The science-of-consciousness schools of the world (mysticism) have observed that the highest states of human potential can be achieved through loving another person. Universal love is a more vital endeavor than any other kind of progress because love is the lifeblood that pumps through the veins of the collective human heart. Without love, we are stranded cells warring against each other in the same body, hijacked by a DNA mutation delusion of separation syndrome-driven scarcity and competition anxiety—like cancer, which is nothing but life gone berserk in ignorance of its nature. Love, our original nature, is the cure to the human dis-ease of brokenness and ignorance. When we know ourselves as love, the need to prove and be better than becomes apparent for what it is: meaningless, the result of trauma-mind.
Through exploring the depths of consciousness empirically, mysticism has come to a near-consensus that a unitive consciousness underlies reality and the experience of it is pure love. This consciousness is sometimes referred to in religious terminology as divinity because it is frequently experienced as eternal, creative, and sentient. From a more agnostic, scientific perspective, it is known as nonduality or being-consciousness-bliss. One’s choice of words is less significant than the reality they represent because it is the reality experientially known that awakens the heart and liberates the suffering soul. Contact with divine love results in healing and clarity about purpose (dharma, calling), because it is a coming into alignment with the core truth of who we are. Purpose is simply the logical consequence of resolved identity. When we become fully ourselves, what we want most and do best becomes evident and accessible.
Love is Seeing Accurately
Through knowing what divine love is experientially, the essence at the core of our being, we begin to see people for who they really are–beyond the shallow facade of appearances and false selfhood. We behold pure uncreated beauty, the beauty of the soul shining forth its unique expression of divinity. To see people as God, to recognize them in terms of love, is to see them truly, without delusion. Tragically, we have been conditioned by trauma to recognize people for what they are not rather than who they are. We see others through the deluded eyes of suffering; the suffering they define themselves by and the suffering they inflict on us that we condemn them by. We ghettoize people into the psychic concentration camps of bad and evil because we lack compassion and perception. Instead of touching the experience of pure love inside the heart of every being, we are overwhelmed and blinded by surface-level suffering, and the only choice left to us is hatred.
But no genocider or tyrant–not the cruelest person in history–is any less godlike than the saintliest angel. The Buddha, Jesus, and many other spiritual leaders understood that compassionate love is the accurate way of perceiving one’s enemies. This perspective does not come to us intellectually; it requires a radical heart transformation. Only when you touch the heart of reality–love–can you see clearly enough to have compassion for your enemies while they crucify you. Such a vantage flies in the face of conventional wisdom, and perhaps evolutionary conditioning because we lack education in the practice of mystical perception, and we are accustomed to letting our animalistic survival instincts dominate our decision-making.
But through spiritual seeing, we learn that no soul is immune from the worst depravities of human suffering, for we are all of one consciousness and shared nature. Without negating the place of personal responsibility, we can perceive that it is basically dumb luck we were not born into the conditions that birthed the sadist and the tyrant–it could have been me! And because we are shared consciousness, our return to wholeness is not a solo journey. So-called bad karma–the accumulated chain of suffering–is collective. To awaken from our undivine slumber–enlightenment–all our aspirations toward hell (unforgiveness, eternal revenge) must be resolved through the healing power of unity consciousness.
The Practice of Namaste Yoga
Our spiritual practice is made complete by incorporating other people because the experience of spiritual liberation (nirvana, bliss) is an awakening to unity consciousness. Since nirvanic consciousness is collective, it may be easier to experience it through intentionally including other people in our meditations, instead of restricting ourselves solely to internal contemplation. Namaste yoga combines meditation with loving other people. It is the spiritual practice of awakening to your core nature of love by recognizing and treating the other as God.
The Sanskrit word namaste (नमस्ते) is a beautiful encapsulation of the practice and a deep insight into reality. Namaste is a greeting used for hello or goodbye that means, “the divine in me bows to the divine in you” (Oxhandler, 2007, p. 168). It is based on the Vedantic formulation Brahmin is Atman, which means the individual is the whole and the whole is the individual because there is one consciousness that comprises reality. Namaste is the recognition that because we are one interconnected being all life is sacred and divine. Proper insight into another is an experience of reverent awe akin to worship because through them we are enabled to peer into the mystery of existence, which is that God can be seen hiding in plain sight.
