Church Times Review of Modern Spirituality

Church Times Review of Modern Spirituality

Bruce Duncan  Church Times February 2012

WILLIAM BLOOM, the back of this book tells us, is the UK’s leading mind, body, and spirit teacher, and a meditation master. He lives in Glastonbury, was for 25 years on the faculty of the Findhorn Foundation, spent a two-year spiritual retreat amongst the Saharan Berbers in the High Atlas mountains, and for ten years directed the Alternatives programme at St James’s, Piccadilly.

Nevertheless, to my surprise, I enjoyed this book. My initial fear that this would be New Age writing at its worst – shallow, syrupy, self-obsessed, and lacking in moral values – was soon dispelled. Modern Spirituality, Bloom assures us, has strong values and respects and draws from every world religion. Bloom’s target audience is surely not those who read the Church Times, most of whom would wish to preface ‘spirituality’ with the word ‘Christian’.

Many people are repelled by religion, and by the Christian Church in particular. One fifth of all Americans say that they are spiritual but not religious. Generation X, the generation born after the post-Second World War baby-boomers, long to be loved (so the polls tell us), to be connected with the wonder and energy of life, to be part of an authentic community, and to become caring, wise, and compassionate. They hunger for God, but are un­satis­fied by traditional ex­pressions of church.

These people will resonate with the three golden key practices of Bloom’s modern spirituality: connection, reflection, and service.

Bloom divides his book into a discussion around those three key practices. The author comes across as a good person with much experience and wisdom to impart, an excellent teacher who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.

He gives many examples and anecdotes to illustrate his points. One struck me especially. During a one-day course that he led for 50 Anglican clergy, he asked them to list all the times when they most easily connected with the beauty and mystery of God. Not one of them listed prayer; and no one listed the eucharist.

For those whose religion has become divorced from their spirituality, and who are prepared to step outside their religious safety zone, this book will provide some helpful and refreshing surprises.

Holy Water – How to Make It

Holy Water – How to Make It

Holy water is often used to cleanse objects and spaces.

What follows is my recipe for making it. This is based on a classical method I learned years ago in an esoteric group – so long ago that I cannot remember which group.

What is most important is the basic structure. Feel free to adapt it in the way that best suits you.


Half a glass of water

Half a teaspoon of salt.

Their source does not matter, but you may prefer to use ones that come from wells and springs or are natural/organic.




In whatever way works best for you, centre yourself and connect fully with Spirit/Tao/God/dess whatever you call the benevolent flow of the universe.

Allow that connection to come fully through you so that it radiates through your hands.


Place the palm of your hand (right hand if right-handed, left if left-handed) over the water and sense the benevolent energy flowing into every atom and molecule of the water.


With slow and calm intention, think or say the following words:

Hello, creature of water. In the name of All That is Benevolent and Good, I bless you. I cleanse you. I exorcise you of all elements of evil and negativity, so that wherever you are scattered all elements of evil and negativity may depart.

As you say these words, you can increase the potency by drawing a symbol in the water using the energy from your palm. If you are Christian, you might use the cross; if Jewish, the Star of David; if Hindu, the OM; if pagan, the equal-armed across; and so on. It is customary to draw it three times.


Do the same – all of 3 above – with the salt. The only difference is that you address it as ‘creature of salt.’


Then drop some of the salt into the water. Again it is customary to do this three times. And if you wish, you can drop it into the water at the same time following the pattern of the symbol – eg the cross – that you were using before.


Then scatter the salt wherever you want to do the cleansing. Children love to do this.


In my opinion, the major potency of the blessed water lasts a few hours.

Afterwards whatever is left you can simply pour into the earth somewhere.