Saturday, June 10, 2017

Hopeful Thinking - Saturday, June 10, 2017 - Masha'Allah and the Law of Attraction

Graffiti art of the Arabic word Masha'Allah, or 'God has willed it.'
Today is the halfway point in the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. The fasts and feasts continue. The extra mindfulness required of one’s actions during these days is in agreement with these same purposes during Christian Advent and the Jewish Ten Days of Awe.
We are invited, at specific times in the wheel of the year, to remember not only who we are, but whose. We are to make extra acts of charity and kindness. To be mindful of our footprints.
During these introspective periods we are encouraged to ponder our beliefs and observe how they compel us to act in the world. We are to especially remember Gratitude and its proper place in the constellation of our busy lives.
There is a word in the Islamic world—Masha’Allah—which means literally “God has willed it.” I have heard the story of the word taught in two very different ways. Both customarily require that it be said upon hearing or discovering especially good news. “Masha’Allah! That’s wonderful!” But the underlying intention between the two is quite different.
For the record, I am not an Islamic scholar nor am I a Muslim. I am a dharmic Christian who respects and collaborates with other world faiths and traditions. I am curious about where all our views about God overlap with one another. I believe we each have a piece of the sacred puzzle in our possession, like so many fragments of a treasure map. If we wish to view a better glimpse of the Ultimate Reality we will eventually have to put them together.
In my exploration of the word Masha’Allah I have read in many places that it is said in pairing with a compliment so as to ward off any evil which may become attracted to it. “What a beautiful child. Masha’Allah!” In this thinking, we pray against evil when life is good that good may ever safely endure. But is it better to be against or for?
As it was first taught to me, Masha’Allah is a blessing, not a protection. It is a call of gratitude to the angels that a gift was bestowed upon someone. How wonderful! But more, it is given with the understanding that to participate in the gratitude of someone else’s good fortune is to invite blessing also upon oneself. “Masha’Allah, you sew beautifully!”
The Law of Attraction would agree. So would Christianity. What we reap, we sow. And likewise, this thought too can be seen as an invitation for punishment as easily as the encouragement of blessing. Which will you choose? Attraction principle invites us to reach for a better thought.
What would you like to attract when you see someone who has something you want? We have two options: Envy or Admiration. We will always attract more of our present experience. What are you feeling right now? That’s what you’re attracting. When someone wins the lottery what do you feel? Are you able to be genuinely happy for them? Or does their success become all about your lack? When you see a happy couple walking down the street what do you feel?

What if the lonely were to seek as many examples of love in the world as possible? Put pictures upon their walls of happy, friendly people enjoying one another’s company? What if we all were to turn our cheek away from our own dissatisfaction? I guarantee the view would improve dramatically.

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