Wednesday, September 26, 2007


EXCLAM. a respectful greeting said when giving a namaskar.
noun a traditional Indian greeting or gesture of respect, made by bringing the palms together before the face or chest and bowing
It began with my interrupting my newspaper deliveries by pulling to the side of the road, allowing the driver of the garbage collection truck to pull adjacent to the window of my van. He (having no idea who I was nor what this potentially annoying maneuver was all about) pulled cautiously up to my location. “Good morning My Friend … might I offer you a morning newspaper?” I offered. And as I did so, I looked him directly in the eye that he might see that my intention was to pay him respect, and offer him a kindness as an expression of that respect. His faced beamed pleasure, and he accepted my offer with a statement of appreciation. Which has been our commonly accepted and customary experience after these quick exchanges through the years since I initiated that first contact. (And neither of us has even learned the name of the other … that would be an unnecessary detail.)

Again, this morning, I pulled into his path and extended a copy of the newspaper out of my window … a mute salute and repetition of our, by now, many-times repeated exchange. After a rich, though fleeting moment of mutual recognition and honor (including the embracing of each other‘s extended forearm while exchanging “How are you?”s)… I drove away with an up-lifted spirit accompanied by a smile of satisfied pleasure. It was then that I recalled something learned, from Joseph Campbell’s writings, many years ago. The significance of a “namaste” moment.

Joseph Campbell rendered the definition of a namaste/namaskar moment as an outward expression of “The Spirit within me honors the Spirit within you.” I was moved to a deep appreciation of all that is encompassed by such a sentiment when I first read it. And have since incorporated it into my daily walk. For I am thrilled by the potentials and possibilities that such an attitude makes available to every encounter in life. And (though my gesture and words were not in accordance with tradition) that is exactly what I enjoyed this morning with the driver of that service vehicle. And I am compelled to relate it to you, My Dear Reader, and recommend the practice to the betterment of your personal walk.

I have, many times, offered the traditional gesture to Another … then to make clear the intent … told the recipient the meaning behind the gift. A moment of reflective appreciation is always the result. A seed of mutual respect and honor is planted in the mind and heart of another soul in my world. The cost is quite affordable. And the up-side potentials are inestimable.

So, Dear Friend, to you I offer my namaskar with “Namaste.” For I do, indeed honor that beautiful Spirit within you … which is a pleasurable aspect of loving you (which is, also, a choice that I am delighted to have made.)

IMAGE: The Moderate Voice

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