greeting the light within

December 23, 2012 at 12:36 pm 4 comments

Namaste.  I say it at the end of each of my yoga classes, and my students repeat it back to me.  I assume, as yogis, we all know what it means, and I rarely take the time to define it.

I am no Sanskrit scholar, but as I have learned it, namaste means: the light of the divine within me, honors the light of the divine within you.

It’s a lot for a little word, no?  Sanskrit is that way, with layers of meaning in one or two words.

Nama means I bow.  Te means to you.  I bow to you.  But it is not simply me, this body, bowing to you, your body.  It is my essence bowing to your essence–the highest in me recognizing and bowing to the highest in you.  This body holds that light, is the container that gives it hands to type and eyes to see and feet to tickle and throat to laugh, but this body does not define that light.

This week, after the terrible shootings in Connecticut, our newspaper printed photos of most of the victims.  The front page was full of smiling little faces of boys and girls, and their teachers.  My first thought was to hide this paper from my children, to read it when they were asleep, grieve privately over the faces of children not much older than my own.

But my second thought, seeing these beautiful faces, was to show them to my children.  They are–at two–far too young to hear or understand the story of these children.  So I opened the paper, and put it on the floor, and we admired the faces of the kids.  “That,” my son said, pointing to one boy’s notably carrot-red hair.  “Red hair,” I told him.  “That’s a boy with very red hair.”

“Eyeglasses,” my daughter said, noting one girl with glasses slid halfway down her nose.  “Yes,” I replied, “she is wearing eyeglasses.”

And so it went, throughout the day, we would pull out the paper, and look at the kids.  Hi kids, they said, over and over.  Hi kids.



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Time to Rest

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Kevin Comeau  |  December 24, 2012 at 11:41 pm

    A beautiful post… what a great way to reconceive a terrible event: present it as an opportunity for children to learn more about beauty. Well done.

  • 2. Facing the Earth « Into The Sacred Feminine  |  December 29, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    […] greeting the light within ( […]

  • 3. carolwharry  |  January 2, 2013 at 11:32 am

    Beautiful children indeed. Namaste kids.

  • 4. Dena  |  January 2, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    Thank you for this. Lovely. I miss those children we lost in Connecticut. You’ve brought them closer to me.


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