Asking for blessings
When people who have met for the first time or anticipate some future connection, the ritual ending in Japanese is, Yoroshiku onegai shimasu. It is a way of asking for blessings – the other’s generosity, compassion, and good will. Each person says it, so it is mutual. The words are accompanied with a slight bow and there is a sense of shared vulnerability and humility. In the photo I’m exaggerating the gesture with a student to show how it’s meaning is as deep as the expression Namaste in recognizing the precious nature of the human encounter. Yoroshiku onegai shimasu is a beautiful way of connecting by asking for the other’s blessings, acknowledging and expressing our human need for each other.