I Honor That Place In You…

August 4, 2008 at 10:48 pm | Posted in inspiration, learning and growing, philosophy, practice off the mat | 1 Comment

I had no idea that I did this.

A few weeks ago, while attending the Shoah fellowship, I was approached by one of my colleagues with a question. “I noticed,” he said, “that you do this a lot.” Here, he put his hands in prayer position in front of his heart. “I’ve seen you do it when you meet someone new, and I watch you do it every time someone finishes a lecture. Why do you do that?”

I hadn’t realized that I WAS doing it, but after he pointed it out to me, I acknowledged that I do. I explained to him the idea of namaste – that I believe that there’s a bit of the divine in me and a bit of the divine in everyone else, and that when I’m in that place in me and they’re in that place in them, we are the same being. The prayer pose is my way of honoring the divine in someone else; of extending to them a recognition of and appreciation for the gifts that they bring to me.

Here is a photo of me with Ernie, a survivor of Auschwitz who came to share his story with us. My roommate took the picture – I didn’t know she had her camera out – and caught me in the proverbial act. I was so profoundly moved by this man’s capacity to love and to forgive and to devote his life to telling his story that I couldn’t not honor him in the most respectful way I knew how.

Namaste, indeed.


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  1. […] but that’s a topic for another reflection.)  He asked the students if they’d noticed how I greet people, and then asked them if they understood what the implications of that greeting are.  He explained […]

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