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What does namaste mean anyway?

Namaste photo

Namaste. This post is going to be a little experiment ~ writing first with my current understanding of this word and what it means to me, and finishing with the actual definition ~ to see how it varies.

I have been told namasate means “the light in me sees the light that shines in you” (or similar variations). Light would be referring to the unique goodness and positive energy that each person is at their core. I believe we were born as beings of pure light, and that is who we truly are.

When I participate in yoga, “namaste” is nearly always the final word we all utter to our teacher and other attendees at the completion of class. It is a way of honoring what we just shared during the time we spent together. What a blessing to say, “I see the light in you”, to our teacher ~ for her {usually a woman, but not always} time spent guiding us. It is also a kind thought that we acknowledge those around us who shared that space with us during class. Above all, it feels so good to be present in that moment with others.

I created a small piece of art that sits on the entry table of our home that says “namaste”. My intention for it was to let people know that upon entering our home we will be doing our best to see their light. This year I am setting an intention to see others in a fresh light ~ where they are now ~ not how I’ve known them to be previously. It’s not always an easy task. We can be so programmed by the stories we tell about ourselves and others. However, I truly believe that if we look at each other with the intention of seeing the good, it will be reflected back to us. It doesn’t mean we have to connect with everyone, but at least look for their inner nature instead of their human habits that irritate us.

Now ~ for the online definition of “namaste”… well apparently there are many:

Literal translation: “I bow to the divine in you.”

Other interpretations:

“The Divine in me recognizes and honors the Divine in you.”

“The spirit within me bows to the spirit within you.”

“I greet that place where you and I are one.”

“I honor the place in you which is of love, of truth, of light and of peace.”

Wow ~ those are all so powerful. The last one resonates with me the most for some reason. What do you feel most drawn to? And more importantly, what if every person we greeted we held this intention of seeing their light? It would be magic I think.

namaste
:Suzee

Jen Farrant - I always say namaste to my yoga teacher, even though I am the only person who does so.

I go with the divine in me sees the divine in your definition. And interestingly the Quakers talk about seeing the light in peoeple and ‘that of God’ in all. For them light is God and the two are often interchanged in their writings

That resonates with me a great deal
Jen

twopoppies2012 - Thank you Jen for your comments. That is interesting about the Quakers – I don’t know much about that faith tradition. Peace.

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