Many of us are familiar with Thich Nhat Hanh’s recommendation that we use everyday sights and sounds as “bells of mindfulness” that can remind us to return to the breath. I’d like to offer a related practice that we can do almost every day: blessing money that we send out into the world. I’m referring mainly to physical money, such as hard currency and coins, but it would be fairly simply to incorporate this practice into online bill paying as well.
Here’s an example: to do laundry, I have to put quarters into the washers and dryers in our building. One day I started blessing the quarters before sliding them into the coin slots. I hold the quarters in my hand, generate the intention that this blessing is meant for the sake of all sentient beings, but especially those to whom these quarters will eventually go, and offer gratitude to the Universe for allowing me to bless the quarters. Then I put the quarters in the coin slots, push the apparatus into the washer (or dryer) and go about my day.
Though I find it easiest to bless quarters in the privacy of the laundry room, it would be easy to bless all the bills and coins in one’s wallet at once, or to silently bless money while handing it to a cashier in a checkout line. It would be equally easy to generate the intention behind a blessing while paying bills online.
Do I really think that money can be a carrier for blessings to unknown people? Well, to some people, money is the best blessing of all! (I don’t agree, but it’s not for me to judge.) Whether or not blessings connected with money can actually reach their intended recipients through the exchange of random coins, taking time to generate the intention of sending a blessing is a way of bringing oneself into harmony and balance, potentially improving the harmony and balance of those around us and of our internal and external environments. It can be a lovely mindfulness practice.