In my shaman training, we've been working on learning how to bless. That's been a big theme in my life since the fall, when I began training as a blesser for the Solstice ritual. Since then, I've been training for the Equinox ritual, which was this past Friday. For each ritual, we learned about and experienced (through specific journeys) the energy we wanted to summon and bestow. We learned techniques to strengthen our connection with and to enhance our ability to summon that energy.
The biggest difference between the two experiences, though, was the experience of blessing during the rituals. During the Solstice ritual, I worked hard at "blessing." My spiritual teacher did say that if you feel like you are trying too hard, you are probably getting in the way more than anything. During the Equinox ritual, I realized that I was not "working hard." I was joyfully and easily blessing the people.
What was the difference? What do I mean by "working hard"? I want to be clear on this, because make no mistake, hard work is involved. But during the ritual is not the time to work hard. The hard work is in the preparation. Through disciplined journeying, drumming, and meditation in the weeks before the ritual, we were ready to simply summon, focus, and release the energy.
The ritual was pretty wonderful. I loved walking through the people, seeing their faces, full of expectation and trust, and knowing that they were, indeed, being blessed. And by being a servant to Spirit, to them, I was also greatly blessed.