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We Don’t Need Religion to Count Our Blessings with Pierre Pradervand (Episode #170)

I’ve often questioned whether I would interview an author who has written yet another book in the “Spirituality” genre—that is, until I met Pierre Pradervand, an 86-year-old author of 23 books. Pierre still puts in 14-hour days to help people find love and kindness outside the chaos of the world’s spiritual “influencers,” and he compares going to the internet with heartfelt questions on spirituality to finding your dinner in the junk food section of the Supermarket. We need a fresh approach!



About Our Guest:

Pierre Pradervand might not be a household name, but this 86-year-old author’s life story is one filled with inspiration and a passion for making the world a better place, with most of his work focused on human rights, environmental sustainability, and peace-building initiatives.

Pierre Pradervand studied at the universities of Geneva, Bern and at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor before receiving a Doctorate in sociology from La Sorbonne University in Paris. A true world citizen, Pierre has labored most of his life for social justice, living, working, studying in or visiting 40 countries on every continent. From his Geneva home Pierre is now active as a writer, speaker and life coach, helping people to live simpler, yet richer, more contented lives. He provides personal and spiritual development tools that empower attendees to strengthen their internal anchors and advance on their spiritual path. Pierre is an author of 23 books , and is also an independent celebrant for weddings, burials, and other events.

For over 60 years, Pierre Pradervand has been collaborating with NGOs all over the world, and  has been involved with global organizations like the UN. He is a true global citizen in both thought and deed, and I could not have been more honored by the opportunity to record a conversation with him.

Pradervand’s new book, The Gentle Art of Spiritual Discernment, caught my attention when I noticed the author of its foreword: Dr. Jonathan Ellerby, a widely recognized expert in the fields of wellness, mindfulness, and leadership, who has been speaking with icons like Wayne Dyer PhD, Deepak Chopra, MD, Andrew Weil, MD on stages for 25 years, 

In the forward, Dr. Ellerby says, “Personally, I have often wondered if the world really needs another book about spiritual growth. Aren’t too many people saying the same things over and over?”

I have often asked myself the same question, so I resolved not to spend much time on that topic in our podcast. Then, however, Dr. Ellerby continues that he no longer feels that way after reading Pierre Pradervand’s book:

“As the world accelerates into what appears to be an unprecedented time of opportunity and chaos, we need every teacher, author and wisdom keeper to step forward with the best they have to offer.” 

I couldn’t agree more. Pierre is one of those “wisdom keepers,” and that’s why I knew we had to share as many of his insights as possible. 

Pierre believes that spiritually and religion are two very different things. He says that “nurturing some spirituality in our lives is simply about discovering a way of thinking that helps us work with the world and our circumstances, as they are. It can give us a framework for making sense of it all, so we can find some peace of mind.” 

This interview is not about religion; it’s about all the ways that we can find more ease and joy in our daily lives by developing what Pierre calls “our own unconventional spirituality.”  

Along the way, he makes it easy for us to see that no matter the burdens of our responsibility for others (be we single moms, individuals starting independent lives, caregivers, etc.), we can “find our own way.” We can make a spiritual practice out of almost anything: how we work, how we navigate surprising disappointments, even how we show up for others. He also reminds us that, when we make an effort to seek a kind of spiritual, graceful, loving composure in our lives, a radically more varied and abundant landscape becomes available to each of us. 

Pierre’s “rise above” perspective does not come from a lofty life in academic and intellectual towers. While he did study at three globally renowned institutions, including the Sorbonne University in Paris, his insights come from decades of laboring for social justice—primarily throughout the continent of Africa. 

One pivotal moment in his life occurred when he was introduced to the power of blessing others and the world around him. Blessing, he realized, was not tied to any religious dogma, but was a simple act of sending goodwill, love, and positivity to everyone and everything. Driven by this revelation, Pierre embarked on a mission to spread this message of blessing and gratitude. 

His book The Gentle Art of Blessing, was first published in the USA in 2009 and has just been reissued as an audio book by S&S in December 2023. In it he shares his insights, stories, and practical techniques on how blessing can transform lives. His teachings emphasize the profound impact of blessing on both the giver and the receiver, fostering healing, forgiveness, and inner peace.

What makes Pierre Pradervand’s message resonate with so many is its simplicity. He advocates for a fundamental shift in perspective—a shift from complaining about life’s challenges to embracing them with gratitude and compassion. Through his talks and workshops, Pierre encourages people to cultivate a mindset of gratitude, and to recognize the interconnectedness of all beings.

Pierre’s teachings are not just philosophical concepts; they are practical tools that anyone can incorporate into their daily lives. Whether it’s offering a kind word to a stranger, expressing gratitude for the little things, or silently blessing someone in need, these actions hold immense power in shaping a more compassionate world.

In a world often overshadowed by negativity and strife, his message stands out as a beacon of hope and positivity. His unwavering dedication to spreading kindness and gratitude serves as an inspiration for ordinary people seeking to make a difference in their communities and beyond.

Pierre Pradervand may be an ordinary person, but his extraordinary commitment to promoting blessings, gratitude, and kindness has touched the lives of countless individuals globally. He reminds us that each of us holds the power to create a ripple effect of positivity, one simple act of kindness at a time.

References Mentioned:


  • 00:00 – Intro & Welcome
  • 04:07 – Silence, Listening, and Personal Growth
  • 06:10 – Exploring Unconventional Spirituality
  • 10:36 – Global Contributions and Social Issues
  • 13:47 – Everyday Spirituality and Blessings
  • 19:55 – Transformation and Adversity
  • 23:58 – Personal and Trusting Spirituality
  • 25:26 – Balancing Busy Lives with Spirituality
  • 29:08 – Break
  • 32:01 – Evaluating Spiritual Leaders and Growth
  • 34:55 – Providence and World Perspectives
  • 39:20 – Journey to Maturity and Love
  • 42:57 – Final Reflections: Practical Spirituality
  • 49:40 – Closing

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