Namaste

Jim:    Ah, so you’re here.  And, as we greet you, we say Namaste.  There’s many variations and meanings of Namaste, Mike.  It actually comes from India.  And, it’s an Indian way of greeting each other.  It’s a way of showing homage and respect to one another.  So, in some Indian cultures, particularly in the North and the South, they use Namaste as holding their elbows out, their palms together, first of all to their minds and to their hearts, greeting to someone.  And, quite often it could have the meaning of literally that our minds meet.  However, the literal translation of Namaste is I bow to you.  Nama in Sanskrit means “to bow.”  Te is “to you.”  So, when we use the Mudra position it’s the heart and the mind that we often try to connect with people.  There are other popular phrases that have been interpreted, particularly for use in yoga.  Although the native folks from India often wonder how did it get involved with yoga, because it was really, really a greeting.  And, when we talk about the Hindus we talk about the divine in me recognizes and honors the divine in you.  The divine light in me acknowledges and recognizes the divine light.  The divine wisdom in me recognizes and acknowledges the divine wisdom in you.  So, Mike, what it’s really about is respecting and honoring each other.  Acknowledging their own goodness and the goodness in others.  Your own divinity and their own spirit and the light that’s present in other people. So, most people are familiar with the type of mantras that Buddhists use, and they use them in particular yoga classes.  What most people may not know is that these terms come from Sanskrit, which is an ancient, ancient language.  And, it’s not so much as the words, Mike.  However, it’s the tonation and the inflection of them – the vibration.  So, for those of you who may be familiar with string theory, it’s believed that everything is made of vibrations.  What is sound made up of, Mike?

Mike:    The vibrations that come into your ear and get interpreted by something in your ear vibrating and catching them.

Jim:    So, your vocal cords vibrate.  They make a sound.  It comes out in waves.  Which is caught by your ear.  In going through your brain, your auditory circuits, and it’s recognized in your brain.  According to string theory, which deals with everything is made up of vibrations, we go to one of my favorite mantras, which is um so hum which translates into I am that.  Mike, there’s only a certain number of elements in the periodic table is there not?  

Mike:    Currently.

Jim:    Yes.  And, however, they all share a commonality.  They’re all made up of protons, neutrons, and rolling electrons, are they not?  And, maybe some other particles that have yet to be discovered.  But, that’s what they’re made of.  So, everything is made up of the same energy.  We just happen to be imbued with a spirit.   An essence.  A spirit.  What we often talk about on this program is that we’re spiritual beings having a human experience.  So, in Buddhist terms, when they talk about I am that means that I am connected with everything.  I have the same type of energy.  I am made up of the same type of energy as the water and the birds and the trees and the rocks and the dirt and the squirrels and everything else.  If we’re made up of the same type of energy, and we’re all connected, this is one of the reasons that the Buddha forbid intentionally killing – going out and chopping down a tree when you didn’t need to.  Going out and killing animals to put on a trophy rack when you didn’t need the meat and you didn’t need to.  If we look at our friends, the Native Americans, did they slaughter the buffalo?  

Mike:    No.  They used every piece of them, and only when they needed to.  

Jim:    Only when they needed to.  And, when they had to kill a buffalo, they would actually apologize to it, and tell them that they appreciated their sacrifice and their spirit.  So, what we’re talking about is everything is interconnected.  When we’re talking about Namaste, when we talk about Namaste Holistic Counseling’s concept of holistic wellness – which means integrating mind, body, and spirit, and we truly believe that everyone is connected.  And, our previous podcast (#76) we talked about that.  We talked about the connection between human beings.  We talked about the connection between the earth, the air, and the sky.  If we’re all connected, is there a reason for greed, lust, and self-love?  Because when actually, when you’re harming something else – when you’re harming the birds, the trees, you’re actually harming yourself as you’re all interconnected and made up of the same energy.  So, when we’re talking about Namaste saying my divine spirit recognizes and honors your divine spirit, we’re acknowledging the interconnectedness of every single being.  And, when we do that then there would be no further need for protests.  There would be no further need for hunger.  There would be no further need for war.  There would be no further need for hatred.  As when you’re hurting someone else, you’re really and truly in Buddhist terms hurting yourself.  And, once again, I say to everyone out there – Namaste, my friends.