A Blessing Creates a Higher Consciousness

by Diana Rankin

Gamma Cygni
Image by Skiwalker79 via Flickr

Blessing another, our food, a situation and ourselves takes us to a higher state of consciousness that allows us to experience life from a perspective different from that of the normal state of daily affairs.

Although there is some controversy within the scientific community about what happens in the brain when we bless, a twenty-year old theory backs up the experience many of us have every time we say a blessing. Scientists call the experience an increase in the gamma waves; I call it a feel-good experience.

With the help of EEGs, scientists have been able to measure gamma waves, which are the highest frequency of brain waves—electrical impulses that occur naturally in the brain. Gamma waves are associated with higher levels of intelligence and feelings of happiness, and an increase in a person’s feelings of compassion toward others. In recent years, commercial neuro-programming products have entered the marketplace to help increase gamma waves. Although I’m sure they are good, I haven’t personally tried any of these programs, have not felt a need to, because I continually experience an increase in happiness, alertness, and compassion every time I bless someone or something. And I am blessed to have numerous opportunities every day to say a blessing. So do you.

Begin by blessing whatever enters your body—food, water, tea, and so on. In workshops I offer where food is present, we always have a blessing of the food, the elements that helped the food grow, the animals that sacrificed their bodies to sustain ours, the farmers who grew the food, the workers who processed the food, the truck drivers who delivered the food, the groceries who stored the food, and so on. You get the idea. A blessing isn’t just a simple, “Bless you, and you’re off and running, although even a quick blessing is meaningful if said with heart.

Heart is important in every blessing. A blessing said with genuine gratitude, a feeling of deep thankfulness, seems to be necessary for me to experience the euphoria. Perhaps emotion is needed to activate gamma waves. Certainly it has been in my life and it seems scientists are also finding this to be true. Well-known for his work in neuroplasticity— the capacity for the brain to rewire itself—Richard Davidson, a researcher at the University of Wisconsin, found an increase in gamma activity in Tibetan Buddhists monks during meditation. When the monks meditated on loving kindness, the gamma waves increased even more.

Living in the country allows me opportunities every day to increase my gamma waves by blessing animals in the fields, winged ones in the sky, and those along the side of the road. For the deer and field cats and great winged ones who bless my life as I travel along, my blessing is simple, “Thank you for being in this world and for blessing my life with your presence.” My blessing for those who have left this life is, “Bless you, bless the one who took your life, bless the ones who will partake of your giveaway, and bless me.” Those final two words are crucial to the blessing. They are the words that take us into a deeper compassion for ourselves, which, in turn allows us to feel greater compassion for all beings.

We don’t have to look far for something to bless. There is so much in life that calls for our blessing. Daily I bless my four-legged children for their well being and thank them for enriching my life. I bless each member of my family, and each friend who is in my life. I bless the sun and thank it for warming me. I bless the rain for feeding the fields and flowers. I bless my office as I walk into it every morning. I bless the computer for working so well. I bless words for coming easily when needed. I bless each part of my body for good health and vitality. I bless friends and acquaintances and the clerk at the checkout. I bless the authors of books I read and musicians of music I hear. I bless my vehicle that keeps me safe, the mechanics who keep it running smoothly, and the gasoline and roadways and every other driver on the road.

And with each blessing, I also bless myself. You might have noticed—and you would be right if you did—that with so much time spent blessing the other there is no time left to spend in complaining, so the gamma waves just keep growing and growing and blessing me as I bless you.

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