The first time I heard this greeting, it came from the lips of a person whom I admired greatly: he was the embodiment of peace and kindness... so I ran home to look up the meaning and I found the belly of life.
Since then, it has been my greeting of choice. It says more than I could ever say, yet everything I want to express with one single simple word.
Namaste means: "The spirit within me, recognizes/salutes the spirit within you".
Absolute love, acceptance.
Sometimes, saying "Namaste" to someone is just what I need. For example, if I am upset with them or disappointed, it is the most accurate greeting I can give- I overlook "the stuff" (whether I am angry, disappointed in them, etc.)- but I love you. Thus, even if "in the flesh/in the physical" I may not feel that love- I know deep in my spirit, it lives.
After all, we are all created from the same source: we are all spiritual beings belonging to the human race. I don't mean 'spiritual' as in religious... I mean it as in "soul".
If we try to regard the 'spirit/soul' of others, to see a person ~beyond~ the physical, we come to a place where we appreciate and respect them in spite of the fact that their beliefs, customs and actions may differ from our own.
We can love without judgement... and indeed: this is what the greatest spiritual teachers have taught us.
"I honor the Spirit in you which is also in me." D. Chopra
Next time you are having a difficult time with someone, try to think of your spirit saluting theirs-- standing apart and aside from the physical life.
You will be amazed at how easy it becomes... it is beautiful to experience this as it will give you healing at the same time as gifting you compassion for the other.
"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."
Dass, Ram (1976). Grist For The Mill.