Hello spiritual friends!
Namaste is an ancient Hindu expression that literally means, "I bow to you" or "I honor you". The spiritual meaning of Namaste is recognizing someone's divinity or the highest expression of their soul nature. It means honoring someone's spiritual path and recognizing their authentic self and innate goodness. It is used in many Yoga classes to begin and end the sessions with reverence. Many people use Namaste as a sort of blessing or spiritual recognition for another. I am in no means an expert in its use. I chose Namaste as my topic for December because it expresses peace and appreciation for the highest good of all, a lovely mantra for the holiday season.
Namaste means no judgement
In order to recognize another person's innate goodness, we must release any old grievances or hard feelings. Namaste means we are letting those things go, even if we think they made poor choices or continue to behave in ways that we find annoying or upsetting. We don't always have insight into another person's pain, unique perspective or the reasons for their choices. Namaste respects their divine spirit as complete and whole, wherever they are in their spiritual growth and learning in this moment.
Honoring another person's divinity allows us to release any thoughts or feelings about superiority or inferiority to another person. Feeling less than another person is as judgmental as feeling better than another person. Consider that both viewpoints are forms of judgment: judgment towards another or judgment towards ourselves. Letting go of these thoughts allows us to see honor another person's soul aside from any physical aspects or worldly accomplishments.
Energetically, seeing another person as whole and complete in every moment is a form of healing. It removes any limitations that we may see for them, supports their spiritual growth and expansion, as well as our own. It gives them room to grow, access their own truth and unique spiritual path. Honoring another person's divine self or their highest and best gives them something beautiful to live into, their own creative expression. And it expands our own energy with love and compassion.
See their inner beauty
A great way to begin Namaste with another is to consciously become aware of what you most appreciate about them. Notice their inner beauty. Sometimes we let those niggling bothersome traits about someone we love to get in the way of seeing this beauty, especially those we spend more time with. We may forget the loveliness, the kindness, the sweetness, strength or laughter . . . those special qualities that drew us to them. Take a moment in Namaste to remember their innate beauty.
Namaste recognizes the belief of spiritual oneness, which is embraced by many eastern philosophies such Buddhism or Hinduism. The belief of oneness acknowledges that the life force, the divinity, the god-self within each of us is connected in consciousness with all of humanity. We are individual expressions of our authentic and unique selves, but also connected to each other in the oneness of spirit. In this way, we share a common destiny with all of humanity. Recognizing the beauty of another allows us to also validate our own beauty and appreciate our own struggles. It is a compassionate way to look other people, ourselves, and life in general.
Namaste for self, too
In my work, I have learned that thoughts and feelings are energy. The energy we feel and perceive surrounds us expansively, internally and externally. The honoring of another allows us to honor ourselves more too. Those who have deep respect and love for themselves are able to love and respect others more deeply as well. And the reverse is true. When we respect and honor our own needs, we can bring this honor and our best selves into our relationships.
We can honor ourselves by remembering self-care, resisting the need to take on too many responsibilities or obligations over the holiday season (or anytime). When we can give to ourselves in a generous way, take care of our own needs, we fill our reservoirs and we have more to give another. Let's choose to honor ourselves more this holiday season and bring it forward into the new year.
Distance with love, not judgment
Sometimes taking care of ourselves means moving out of the orbit of people who cause us continued pain or suffering. We can honor who they are and respect their experience of life, and yet choose to appreciate them from a distance. Moving away from a challenging individual may be the very best choice to support our own spiritual path.
A friend of mine and also one who has brought tremendous value and insight to my classes, John Bonath, used a phrase I wanted to share. He said, we can choose to distance with love, rather than judgment. What a beautiful approach to namaste for those tough life situations. We can give ourselves permission to honor another person's spiritual path and choices, while stepping away with love.
- Namaste means no judgment
- See their inner beauty
- Namaste for self, too
- Distance with love, not judgment
Why not incorporate a practice of Namaste into your day. Take a quiet moment to think about someone in your life. Consider their inner beauty and innate goodness. What does it feel like to see them as whole and complete? How do you see them differently?
Wishing you the blessings of a healthy and joyful holiday.