“Namaste.” We’ve been hearing and seeing this lovely word a lot lately. Visitors blissfully say it to us and each other upon leaving our Mesa Creative Arts Center. Yoga teachers and students respectfully repeat it at the end of class. Spiritually minded people use it as the salutation at the end of their emails. It’s been used as a hip new name for everything from handbags and solar panel manufacturers to beer. (Yep, I Googled it…)
The word “Namaste” (Pronounced: “Na-ma-stay”) and the accompanying traditional gesture of hands pressed palms together vertically at the heart as if in prayer along with a slight bowing of the head is often the preferred non-contact greeting (No touching, please!) used on the Indian sub-continent for respectfully greeting another. While the literal translation of this ancient Sanskrit expression is something like, “I bow to you,” in modern times it has been interpreted variously as “The God (Divinity) within me bows to (greets, acknowledges) the God (Divinity) within you.” It’s good energy and it feels good to say it.
I use the two-handed gesture a lot in my daily travels, with or without the accompanying word out loud as a way to show people that I acknowledge and respect them and their lifewalk, whether it’s to thank a customer or spiritual teacher at our center, express gratitude to the helpful clerk in the grocery store, or to thank a stranger for much needed driving directions. (Spirit is my GPS!) Yesterday, “Namaste” came into my mind for a different reason from a self-exploratory quandary that popped into my head.
In one of my innumerable tag-team self-esteem wrestling matches between my mind, emotions, displaced soul energies, spirit, and random masked desperados (They seem to take turns teaming up with each other, but thankfully fight far less often these days…) the word “honor” came into my mind. I revered other people I admired, but was I worthy of honoring? Did I see or feel myself that way?
Growing up, it seemed so few people honored me, a good deal of why I kept finding myself on the ropes waiting for a tag to escape my internal grappling ring. (It’s all staged, you know…) It would be easy to blame my upbringing for my predicament, but as I’ve gotten older and wiser, I’ve come to understand the necessity to start all of my Holy Grail type quests in the same place: Right inside of me. Outside of my ego, am I really and lovingly respecting myself, I wondered? What would it feel like?
Certainly, I have gone out of my way to respect the consciousness, body space, thoughts, feelings, and beliefs of others without judgment as much as I can. This I feel as a spiritual imperative. The central focus in my life with Kate and our work at The Mesa has revolved around it. The issue at that moment was whether or not I was extending that kindness and latitude to myself.
What, if anything did I honor about myself? My abilities as an artist? My gift for helping others with healing? My capacity to love others? Yes, I thought, I did honor those qualities within me, but they were essentially things I did, not ME, and not about my just-sitting-there, beingness. Was there anything within me when I was perfectly still that merited honor? I knew as a spiritual recollection that there surely was.
In that moment I could feel that if that were true, I was obviously in denial of it. If anyone else treated me the way I sometimes treated myself; making me work long hours for little or no pay, forcing me to skip meals to get projects done, blaming myself for mistakes and shortcomings, ignoring my bodily needs for rest, recreation and sleep, pushing down my emotions if I felt like a good cry, I’d likely feel insulted, resentful, and angry. If that kind of miserable treatment of me continued for any great length of time, I likely fall into total despair, yet I wasn’t nearly in that place because of something that remained, for the moment, hidden.
Just entertaining thoughts about all this made things pretty evident that I was not really respecting myself much of the time, and it raised other questions. What part(s) of myself wasn’t I honoring? What, if anything, might I possess that was intrinsically worth doing so about? Did I honor the innate Beingness of others? About that time “Namaste” and it’s meaning came firmly into my head: The God in me honors the God in you.
I’ve used the greeting often enough. Was I actually honoring the part, aspect, consciousness, spark or whatever-you-want-to-call-it of God within others, just giving it New Age lip-service, or being merely and requisitely polite? I wanted it to be from the heart instead of just “right thinking”, but muscle testing indicated what was happening unconsciously inside of me; I wasn’t able to connect with it. I knew instantly that lack of connection was a mirror reflection of the lack of recognition within myself. I was not honoring the God within, from within, for any number of conscious or unconscious reasons.
“Oh, yeah, there’s god in me alright,” I could hear my inner mind saying sarcastically, “…but not ‘the Big God’. That’s different.” When I was child, I was told that “God is everywhere”. At the time, I took it that God was like a spy. “He” could be everywhere, hiding in the bushes to watch if I broke a commandment or committed a sin. If I did, he might zap me with a lightning bolt or some other deserved misfortune. I was afraid of God and held “him” in the same fearful (not loving) respect I had for other authority figures. Why would I want to find that inside of me?
Fortunately I have learned enough about Spiritual Nature to understand this as a fallacy of belief from limited mental concepts given to me by society. It was totally a point of view—one that needed to change emotionally now that I remembered. I found my wife and spiritual partner, Kate, and told her about what I had been ruminating on.
A brief round of muscle testing showed a pattern. I was not honoring (acknowledging) the holographic nature of the loving God my Soul remembered; the wholeness of that presence in every Created thing, including Brad. All I was seeing was the rind of the fruit of Creation instead of the seed. While I mentally honored others as my brothers and sisters, I didn’t know a felt-sense way to honor the God in anyone or anything, especially within myself because I was looking for something markedly different. Kate was in a similar metaphysical boat.
We took turns using our little Guided Head Movement healings to help each other’s internal paradigm shift. The healing expression or mantra we used? “Honor the God within you.” We each could feel it as it shifted. Kate actually starting to laugh during her turn. We each felt wholly (holy?) different afterwards, a feeling that persists into the day and this writing with calmness and waves of tingling energy.
Muscle testing confirmed what we already could feel changing. We now more truly honored the God in ourselves, each other, specific people we tested by name (Yes, the difficult ones, too.) our cats, and even our houseplants in a much deeper way, because we acknowledged and “allowed” it to be present within us. It had to start from a change within.
As you walk through your week, think about those who irritate, annoy, tax, obstruct, befuddle, or disturb you. Can you find at minimum a tiny little spark of Divinity within them? Can you at least honor that and find a way to endure if not get along with them? If not, you might need to look for that same dormant God seed within yourself and start by treating yourself better. We honor that in you. Namaste!