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The Meaning of Namaste: Peace, Compassion, and Love

May 9, 2010

I love this sermon.

I can’t believe I just said that as the opening line of this post about the power and meaning of namaste in yoga. But this sermon’s video featuring Pastor Eddie D. Smith Sr elucidates the power and significance of namaste in life. And this being a sermon for a church, of course there is God involved. So how does this pastor weave the universal nature of the divine, sacred, and dare I say God into the a term originating from India and used in yoga class?

What does namaste mean?

Namaste is the closing for yoga classes around the globe. It is often translated to mean:

The light in me honors the light in you


The sacred in me bows to the sacred in you.

Why would a pastor use Namaste as a greeting for his congregation?  And why does he believe the meaning and use of namaste holds particular importance for “[his] men and boys”? Listen to find out:

Pastor Eddie D. Smith Sr. is known nationwide for using the word Namaste’ as a greeting. In this special Sermon entitled “Speaking To The Hearts of Black Males” Pastor Smith introduces the term to the Macedonia Church (Macon, Georgia) congregation. This powerful sermon is available in its entirety.

This sermon’s video shows how namaste is a perfect meld of non-violence, compassion, and love.

And isn’t peace, compassion, and love the goal of any practice? The best expression our practices? It really doesn’t matter whether the practice is church, community, or yoga. Peace, compassion, and love.


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3 Comments leave one →
  1. November 22, 2010 1:35 pm


    I loved the sermon too and was browsing the net about it. You summed up my feelings perfectly. There’s actually many different interpretations, ranging from “light” in me, to “god in me”, to “divinity”, “holy”, “sacred”, etc. It would be wonderful of if this was embraced more and not just used mainly in Eastern Religion Circles and/or yoga classes in the US.

    • November 28, 2010 9:36 pm

      Thanks Ron-
      My thoughts exactly. I wonder how our communities might change if we incorporated the best of the teachings of yoga/eastern circles. Why shouldn’t we have the best from all worlds? Part of the task is to present these tools/teachings not so much as “eastern” or “new age” but as relevant to our western life. This guy has really got it right in that sense.
      Best. -b


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