Week 14: N for Namaste

This is a term that I don’t recall coming into my life until I was in high school and driving age really. The reason I am recalling it that way is because once I was able to drive, any chance I could when the weather was good, I would go to one of my favorite cities outside of Dayton, Ohio called Yellow Springs. It has always been a peaceful, hippy town. Even when my parents were growing up in Dayton, it still had a similar vibe that it does today. In this more conscience community, I remember seeing things sold in most of the stores there and they had “Namaste” or Ohms on them. I had no idea what that meant coming from a Catholic background, but I was wanting to learn. I felt great energy being in Yellow Springs and figured whatever “Namaste” meant, it was peaceful and loving.

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At my Catholic high school, I took a “World Religion” class that they offered my senior year. I loved this class because I felt it taught me other’s beliefs while allowing me to have a deep respect for them, their history and not wanting to infiltrate people with my personal beliefs. What do I really know as a teenager?! Even though in ways I thought I knew it all as most of us do at that phase of life. What do most of us really know at any phase of our lives?! LOL. Anyways, I remember seeing “Namaste” when looking at the Hindu religion. It is something that you say to honor the other person when bowing to them during a greeting or even at departure. Here is what I found from the dictionary as well:

na·ma·ste /ˈnäməˌstā/

1. a respectful greeting said when giving a namaskar.
noun
noun: namaste; plural noun: namastes
  1. another term for namaskar.
nam·as·kar /ˌnäməsˈkär/
  1. a traditional Indian greeting or gesture of respect, made by bringing the palms together before the face or chest and bowing.

Another way I connected to “Namaste” was that this was similar to bowing in Japanese as well as other traditions. What I loved about “Namaste” once I learned was the meaning behind it. In Hindi, it means “I bow to the divine in you”. How impactful! How respectful! How loving! To recognize not only the other’s existence, but acknowledge the divine in them. The divine in us all! It is so beautiful! I could only imagine if we all starting thinking and greeting people in this fashion. The energy of how we start any conversation or interaction would start from such a different place. Imagine the outcome differences?!

I feel that many people aren’t aware of the true meaning or power of the word, concept, and actions regarding “Namaste”. Many people may have never heard it, were taught or took the time to learn. Many people associate it with a religion other than their own and automatically dismiss it. I even wonder how many people saw this week’s title and didn’t choose to read this for that same reason. If the latter two are the case, I am asking for open eyes and an open heart to see that greatness exists everywhere!

For example, yoga is becoming more accepted and practiced in the West regardless of one’s religious belief of affiliation. Namaste is also a term used often in yoga as India is also the home of Hinduism. So naturally, there is influence and overlap in ways. This is a main reason why some within Christianity may feel that yoga is a sin or brings the devil. First, we can be challenged because it isn’t what we have been told to believe as well as it is foreign. It isn’t common so it is almost weird. However, I embrace weird. I embrace difference. I embrace loving others. To me, anything that supports love… that is where differences in the world start and will continue. That is where light will overcome dark versus thinking of it in more limiting terms of goodness/badness or correct life versus sin. God is light and light always perseveres! It always returns as the dawn does as well.

Now a more direct public service announcement… Anyone that wants to properly educate themselves versus choosing ignorance will learn in no time that yoga is more than a series of stretches. It is not a religion much like Hinduism, however, it is a consciousness. It is a mutual respect for life. All life. That is why the term, “Namaste” is used mostly at the end of a yoga practice/meditation. If we are all supposed to love like Jesus, then wouldn’t Jesus love yogi’s, Hindu’s and people of all color & all cultures?! When it is presented in this fashion, it is more challenging to argue versus choosing to wake up and just love.

UnknownThere is so much greatness, light and love in the world that isn’t limited to our own belief systems, values, and awareness. We just need to find it, learn about it, connect with it and embrace the different, yet similar beliefs. I don’t see how we could ever not agree with a culture or religion that wants to honor the divine in another. If anything, we have a lot to learn still within our American culture & value systems. And I am always willing to become a better person. I am pretty sure you are too!

This week, as you approach or even pass people, think about this! Say to yourself, “Namaste”… “The divine in me recognizes the divine in you.” … or even “The God that created me, also created you.” I feel you will see a good difference and if practiced every day throughout the day, you will find a deep love, honor, and respect for others. Even if they make us mad, we don’t agree with them or they are complete strangers we may never interact with… their spirit will know that your spirit connected with them even if for a brief moment. That is how peace starts in this world! Be that change we all hope to see!

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2 thoughts on “Week 14: N for Namaste

  1. Namaste 🙏 I Bow to you DearJamie.
    Very nicely said.
    The essence of being holds no bounds.
    You have been well enlightened since your teen years with a drive that as you mature evolves.
    Lightness & Love to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! It is an honor to hear people that have known me throughout life see something in me in never saw in myself until the recent years. 😉❤️

      Like

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