Last year we were part of the evacuation group out of Camp Pendleton (just as one of my son's and his family were).When we returned home to Nevada, we saw the mountains ablaze with the fires; we saw beautiful tall pines looking like torches - the smoke was impossible to deal with; wet cloths over our faces, I drove through the El Cajon Pass as the flames reached out to the highway.Until you drive through it; live through it, deal with it, and all the time pray that your friends and family are safe, it's tough.It's also tough knowing that the high winds they call Santa Ana winds come from our winds here, in Nevada. It is our high desert winds that travel over the mountains, and create the 'fan' for the fires.We've checked with family and friends - in our case, so far only one has had to evacuate since he lives in San Fernando Valley (and he is 85 years old; partly blind - uses a walker, so it's been difficult for he and his wife).Also, since this word I see used so often in recent months has become popular with 'bloggers', I'm leaving the Wiki' information as to it's meaning since it's both a salutation as well as a term of respect.For those caught in the fires, the best word is 'Stay Safe' and 'May you be spared'....Dianelinks 5.1 Further reading 6 See also  Uses in South Asian cultureIn everyday life, namasté can be necessarily considered a religious salutation. However, namasté is salutation that is a Sanskrit term which can be understood to mean, that I respect that divinity within you that is also within me.Also when greeting a peer, a namasté can be said together with hands in front of chest and a slight bow. To indicate deep respect, one may place the hands in front of the forehead, and reverence for a god or the holiest of persons may be indicated by placing the hands completely above the head.Namasté is also used as a friendly greeting in written communication, or generally between people when they meet.In some parts of India (for example, Punjabi-speaking areas), namasté is used not only to greet Hindus but everyone. The proper greetings for Muslims are Assalamu Alaikum and for Sikhs Sat Sri Akaal respectively. But namasté is accepted in all religions.However in Sri Lanka, this usually has a somewhat different meaning. The gesture is used to greet (as well as a parting remark) people with the verbal "Aayubowan", hence it is called Aayubowan. Aayubowan roughly means 'may you live long'. When used at funerals to greet the guests, the verbal part is usually omitted. The aayubowan gesture is also a cultural symbol of Sri Lanka and Sri Lankan hospitality. This is also the means used by Sri Lankan air hostesses to greet passengers, and is used in other hospitality settings. When the gesture is performed with hands in front of the chest it is usually considered as aayubowan. When hand position is higher it usually means reverence and/or worship. The higher the hands, or the expression with hands placed on top of one's head, is usually the sign of utmost reverence or respect. Symbolism in Hinduism A sadhu performing namasté in Madurai, India.The gesture used when bowing in namasté or gassho is the bringing of both hands together, palms touching, in front of the person—usually at the chest, or a higher level such as below the chin, below the nose, or above the head.This gesture is a mudra, a well-recognized symbolic hand position in eastern religions. One hand represents the higher, spiritual nature, while the other represents the worldly self. By combining the two, the person making the gesture is attempting to rise above his differences with others, and connect himself with the person to whom he bows. The bow is symbolic of love and respect.Particularly in Hinduism, when one worships or bows in reverence, the symbolism of the two palms touching is of great significance. It is the joining together of two extremities—the feet of the Divine, with the head of the devotee. The right palm denotes the feet of the Divine and the left palm denotes the head of the devotee. The Divine feet constitute the ultimate solace for all sorrows—this is a time-honored thought that runs through the entire religious ethos. Meanings in global cultureNamasté is one of the few Sanskrit words commonly recognized by Non-Hindi speakers. In the West, it is often used to indicate South Asian culture in general. Namasté is particularly associated with aspects of South Asian culture such as vegetarianism, yoga, ayurvedic healing, and Hinduism.In recent times, and more globally, the term "namasté" has come to be especially associated with yoga and spiritual meditation all over the world. In this context, it has been viewed in terms of a multitude of very complicated and poetic meanings which tie in with the spiritual origins of the word. Some examples:"I honor the Spirit in you which is also in me." -- attributed to author Deepak Chopra "I honor the place in you in which the entire Universe dwells, I honor the place in you which is of Love, of Integrity, of Wisdom and of Peace. When you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, we are One." "I salute the God within you." "Your spirit and my spirit are ONE." -- attributed to Lilias Folan's shared teachings from her journeys to India. "That which is of the Divine in me greets that which is of the Divine in you." "The Divinity within me perceives and adores the Divinity within you." "All that is best and highest in me greets/salutes all that is best and highest in you." That said, these are all arguably simply attempts at translating the same concept, which does not have a direct parallel in English. In Buddhism, the concept may be understood as Buddha nature. References
Happy::I do understand about the fires....it is so worrisome..and I hope and pray everyone stays safe....Watergate has quite a few that are in the zone....so I do worry....take care...___________________When I greet people with namaste...it is about being spiritually connected..united....in spirit...but also as a greeting of empathy....compassion...( I learned it from a Thai social worker that it is word that has many spiritual meanings...and I have spoken it.....with great meaning...I never say it lightly...)
Happy- thank you for sharing your tale- and that of your family_ I hope they are safe this time...what a harrowing thing....I have not ever been through a fire..I have been through other emergencies...flee situation /disasters...and even 2 fires as a nurse ...so I do appreciate how stressful ....it can be....it is still sad....hurricanes and fires always worry me...that people are vulnerable..."caught".....thank you again...
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