that is you? What are you feeling grateful for today? What magic are you breathing in? Do tell, you know I love to hear.