The Gentle Art of Blessing
By Pierre Pradervand
Categories: Golden Rule, Motivational, Spiritual Living
There are lots of books about the parables and teachings found in the Bible, many of which cite biblical text as the foundation of prayer and inspiration for healing. Few books ever include the messages found in other religious texts or spiritual works. Pierre Pradervand's The Gentle Art of Blessing is one of the few that do.
His book focuses on one basic idea clearly rooted in the Bible: blessing. But blessings abound in many other religions and creeds and their texts. While Pradervand incorporates many biblical stories – like the prodigal son and the paralyzed man Jesus healed at the pool of Bethseda – he also references countless examples of the practice of blessing happening today, based on what he calls "the unlimited good that is embedded in the texture of the universe."
The simple practice of blessing, according to Pradervand, is more than gratitude; it is extending something to others. Blessing is the common denominator in almost all cultures through all circumstances of life; it is the law of the attraction of good. Like the Golden Rule, which is taught by most religions and often practiced by those unaffiliated with any formal faith—blessing, or an outpouring of good, returns in an even greater floodtide of love.
How The Gentle Art of Blessing shares the transforming power of blessing is the spirit of the book. The book seamlessly weaves together testimonials of blessing from the Bible, Hindu legends, literary greats, religious leaders, Sufi mystics, the scientific community, and the author's personal journey. Each experience, expression, or idea builds on the truly global or universal nature of blessing.
The chapters in the book are uplifting, each one adding (or sometimes seemingly repeating) what amounts to "the gentle art of blessing" and how it has touched so many lives. Blessing is an easy concept to understand, but Pradervand delivers every facet (and more) of "the pragmatic, nondenominational, universal practice." And, he encourages his readers to start blessing themselves and others right now, today, immediately. "For either spirituality is lived in everyday life, in the most mundane circumstances … or it has no reason to exist," he says.
The grit to this book comes from the citations of the testimonials, which are all carefully noted after each chapter as well as in suggested reading at the end of the book. Pradervand has definitely done his homework. With so many different faiths and spiritual outlooks holding hands in families, communities, and throughout the world, it is eye-opening to learn more about them and their daily prayers for us all. The extensive collection of works – by Patton Boyle, Mary Baker Eddy, Bryon Katie, Leo Tolstoy, Nelson Mandela, to name a few – will easily make any curious reader's must-read list.
Also included at the end of each chapter is a short section of questions to help guide readers "On Your Path to Blessing," which is perfect for journaling or group discussions.
As Pradervand notes from Patton Boyle's Screaming Hawk: "Truth can only be grasped through experience." And the experience of blessing "is a wonderful way … of being present to the present." Pradervand encourages his readers to learn or renew how we bring blessing to our life and others. His message couldn't be more clear or consistent: blessing is truly simple and transforming.