Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Light in You

Prônam MudráImage via WikipediaWhat's with the Namaste-ing, anyway?

Yoga teachers like to say "Namaste."  Yoga students like to say "Namaste" in response.  If you're new to yoga, or never gave it any thought, you might have no idea what "Namaste" means or why people keep saying it to you.

Namaste is a big word with a really deep meaning.  Quick-and-dirty translations from Sanskrit would be "the light in me honors the light in you," or "the divinity in me bows to the divinity in you," or "I love you because we are one."  See what I mean about it being a big word?

What is this light, or divinity, thing?  It's your soul, your true self, that is part of a universal oneness and inhabits your body in order to exist in this lifetime.  Some people call it the spark of life.  Other people consider it that which makes people God-like.

It really doesn't matter what you call it.  What's important is that you recognize that whatever it is in you - your soul, your light, your spark - it also exists in everyone else.  "Namaste" acknowledges that we are all the same in having this divine light, and therefore every person is worthy of your respect and love.

The spiritual leader Ram Dass uses a lovely definition of Namaste.

I honor the place in you where the entire Universe resides.  I honor the place of love, of light, of truth, of peace.  I honor the place within you where if you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, there is only one of us.
There is only one of us, at the core.  Therefore, every kindness I do for another I also do for all others, and for myself.  We are connected at a level of existence that my mind cannot grasp, but I have faith that it is there.  I reinforce that faith each time I say "Namaste."

The light in me respects, honors, loves and bows to the light in you. 
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