The field of blessing – a power of love, levity, strength, wholeness – can be co-created by a group. We gather ourselves into this somewhat shared purpose, and invite the good into our midst, and it comes. “I desire, and look up,” writes Emerson, “and put myself in the attitude of reception, but from some alien energy the visions come.”
Well, they are not completely alien, and in fact we feel more and more at home in this co-creation, but it is ever fresh and involves us in a larger universe than the one available to the senses – far larger than the world of our daily pre-occupations.
To establish this field of blessing, we first ground ourselves in wonder and gratitude for our physical body. This both ennobles and relativizes the body, since the one who is grateful for the body isn’t coterminous with the body.
We also honor the other people there, marveling at their vast interiority, of which their physical presentation may be only a misleading sign. Emerson again: “[People] do not represent themselves, but misrepresent themselves.”
We also appreciate and share love with the physical surround that holds us. We are somewhere; we form part of this specific location on a beloved planet.
And we guess, delightedly, at the always already active vectors of connection among us. We are already in relationship, already doing together, and here in the group we allow ourselves to become conscious of our collective spiritual production.
Into this grounded space, we then invite our allies, helpers. That is, we give a thought to, and welcome in, those humans, aspects of nature, divinities, and others who have long since been involved with us in making this life fruitful.
So far, it is the more or less norm of our blessing procedure. Then, yesterday, we each decided on a quality or two that the current political climate in Washington might be able to use. Like honesty. Like empathy. Like humor. And we each endeavored to be, to embody, our chosen quality.
Charged with this energy, we then placed ourselves, mentally, in the White House, the Capitol, or Washington altogether. The idea was not to zap the people or atmosphere there as if doing something to them, but simply to be the good qualities, making them more available to the free choice of those in government.
Did it work? It couldn’t have hurt.
One participant in the group later said, “I expect good news in the paper tomorrow.”
St James keeps writing to us in his letter (5:16) that “the effectual fervent prayer of the righteous man availeth much.” How does he know that, and just what doth it avail? Sir Francis Galton belittled the efficacy of prayer, pointing out that the most prayed-for people were the crowned heads of Europe, but they lived no longer, on average, than the rest of their populations.
Still, I think we do know, at moments, by direct experience, that our blessing is a reality, and that it does make more available, to those we bear in mind, whatever qualities we invoke and embody. I hope these inner efforts will only make you more active outwardly, too, to agitate for the common good.
All blessings to all,
p.s.: On Sunday March 12, I’ll be giving the sermon at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Housatonic, MA at 10:30. Topic: Inner Activism. Please come!