Sounds Like Namaste. ~ Cathy Woods

Via Cathy Woodson Aug 15, 2013

Namaste and lanterns

It took me a couple of weeks to figure it out, but I thought at the end of each yoga class the teacher was saying “Have a nice day” and we would respond back with “Have a nice day.”

It seemed like such a polite way to end the class. I found myself thinking how sweet this was. Then, eventually, I bought my first yoga book and came to realize they were not saying “have a nice day,” but “Namaste.”

But wait.

Let’s think about this a bit. If Namaste means “the divine light in me salutes and honors the light that I see in you, and your divine light salutes and honors the light you see in me,” could it be possible to simplify this? That I wish for you that you have a great day and you wish for me the same? Try it; quickly say, “have a nice day” and then “Namaste.”

They sure do sound alike, don’t they?

My divine light might be able to salute yours, but can my divine light embody Sutra 1: 33? Maitri karuna muditopeksanam sukha dukha punyapunya visayanam bhavanatas citta prasadanam. Translation: by cultivating attitudes of friendliness towards the happy, compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous and disregard toward the wicked, the mind-stuff retains its undisturbed calmness.

Can we openly say Namaste and mean it to these four types of people, the happy, sad, virtuous and the wicked?

Can we believe these four types have a divine light?

Can we see the light in the sad person?

Can we see the light in the wicked?

Can we wish all these types of people the wish of having a nice day?

Can we really escape the jealousy, disdain, irritation and discomfort some of these types cause us?

It seems like a tall order for my light to see all those lights and to salute and honor them. It might not be such a bad idea to just start by wishing them to have a nice day.

I once heard the expression, “Have a nice day unless you’ve planned otherwise.”

Making it apparent that we have a choice in the unfolding of our day. This can go along with another great statement I have heard which is “no emotion is final.” So, the happy will not stay happy, the sad will not stay sad and the wicked and virtuous will not stay that way either. Everything is in flux. But maybe our light never is.

Like the Motel 6 commercial says, “We will always leave the light on for you.” Maybe our light is always on. But is it shining with the same brightness when we are happy as when we are sad?

It goes along with that idea that no matter how much you might want to change someone it won’t make a difference if they do not want to change themselves. So does it make a difference if I wish for someone to have a nice day if they themselves do not wish to have a nice day? Have you ever noticed that the problem with having a nice day is there is then nothing to complain about?

I have found some people aren’t comfortable with life being good. Isn’t there a major franchise that says “Life is good!”? When things are good it takes away the ability to finger point. Who do we blame for us having a great day?

Wait, that sounds silly. But we seem more than ready to finger point when we are having a bad day. That happy person was gloating, that wicked person was mean, that sad person bummed me out, or that virtuous person belittled me. But what about “have a nice day unless you’ve planned otherwise”? You do have a choice about how you react to the happy, sad, virtuous and wicked.

What if the light we are putting out is a color? Like rose-colored glasses. Well even a black light is light. You’ve all seen a black light at Halloween that illuminates white things at night. So even a black light is still shining, albeit different than a white one. So maybe we all do have a light that is shining, and should be honored, and saluted no matter if it is shining pure white happiness, or black wickedness.

It’s still in each and every one of us. And if we do believe in all men are created equal then there is that ultimate right that we all deserve to have a nice day. If we all wish often enough for each other to get exactly what we all deserve then maybe, there is a chance that no matter if it’s “Namaste” or “have a nice day” we will be able to keep are mind calm and carry on.

Have a nice day!

So to you, I say “hold strong.” No emotion is final. Choose to have a nice day and if you can’t get at least that going, then remember I see your light no matter the color that it is shining. Have a nice day, or if you’d rather, Namaste.

 

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Assist. Ed: Leace Hughes/Ed: Sara Crolick

{photo: via flickr/Olga Kruglova}

 

About Cathy Woods

Cathy Woods has a dedication to the practice that is unwavering, with her primary study being Ashtanga yoga. She embraces all yoga. Her favorite statement is “some yoga, is better then no yoga,” no matter form or style. Cathy tries to find life lessons that are relatable to the practice of yoga in all that she does. She come’s from a background of sports, so she loves to encourage all athletes to find a little extra room in their routines for yoga. She loves to share her lessons of stubbornness, injury and tolerance with other athletes and yogi’s to possibly help them avoid the same. When she’s not being a student/teacher of yoga she is spending time with her husband and the critters they share their home with 2 dogs, 3 cats and one parrot. This make’s for a furry and feathery place to practice but she wouldn’t have it any other way. When Cathy is feeling the need to test her limits she sign’s up for another marathon, as running has been in her life even longer then yoga has. She believes that they are both good for clearing away the citta vrtti. You can find Cathy at least once a day standing and facing the sun in Charleston, SC. Tim Miller (Ashtanga Yoga Center) has been her primary teacher for 13 years now. She feels lucky to have studied with him so soon into her yoga experience. She is forever grateful for his genuine love of yoga and his endless generosity in sharing his humor and knowledge.

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