In Biblical times the Israelite priests came from the tribe of Levi. Today their descendants, the Cohanim, continue to bless their congregations with the priestly benediction: “May the Eternal One bless you and keep you! May the Eternal One shine Its face upon you and grace you! May the Eternal One lift up Its face upon you and grant you peace!”
Now imagine what life would be like if this sacred duty of blessing was no longer limited to the Cohanim. Imagine what would happen if, beginning today, every human being resolved to take on this holy responsibility and expand its scope and purpose. Rather than being confined to blessing a particular congregation, community, or people, this sacred benediction would encompass the entire world and all its inhabitants.
Imagine what a difference it would make to both the blessers and the world if, every day, every human being on this planet sent out blessings to all beings. Surely, this would promote love, peace, and harmony. Surely, this would curb hatred, violence, and conflict. Surely, this would promote the well-being of Earth and Universe.
Blessing is bestowing goodness on others. Blessing beseeches the Source of Goodness to shower its beneficence. Blessing is an act and activation of good will.
Blessing is also the best buffer against vice: it is hard to hurt the loved ones you bless; it is difficult to deceive the strangers you bless; it is agonizing to discriminate against the peoples you bless; it is excruciating to exterminate the creatures you bless.
The universal practice of blessing is the very blessing the universe needs!
Bless yourself. Bless your family and friends. Bless your relatives and neighbors. Bless your communities and coworkers. Bless your allies and adversaries. Bless all beings, human and other than human, in your town, your county, your state, your country, your continent. Bless all beings on all continents. Bless the lands, the waters, the air, the entire Earth. Bless the sun, the moon, the solar system, the Milky Way. Bless all galaxies, all time and space, all matter and energy. Bless this world and all worlds, present, past and future, known and unknown.
Bless them all with this blessing and with more and more blessings: May the Eternal One bless you and keep you! May the Eternal One shine Its face upon you and grace you! May the Eternal One lift up Its face upon you and grant you peace!
Charles Burack is award-winning poet, writer, and professor, whose latest collection of poems is Leaves of Light (Apocryphile, 2016).