"Namaste" can be interpreted in a multitude of ways: "the [light, spirit, soul, divine] in me honors the [light, spirit, soul, divine] in you." A few concepts to take from this is gratitude and recognition. When reciting this word, the person is acknowledging their gratitude for the created universe. If an individual believes that God is the creator of the universe, then Namaste can be a prayer of thanksgiving, which is the fourth type of prayer mentioned in the Catechism. Recognition means that the speaker is recognizing the soul, spirit, or light in the other person. In the gospel of Matthew 25:31-46, Jesus explains that in order to serve him, a Christian must serve their neighbor. Jesus calls Christians to see himself in those around them. Recognition in this sense is the person recognizing that the other person is more than just a body, they are a soul and an image of Jesus himself.
I end every class with the Next Generation Yoga saying that leads to namaste: "there is light inside of me, there is light inside of you, and together we are one." For me, this is what I see as the most important intent of namaste. We are acknowledging that we are one because we come from one Creator. First Corinthians 12:12-13 says, "For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit." We cannot be ourselves without being a part of one community whether that be a team, a church, or a country. We are not called to live a life of solitude completely immersed in ourselves. We are to be one object in a bigger picture no matter how different we are. We are each a puzzle piece in one beautiful picture of God's love. Each puzzle piece fits into another so uniquely.
When I say namaste, I am seeing the soul God has created in you. I am thanking God for allowing you to be who you are. I am grateful to God for you spending a piece of your life with me as a daughter or son of God's Church.
We are called to be one. We are called to love one another. We are called to see God in one another. We are called to give thanks to each other for being a part of our community and a part of God.
Peace and Namaste,