I’m sure I’m not alone in practising daily silent blessings. What, you may ask, does she mean by blessings?
In my small world, ever since I can remember, I felt guided. As a child I had a lucid vision of an angel, possibly an aspect of me – or us – existing in another dimension. My upbringing was not religious, but I developed a deep appreciation for beauty – of movement, sound, rhythm, light, colour, form – as well as a healthy disrespect for hypocrisy.
Then, during the 1980s I was ordained as a Cherag – the Sufi term for someone who performs worships and conducts ceremonies. I questioned the honour. Performing is not my strength. The response of my Sufi teacher – Fazal Inayat-Khan – was heartening: ‘You’re a light-bringer (which is what Cherag means,) and whether or not you formally worship is irrelevant. You have the capacity to bless. Go and bless the world.’
It works like a pebble thrown into a still pond, along with a loving desire, which then ripples outwards.
To bless can become a habit.
You may ask – who’s she to dish out blessings? And anyway, what can it possibly achieve other than making her feel good? Precisely, it makes me feel good. I don’t seek evidence – measure, weigh or put value on the practice. Being no saint, I also have plenty of less generous habits. But as regards blessings – think about it, what’s there to lose?
It is not the road ahead that wears you out – it is the grain of sand in your shoe.’ Proverb
The Angel of the North is a contemporary sculpture, designed by Antony Gromley, located in Geteshead, Tyne and Wear, England. Sylvia Selzer’s photo of ‘The Angel of the North’ is the most poignant image of an angel I’ve come across.