Thursday, April 19, 2012

Bismallah

I recall hearing that formal correspondence, announcements, and so forth in devout Muslim countries, whatever the topic, begin with the “Bismallah” invocation: “In the name of God, the Gracious, the Merciful.” Devout Jews place the mezuzah on the door, and as one enters, there is a reminder that it is God and the Torah that are entering the room. Each session of the U.S. Congress begins with the Chaplain’s prayer. We take off our shoes and bow before entering the dojo or zendo.

It is simple to allow such actions to fade into empty ritual, but if we work actively to keep them alive, consider their significance: From wherever we have come, with whatever intentions, agendas, or even baggage, we arrive at this point and we stop

Dutifully reminded that your very next words represent God, the nation, the people you serve, the teachings, or some other ideal for which we have all come together, what will you say next?

And how will you hear and interpret what comes in response?

Now, proceed

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