From the dictionary:
1. a respectful greeting said when giving a namaskar.
2. another term for namaskar.
Namaste is both a spoken expression and a symbolic gesture that people use when greeting each other or in parting. Pronounced “na-ma-stay”, the term derives from Sanskrit and literally means “I bow to you”. It’s more commonly translated as “the divine light in me, honors the divine light in you”.
I honor the place in you in which the entire Universe dwells. I honor the place in you which is of love, light, peace and joy. When you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, we are one”.
Truly, What a wonderful way to approach interaction with others. With our friends, our loved ones, business associates and even strangers. I love this! It is easy to dismiss this approach to life when we are bound up in day-to-day issues. To save it for Yoga class or when we share a particular meme that made us stop, think and feel good. It is super simple and makes total sense, and suggests, as do so many teachings, honor others and treat them how you want to be treated. So how do we forget it? Fail early and often to start interaction from this state of being?
In our society right now, it is truly difficult. No two ways about it. Negativity abounds, bad news is our societal fuel, we are told over and over again and on so many platforms, how bad we have it. In the media, in our families, schools and even in some cases, places of worship. We are encouraged to take a stand and defend our position at all costs. We are encouraged to be tough about it! No more messing around! And, if we don’t stop whatever the “it” is, society and the world as we know it will be destroyed beyond repair. Compassion is a sign of weakness, hearing and considering another’s viewpoint? A sign of weakness. The other side? Well if they don’t think like you do, forget them, they are the enemy and must be destroyed! I got all worked up just typing that. And by the way, the subject doesn’t matter at all. This way of thinking and behaving pervades every issue, fueled by social media comment battles and the twenty-four hour news cycle. In any case, the point is, no wonder it is so hard to approach anything or anybody with a trusting, loving, peaceful point of view. Even if we don’t engage we are influenced. We are all on-guard.
Being on-guard puts us at arms-length with one another. Naturally, even with loved ones and friends, when you come off the street, having been on guard all day it is super difficult to drop the defenses. If we can’t drop the defenses, we have a hard time connecting to those closest with us, let along business associates and strangers. Further, what are we teaching our children? To be afraid? To be defensive? To be distrustful of anything outside of a smaller and smaller inner circle and sanctum? This discourages education, exploration and expansion of each of us and of our society, but that is the post for another day.
What you react to in another, you strengthen in yourself – Eckhart Tolle
I have by no means mastered this. What I am trying to do is remove ego, remove reaction and create space to add in honor, appreciation and understanding to my day-to-day interactions. In fact I am still failing more than I am succeeding, but when I am consciously aware and succeeding, boy does it feel good. And, I like to feel good!