The Radical Hospitality of NAMASTE

an excerpt of Home, by Warsan Shire

I will admit that I don’t listen to the news on the radio or t.v.. I am one of Those People who depend on friends and the internet to tell me what is going on in my community and the world beyond my little bubble. This week I can barely stomach to look at the internet. I can’t get the descriptions of the petrified, tired, hungry kids with miserably dirty clothes out of my head. I keep thinking of small children soothing small children because there is no safe adult to hold them in this nightmare. My brain cannot quit imagining the perfect torture for the parent who doesn’t have any idea where their beloved children were taken or if they are even alive. WHAT IN THE LIVING HELL IS THIS? I have seen several people post the poem Home, by Warsan Shire, in many posts about this evil crisis of our own doing. Have you read it? I encourage you to read the whole thing, but also please listen to the poet herself read it in this video.

The Meditation Mantra of the Month is the word NAMASTE; honoring the sacred mystery in all living things, including ourselves. More and more I hear the word namaste as a commitment to radical hospitality, allowing each person to be their whole sacred self without me filling in the blanks of what I don’t know with my judgement, fears, projections, and assumptions, which is in our very human nature. I was very quick with judgment & blame to a car driving right up in my bumper this morning. I assume that That Woman at the gym who has nice clothes and good hair and never makes eye contact with me is just angry and hateful all the time. Not to be a total cheese, but what if I did respond with a practice of namaste to those people and situations? The people might not ever know the difference, but I surely would.

Very often the phrase goes around; be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. And I totally agree… and yet, what if that was not even necessary to say? What if we cared about each other in such a way that we don’t have to hide away in shame about the battles of depression, addiction, exhaustion, fear? And how about we care about people enough to be more than just kind, but actually generous and loving when we actually KNOW someone is struggling. What if we show up and ask; what can I do? How can I support you in the midst of this battle? Do you need me to just keep asking & remembering you? Would you like me to sit with you at the doctors office? Do you need a ride? Could I text you to check in with you? Do you want to come over for dinner? Can I watch your kids so you can run errands, take a nap, or finish your work?

I can fathom the desperation of the parents that bring their children to a place they Pray With Their Whole Life will be safer. They pray with their whole life that their children will be able to sleep with ease, eat healthy and good food, and play — PLAY. Listening to Warsan Shire — to the incredible voice of her voice — reminds me that each of these children has an enormous family tree of life and prayers inside them. ugh. What in the living hell have we done. Each of them — each of us — is a sacred mystery full of wonder, grief, hope, sadness, heartache, love, joy, anger, laughter, LIFE.

So. We keep showing up in the midst of our own battles. We keep practicing namaste in the midst of the brokenness of our own lives, with fears, judgments, and assumptions. We keep showing up. Deal? Deal.

Peace on your head,


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