Namaste! We say Namaste at the end of yoga class, but Namaste is actually a greeting. It means "the Divine Light that shines within me sees the Divine Light that shines within you". We have forgotten that we are Diving Beings. We are not simply human beings living an ordinary life on earth until we die. Yes, we are all human beings, but we are more than that, we are both human and Divine. We are Divine Beings living in a human body for a short while.
We are all unique and we are all the same. This statement may sound like a contradiction, but what it expounds is that we are each a unique expression of the One Divine. Yoga teaches us that we are all One; One Divine Being manifesting as different Beings. Since we mostly don't realize this, we tend to blame one another for our perceived differences. We each grow up in a certain place, with particular parents under differing circumstances and are thus unique individuals. No one has had our distinctive set of experiences; therefore, no one perceives in exactly the same way that we do, not even two people who grow up in the same household. When we feel hurt by something someone said or did remember that they were only acting out what they knew, from what they have been conditioned to believe according to the unique set of circumstances that made them who they are. We are individual beings free to decide whom we wish to keep in our life and whom we wish to let go of, and at the same time it's important to understand that those who have harmed us, couldn't have done differently at that time, given the pain that they were carrying, and the lack of understanding that they had in that moment. When we realize the truth of this, our perspective changes; we have a change of heart if you will and realize the power of forgiveness. Forgiveness is not approval; forgiveness grants us a heart that is free from animosity. Forgiveness is beyond what is okay and not okay, it is an accepting of reality and a willingness to move on. This makes me think of the beautiful adage by the 13th century Persian poet, Rumi, "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right doing, there is a field, I'll meet you there." This isn't a simple concept we learn and then are done; this is a process, something we must continuously work on from moment to moment. This past year, (2020) the whole country has been predominantly divided. I have personally struggled with these feelings of division. How does one advocate one's beliefs while at the same time remember that we are all One? I believe it takes a lot of contemplation and prayer.
If you would like to extend love and compassion to others try this simple exercise. Sit with a long spine; on a chair with both feet flat, or you may prefer to sit on the floor with your legs crossed. Bring your palms together in prayer pose, Anjali Mudra. With reverence, bring your palms to your forehead and say out loud or silently, "may I have kind and compassionate thoughts". Bring your palms down to your lips and say, "may I speak kind and compassionate words". Bring your palms down to your heart center and say, "may I always consider kind and compassionate actions". Bow your head toward your heart as you contemplate the practice.
"We need more light about each other. Light creates understanding, understanding creates love, love creates patience, and patience creates unity." - Malcolm X