In order to deeply see the other as love, it is helpful to experience love for ourselves in meditation. Through meditation practice over time, we become exposed to states of consciousness that reveal a fabric of love underlying reality. We also gain awareness of feeling states that are described by those who experience them by words like sacred, divine, and awe and wonder. This sense of the sacred often comes to us bundled together with the feeling of love as one sensation in our mystical experiences. This is divine love, the conscious creative essence that gives form and meaning to all life.
Another way of contacting divine love in meditation practice is by concentrating on the love we experience for someone we cherish. Any way you contact love is right for you; however, for many people knowing intellectually that you should love or trying to conjure up love through images or religious stories can feel abstract and impersonal. But we all know what it is to love someone naturally, without self-coercion or effort. Through meditating on the love we already have for another person, we effortlessly slip into a state of loving awareness. We begin to romance the divine.
In the practice of namaste yoga, we apply the love we already have for someone we cherish and the love we experience on the meditation cushion to other people as we encounter them in our day-to-day lives. By beginning and ending our interactions with the intention (or spoken word) of namaste and applying its meaning, we practice seeing the other in terms of her best and highest. When we recognize the other as God, we are not duped by our judgments of her and her self-limiting judgments of herself. We see past the surface to the core nature of love. By recognizing the other truly, we can truly recognize ourselves. We see that our identity is defined by the wholeness of love, not our traumas and inadequacies.
Throughout our interaction with another person, we determine to love deeply with the reverent awe befitting a divine being. This way of relating opens our hearts, enabling us to tap into deep reservoirs of love. It opens us to the heart of existence: transcendent transpersonal love. Through practicing loving recognition of another, we avail ourselves of nirvana relationally. We may even experience nirvanic consciousness in peek ecstatic states. But more importantly, we are transformed and the way we relate to others fundamentally changes. Instead of interacting from a place or selfishness and reactivity, we relate with empathy and do unto the other as we would have them do unto us. We radiate divine presence and inspire others to encounter this love.
The practice of namaste yoga can be applied not only to humans, but to every animal, plant, piece of garbage, and particle of existence. For all life and matter is composed of divine consciousness veiled, and through concentration, the veil is lifted. However, it is easier to realize the God in another human before extending this practice to other things because we can relate to our own kind more readily. And it is more imperative that we do so because we need the love of each other as we need air to breathe.
By intentionally recognizing the other as God, we gain consciousness of our deepest nature, opening us to the possibilities of our fullest human potential. What would the world look like if we took each interaction as an opportunity to see the face of God and deeply love? Namaste, may we all awaken to the love that we are.
Oxhandler, H. (2017). “Namaste Theory: A Quantitative Grounded Theory on Religion and Spirituality in Mental Health Treatment”. Religions. 8 (9): 168. doi:10.3390/rel8090168.
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Do you feel psychologically traumatized by religion, or isolated and disempowered by trauma and limiting beliefs in your life? I’m Andrew Jasko, Master of Divinity (M.Div.), M.A., Counseling Psychology in progress, and I work to help you transform your trauma into the place of your power and connect to a healthy, authentic spirituality that works for you (whether that’s as a spiritual, atheist, religious, transitioning, or agnostic identifying person). I was born into a minister’s family and became a preacher and missionary to India, after studying theology at Wheaton College and Princeton Seminary. As a Christian, my relationship with God was my passion, but unhealthy religious teachings caused me an anxiety disorder, sexual repression, and spiritual disillusionment. I felt alone, traumatized, and abandoned by the divine. After an agonizing crisis of faith, I rejected religion and spirituality. Then, I had an unexpected spiritual awakening through mystical and spiritual practices like meditation, psychedelics, and connecting my heart’s desires and intuition through my Divine Mindfulness practice. My passion is to help you in your spiritual or life transition to heal and connect with your authentic spiritual wholeness.