on my use of ‘namaste’

I just got a comment from a reader calling themselves, IndianRoots, who was questioning my use of the word ‘namaste’ in this blog.  This concerned reader asked that their comment not be published, which is fine, but they also didn’t give me a real email address.  So, given that I can’t respond directly to them, I’m going to say a little about it here.

Yes, in fact, I do know what ‘namaste’ means.  I understand that it is sacred and not something to be tossed about casually.  I am a yoga practitioner of many years standing now, and if I said it to you in person, you’d see me holding my hands in prayer position in front of my face, bowing my head to the recipient as I said ‘namaste’.

For those of you who don’t know, namaste is greeting or salutation you might hear in India, or in yoga studios.  Namaste is actually a shortened version of Namaskar (my yogi tends to use the longer form).

When you greet or salute someone with ‘namaste’ you are saying (to paraphrase) that the divine in you recognizes the divine in the other person.  Other meanings are “be well”, “good day”, “greetings”, etc.  It is something to be used in respect and reverence.  When I use it, I am not saying it from my head, I am saying it from my heart, from my sacred self.  The comment indicated I’d used it quite frequently, but that’s only if you’ve not read very much of my blog [see note below].  So yeah, I guess I have used it more lately.  Why is that, you ask?  A couple of reasons spring to mind.  One, I feel more and more comfortable in this space sharing more of myself, including some of my less carnal leanings.  I am spiritual, though not religious.  Secondly, I’ve been aware of the power of spirit and faith and hope and other sacred ideas in my life lately.  That power has been moving in my life and I’ve been feeling more connection with others on a deeper level.  So if I end a comment or blog post with ‘namaste’, I am responding out of that feeling, that sense of spiritual commonality between myself and others.  I might use it especially if I feel that myself or the reader has opened up in an intimate way.  I am using it in very intentional ways.

So, IndianRoots, if you would like to engage in further conversation on this topic, I encourage you to email me directly, especially since you are shy about having your words published.  Please don’t use my comment queue as a way to critique in anonymity without a chance for discourse.

thank you all, have a great weekend.

*as a point of fact, IR, I’ve used ‘namaste’ exactly 3 times in posts out of a total of 664 over the life of my blog (4 if you count this one).  I’ve used it in exactly 2 comment responses.  So to say I use it ‘fairly frequently’ is quite an exaggeration.

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