Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been
the two most beautiful words in the English language.

Henry James

Source of all blessings, you bless us with summer! A time when many of us are drawn to the nourishing embrace of nature, time with family and friends, and a more spacious schedule. Many of us also make more time to notice that which inspires us and delights our senses. With this quality of the season in mind (and we hope that our friends in the Southern Hemisphere will be equally inspired), we invite you to explore this sweet, simple — yet potentially transformative — practice of tending to the presence of blessing in your life. This collection of blessings complements Summer Blessings: Practice Series I.

Our inspiration is Br. David Steindl-Rast’s 99 Blessings: An Invitation to Life, a collection of whimsical and precise celebrations crafted over a three-month period during which Br. David wrote one blessing each day — a blessing for whatever happened to come to his mind: “from insects to the Internet, from friendship to fresh linen.”

“Blessing, rightly understood, is the invisible bloodstream pulsating through the universe–alive and life-giving.”

Br. David Steindl-Rast

May these eight, short blessings, and the images that accompany them, help you to more deeply notice, appreciate, and feel nourished by the blessings always in your midst and move you to freely share your blessings with others…

The Practice

We recommend you bookmark this page and move through the practice days at your own pace. You might move through the practice alone or consider exploring it with others, as part of a group experience.

Day 1.  Breath
Sense how it feels to honor our life-giving breath. When we allow ourselves to appreciate that which quietly and generously supports our lives, we can cultivate a profound sense of gratitude and belonging.

Day 2.  Dreams
Sense how it feels to honor our dreams, intuitions, and visions. When we pay attention to the wisdom that is available to us through more subtle realms and senses, our perception of reality, and therefore what is possible, opens and expands.

Day 3.  Healing Hands
Sense how it feels to honor the healing touch of those who have comforted, tended to, or cared for you throughout your life. When we appreciate the gift and power of healing hands, we open to imbuing our own touch with intention, care, and gratitude.

Day 4.  Kitchen Noises
Sense how it feels to honor the sounds of a well-used kitchen. When we tune in to the sounds of the everyday activities that nourish us, we expand our ability to experience life as abundant, which in turn fuels us to nourish the lives of others.

Day 5.  Tears
Sense how it feels to honor the healing, cleansing work of tears. When we allow our tears to flow freely, we open to and trust the innate wisdom and healing power of our human hearts.

Day 6.  Gardens
Sense how it feels to honor the bright abundance and generosity of gardens. When we take in gardens as the joyful outcome of our imaginations mingling with the exuberance of all that grows, we can appreciate the beauty inherent in wholehearted co-creation.

Day 7.  Surf
Sense how it feels to honor the changing activity, sounds, and rhythm of surf. Noticing that which emerges from the fullness, depth, and majesty of the ocean, we can expand our capacity to appreciate diversity that comes from a single source.

Day 8.  Departures
Sense how it feels to honor the inevitability and gift of departures. When we acknowledge and appreciate the leave-takings in our lives, we cultivate resilience and welcome the wisdom of impermanence.

We leave you with this blessing for the times and seasons of life:

you bless us with times and
seasons–bringing in their
course birthdays, saints’ days,
and holy days, ever recurring in
their cycles, yet ever new when
they arrive. May I be steadied by
their rhythm, from the rising of
sap to sprouting, blossoming, and
fruiting, falling of fruit and leaves
and of the first snow; may I give
myself to the flow of this great
circle dance that carries us and
joins us together.

Feel moved to support future practices?
We warmly welcome contributions!