Dec 27 2009
I’m going to a holiday “whole”y tonight and feast my eyes on the beautiful lights. I used to call them parties, which was a very fitting name since just a part of me would show up – usually the part that felt uncomfortable and had worry thoughts like “Nobody’s going to talk to me, and if they do I won’t have anything interesting to say.” My party animal was a long-tailed cat in a roomful of rocking chairs. But this season I’ve decided to have a new focus, which is: “I am a beautiful soul and I see the beautiful soul that you are.” That is the meaning of “Namaste” — the light within me sees and honors the light within you. It has transformed my experience of parties into “whole”ies, and my party animal into a “whole”y being.
On Thanksgiving day I walked to the grocery store near my house and I was filled with the spirit of Namaste. A homeless person was in front of me in the checkout line — he was dirty, a bit smelly, and his eyes were red-rimmed from being pickled in alcohol. He turned to me and started talking to me. In the past I would have been uncomfortable, but I looked into his red-rimmed eyes and saw the light of his spirit. I smiled and the light in me honored the light in him and I glowed with that light the rest of the day. What a wonderful feeling to focus on my beautiful light and see the beautiful light in others. It’s calming, expanding, and joyful. There’s nothing else that need be done. I don’t have to make interesting conversation. I can simply BE and SEE the beauty and light in ME and THEE.
While Namaste essentially means “The God in me sees and honors the God in you”, to round it out I have added to that another practice of loving kindness in which the human in me sees and feels compassion for the human in you. Writer Chade-Meng Tan calls this practice “Just Like Me”. He writes that when we perceive others as similar to us, we are much more likely to have positive feelings towards them. He suggests we focus on the following:
“This person has a body and a mind, just like me.?This person has feelings, emotions and thoughts, just like me.?This person has at some point been sad, disappointed, angry, hurt or confused, just like me.?This person has in his or her life, experienced physical and emotional pain and suffering, just like me.?This person wishes to be free from pain and suffering, just like me.?This person wishes to be safe, healthy and loved, just like me.?This person wishes to be happy, just like me.”
Seeing and honoring the light in myself and others, and also seeing and feeling compassion for our humanness, creates a “whole”y experience. We are all THAT. We are ALL that. I’m wishing for all of us a very Merry Namaste and a Happy “Just Like Me” that extends throughout the whole year. “Whole”y on!