Blessings and Maha Shivarati

Yesterday, I quoted a wonderful article, "Blessing Heart" by Sally Kempton, the well known and loved meditation teacher.

Giving blessings is a powerful form of spiritual practice that Sally writes about - and it can lead to deep transformation and healing on many levels - for the one sending the blessings, and the one receiving them as well.

In Sally's words:

"When we offer blessings, we align ourselves with the force of grace that runs through the universe. We become channels for the higher power. And according to some of the mystical traditions, this is the hidden purpose of human life.

The Vedic sages, whose culture is the basis of the Hindu tradition, believed that one special function of human beings is to create conscious bridges between earth and cosmos. They did this through invocations and offerings, and bracketed their practices and ceremonies with mantras we chant to this day - Lokaha samastah sukhino bhavantu - May all beings be happy...

Grace is everywhere. In the Shaivite tradition, grace is considered to be an intrinsic property of consciousness itself, a fundamental activity of the divine energy that pervades every atom of the universe...Our practice merely aligns us with it...

From the perspective of the yoga-tantra, the subtle heart center is the seat of the intuitive level of thought known as pasyanti, where impulses and intentions arise directly from the deepest inner source and carry the power of that source...When we center ourselves in the heart and offer good wishes from that center, people tend to feel it..."

I love this idea of connecting with the heart. Connecting to the heart is a practice both Tantrics and Catholics can relate to, in varying ways. As a former theologian, I was always drawn to the writings of those mystics who venerated the Sacred Heart.

Sally Kempton
goes on to note that giving blessings is a powerful way to work with painful situations and relationships in our lives, and can lead to both transformation and healing. But we must also be willing to bless ourselves, and our pasts - and this is where many of us actually need to start our practice.

Tonight, Hindus celebrate Maha Shivarati - or the "Great Night of Shiva." It is said that prayers, intentions and mantras offered at this time, are magnified 10,000 times!

Hindus recognize the inherent power of words in the concept of Matrika Shakti. Thus, on this special day, we must take utmost care to be impeccable with our words and thoughts, because they too will be magnified.

Maha Shivarati reminds us of the power we have to change as individuals and to shift our own consciousness, as well as global consciousness, and even situations and events. All one has to do right now, is simply observe what is happening in the Middle East.

Tonight, give intent to shift something within yourself - a situation - or a relationship in need of healing. Bless yourself, bless everything and everyone that you see today, and everyone that comes to mind.

I bless you!

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