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Excerpted from Blessing by David Spangler. Copyright © 2001 by David Spangler. Excerpted by permission of Penguin Putnam, Inc.  All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. HTML and web pages copyright © by SpiritSite.com.

"As we sat together in this way, there was a warmth that enfolded us, a loving presence that was sweet and unpretentious but seemed to stretch on into infinity."

  David Spangler, Blessing, Part 4

But it was hard. Part of me wanted to turn and walk away or suggest she see one of the leaders of the center where I had spoken. They were loving and wonderful people of high integrity whom I knew gave blessings regularly as part of their non-denominational ministry. A moment before, I had been immersed in a flow of spirit as I lectured, feeling inspired, enthused, and magnetic. Now, though, as this member of my dispersing audience stood before me expectantly, I felt empty, ignorant, unprepared, and altogether unsuitable for what she was asking. What if nothing happens? I thought. What if it's only words? In short, I was afraid. I saw with perfect clarity that my image of the kind of blessing I wanted to give was a cartoon. It was an image of a burst of spiritual power, heavenly choirs singing, inner lights blazing, magical bells and whistles going off, with the recipient having all her problems solved, her consciousness raised, her life transfigured. It was pure Hollywood. It was pure ego.

Give me a blessing.

But then with equal clarity I knew that such a display would not be a blessing at all. A blessing had nothing to do with esoteric or spiritual pyrotechnics. It was a whisper, a gentleness, a voice that spoke not of my power but of the power within the recipient. It was not a hurricane of energy but a soft and warming breeze that invited us to open windows and doors to let stuffiness out and new life in. It was an invitation to openness. It was not meant to impress but to touch and to connect. It could take whatever form would make that connection. I understood then that whatever spiritual forces might flow within a blessing, what was most needed was simple human caring and presence, a mindfulness of being present to the other. It required nothing more magical or grandiose than meeting her halfway, for a blessing, I realized, is a two-way street: not something someone does for someone else, but something we become together in order that a spirit may flow. The principle was deceptively simple but very familiar: Where two or more are gathered in the name of that which loves, that which connects, that which is compassionate, that which liberates, there blessing is also.

I could not have put all this into words. But it was there as a knowing, almost as an instinct rising to the surface. And in that knowing, I simply took her hands and held them, closing my eyes, becoming still, and reaching out to embrace her in my spirit and to be embraced in hers, allowing that connection to invoke what was needed.

As we sat together in this way, there was a warmth that enfolded us, a loving presence that was sweet and unpretentious but seemed to stretch on into infinity. There was a sense of opening out to a vastness. And down my arms and through my hands into hers, there was a sense of something flowing, as if part of that warmth that embraced us had become fluid and was moving from me into her. No bells. No whistles. No radiant rainbow lights flashing about our auras. Just being together, two people acknowledging each other, acknowledging our humanness, acknowledging the presence of the sacred that emerges when human beings gather each other to their hearts in goodwill and caring.

The feeling of this presence lasted for about a minute or so, then receded. We opened our eyes and smiled at each other. She simply said, "Thank you," got up, and left the auditorium.

That was it.

My first blessing.

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