During a particularly challenging time in my life, I did little on a daily basis other than meditate, sleep, read, and write – my own, unenlightened version of a Namaste Day.
During one meditation of DavidJi’s that I found myself listening to repeatedly, he suggested saying namaste to everyone I encountered for the day. This became my Namaste Day, and one of the most beautiful days of my life. Here’s the why’s and how’s, as well as what you can expect if you take this challenge on yourself.
Why Would You Want To Take on a Day of Namaste?
In my case, I did it because I needed to. There was an inner knowing as soon as I heard it… it helped that I was already practising silence.
I’ve hosted workshops where folks have asked me for specific ways to get from hope to enthusiasm or joy along the emotional ladder, and this is what I suggest most of the time. Really, anyone can do it. You need nothing other than the willingness and openness to try, as well as an understanding of the process.
As for why you might want to try this, I’d suggest it to anyone feeling frustrated, disconnected, or wanting to feel more hope in their lives. If you’re more in the anger, jealousy, shame, guilt or depression side of the ladder, I’d pass on this exercise until you move through a constructive anger release.
What’s a Namaste Day?
The way I understood and took it on was to greet every single person I met, silently, with the word namaste. I interpret namaste to mean, “I honor the light in you the light in me, and when we’re in the same space, we are One”. Different people define it differently; I suggest you use whatever feels best to you.
This, in theory, sounds really easy. I learned almost immediately, it isn’t. It was, however, life changing.
How Do I Know I’m Doing It Right?
There’s no right or wrong here, it’s just whatever feels good to you. You’re essentially staying in your own space, doing nothing verbally or physically, and honoring the person in front of you in any moment, as they are. Initially, for me anyway, it was really challenging. What about people driving by in cars? Homeless people? People who ignored me, or seemed uncomfortable with my attention? People who wanted to talk to me, who somehow felt what I was doing? What about really busy street corners where there were 100+ people standing? What about webinars?
You’ll likely encounter other questions or situations that you’ll have to decide on your own how to manage. For me, I did a sort of swooping motion of namaste for large groups, buses, or cars passing when I could. Then it morphed into, “if they’re facing me,” and then, “if I can make eye contact comfortably,” even if I didn’t actually make eye contact. It seemed fitting that if I were to honor someone, at the very least I could give them a few seconds, face-to-face, and so anything else I just let go of. It took me about an hour, though, walking downtown on a busy afternoon, to get to this point of understanding.
What If Other People React?
This was my biggest fear when I started the Namaste Day. What if…?
I did it anyway.
Pretty quickly, I realized that some folks just didn’t want to be honored, acknowledged, or interacted with.
It was subtle, oh-so-subtle, and I recognized it from having done it myself countless times unconsciously.
I’d judged based on the energy I felt (more on this shortly) whether someone was “worthy” of my attention, my light, my connectedness, my appreciation.
Of course, this was ridiculous, but it just shows where I was at at the time.
For those who didn’t want anything from me, who shied away or physically moved to create distance, I still said namaste. I just let go immediately after and focused on the next person. Because, as I told myself, I was honoring the light in both of us – we just weren’t in the same space to be One.
As for the energy, I realize I lose some folks when I go here.
I think of my Dad, if he were alive today, shaking his head and telling me “that’s too woo-woo, Bon”, which to him meant like a hippie, granola-y, or crazy.
Yet my Dad was the first person to show me, albeit in his own way, how to decide whether someone was safe or not to approach. He just didn’t realize that the guy in the corner drinking his troubles away was vibrating “depressed” to those tuned in and paying attention; my Dad just thought, “it doesn’t feel right, leave him alone”.
Instinct. Reading body language. Connecting with the God place. Kundalini. Energy vibration. It’s all the same thing, just a different name. As I see (like, physically see) this as energy, that’s the terminology I use.
Other people, those that vibrated in a better-feeling-place along the emotional ladder, they welcomed my namaste. Many smiled back, gave me a hug, or spoke to me.
As I’d decided to practice silence, I didn’t interact with anyone beyond the namaste, although I did let a few people put their phone numbers into my phone. Interestingly, the people that were most eager to connect with me during this specific exercise were also the most traditionally attractive.
What Can I Expect To Get Out Of A Namaste Day?
I felt incredibly connected, loved and loving during my day, and it spilled over into the rest of my week. Friends commented that I was glowing, asked if I’d fallen in love, had sex, or lost weight. People that I normally would have felt too intimidated to say hi to said hi to me first. One particularly attentive and extremely attractive gent thanked me profusely for “seeing” him. I ended up walking almost twelve kilometers that day just to continue saying namaste, it felt so good.
How Namaste Changed Me
I also noticed my definition of attractiveness changed a lot during the Namaste Day. Physicality still mattered. I could tell very easily if someone loved themselves by the way they moved, interacted, or didn’t.
Noticing how they honored themselves and the others around them. Whether their bodies were temples or trash bags no matter what their size. How connected they felt and how happy they were. All, effortless.
I could also see what they were trying to hide, were ashamed of, or embarrassed about. I loved them all and honored them no matter what, because, to me, they were all beautiful.
Now It’s Your Turn
Have you undertaken a Namaste Day? How did it go? What were your observations? What would you suggest? Scroll down to comment, or to read what others have to say.