When you are kind to others your light shines. Others see your light, they feel your light when you are connected to your higher self and to others. When you are honest, gentle, considerate, mindful and compassionate you are spreading love to others and yourself.
In the West, and likely in all the world from place to place, we are conditioned to be judgmental of not only others, but of ourselves. We are conditioned to be critical and self righteous, but we can change this by becoming more aware of our thoughts and who we are.
We can see the harm this conditioning does when others are treated badly, made fun of, criticized for being who they are. This type of treatment to others causes feelings that are not joyous, abundant and loving. This type of treatment comes from a place of fear, ignorance and a lack of compassion when our ego’s desires to create the illusion of us being better than others takes root. It is so easy to harm others through our actions and words. Karma teaches us that actions have results. When the intentions behind your actions are harmful they reverberate to others and return to you. It does not truly feel good to treat others poorly, it is an illusion that is temporary and unfulfilling.
Namasté is a sanskrit word used frequently in the West in practices like Yoga and Meditation and is known in the East for it’s communion with others.
Namasté is a term of recognizing the Divine in others and is translated to mean “The Divine in me bows to the Divine in you” or “The Light in me bows to the Light in you” and similarly related variations thereof.
This is a recognition of the universality of the source and spiritual essence that is within all sentient beings. It is an honoring of the sacred oneness of all that is with reverence, appreciation and respectful kindness.
There have been moments when I’ve been in a crowd of people and I’ve judged others unfairly. There have been some moments of epiphany when this happens as well.
One day in the grocery store near the automated cashier counter I saw a woman who was very pale, very different looking than other people in general standing with a man, putting her order through. She looked drained of energy, sickly almost. For a brief second my mind flitted to judgments. Negative thoughts about her appearance, really quite shallow thoughts, recognizable everywhere we turn these days. I too had fallen victim and in turn created victims of the viciously unfair thoughts applied to complete strangers that can plague our unawakened minds. Then in a flash something dramatic came over me. A feeling of light poured over her, or through her and I could feel it so strongly. It radiated. My mind immediately changed to a feeling of complete compassion, oneness and seeing her truth. In her it was as if the Divine had become so clearly present. My eyes softened, and a truly powerful surge of love flooded out all other considerations. An understanding that she too suffers, as we all do; that her suffering was real, became genuinely apparent. It was not a feeling of pity in any way. It was a feeling of reality. That this woman was on her journey in this life and has so much to live for, to enjoy, and so much pain to endure, all at once. She was the presence of the human experience of life, in that moment, totally and undeniably real. I was there, to witness and feel who she was, in her state of being as she was, and it transformed me in that moment.
As I walked away to get to the cashier with my order, it was as though I became my real self again. Remembering who I really was. So much more authentic than all that chattering drivel of judgments that passes through our minds. I realized who she was and who I was. I felt light.
Another experience I had which I remember clearly, a couple years earlier, was when walking through a college hallway and seeing a man walk by. Immediately I judged him as so many of us do. We really are conditioned from a very young age to see what in others we can label as less than valued. When I saw him, my judgment again immediately escaped me. This time though it was as if I saw a beam of light within him, at the core of his being. It wasn’t something visual, nothing I could see with my eyes, rather it was a very strong sense of the light. A sense that came through in a visual within, not externally. In that moment too, a compassionate feeling overwhelmed me. I realized that this was the light spoken of in the term Namasté. As I looked around I realized that this was the hidden light that was in all of us, including myself, and it lighting up, it was resonating with the light in others. In that moment I did not feel guilty for my previous moment of negative thoughts. In contrast, I felt relieved. I was relieved to know that from the darkness of my thoughts, light was born, and I could release the negativity and let it go. I felt like I was seeing the truth of who he was and those other thoughts were merely illusions that could dissipate so quickly for they had no real weight of authenticity. They were not the truth.
It is so amazing how in a crowded area with so much going on around us, it’s as if everything fades away except for the power in that moment of transformation. Everything vanishes from importance and an awakening takes place.
In hindsight though, those negative thoughts we do carry around with us do have weight. A weight that is so heavy on our hearts and minds and clouds our vision of what is true.
If we all saw the light in others, and shared our light through our kindness and living with compassion there would be more love to enjoy, more laughs not at the expense of others, but laughs of enjoying the presence of others. It is sad that in our society a large portion of our laughter is generated from the ridicule and belittling of others. This is not true laughter, it is a spasm of unawareness that leaves us knowing less of the truth of ourselves and others.
If you wish to truly feel good and share that goodness with others, be kind, be generous, be loving. It will change your view of the world, your experience and the experience of others. Live your truth. The real truth of who you are. See the truth of the light in others, under all those layers. It is there, in everyone.
Have enough compassion for yourself, to have compassion for others.
“When your mind is liberated your heart floods with compassion: compassion for yourself, for having undergone countless sufferings because you were not yet able to relieve yourself of false views, hatred, ignorance, and anger; and compassion for others because they do not yet see and so are imprisoned by false views, hatred, and ignorance and continue to create suffering for themselves and for others.”
“When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over. He does not need punishment; he needs help. That’s the message he is sending.” — Thich Nhat Hanh