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In Lak’ech Ala K’in ~ The Meaning of “In Lak’ech”

“In Lak’ech” or “In Lak’ech Ala K’in

Mayan tradition has a beautiful and wise greeting that I want to share with you.

In Lak’ech Ala K’in In Lak’ech Ala K’in

There are two interpretations of the phrase. The traditional interpretation is ‘I am you, and you are me.’ The modern translation is ‘I am another yourself, or ‘you are another myself’ … Whichever translation you prefer, using this greeting is a way to honor the person or object you are addressing.

Many cultures across the globe have a similar greeting.  In India, Namaste is used.  It means, ‘I bow to you’ or more commonly, ‘the light in me honors the light in you.’

Mitakuye Oyasin is a Lakota phrase with very similar meaning.  It is used in ceremonies and prayer and translates as ‘we are all related.’

Origin of In Lak’ech

The phrase Lak’ech Ala K’in originates from the Mayan understanding of the human being which they referred to as huinik’lil. Huinik’lil translates as ‘vibrant being.’

I love that the Mayans seemed to inherently understand that we are all part of the universal vibration. Offering the greeting Lak’ech Ala K’in celebrates our collective beingness in a sacred and ancient way.

A Statement of Unity

Regardless of your background or culture, when using any of the greetings above, it’s appropriate to place your right hand over your heart.  You can also put both hands together in prayer.

The combination of the gesture and the meaning of the phrase Lak’ech Ala K’in is a gracious statement of oneness.  It honors our connection as spiritual beings, spreads love, and raises energy levels each time you share it.

Lak’ech Ala K’in Is Not Just Another Greeting

Lak’ech Ala K’in isn’t just a wonderful way to greet each other.  It can also be used when greeting the sunrise, when you encounter a natural and picturesque environment, when you want to give thanks, when you are meditating or engaged in any spiritual practice, or when you interact with pets and other animals. 

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Your intention is to acknowledge and honor the understanding that we are divine beings that are all connected to the Source.

You can also use Lak’ech Ala K’in as a silent blessing. It’s not always appropriate or timely to verbally send loving energy to someone or something in need.  Silently repeating Lak’ech Ala K’in in your mind is a perfect way to send energy quietly and powerfully to any being or object that you wish. Your intention and the power inherent in the language transcend barriers and resound in the core of who we all are.


Tú eres mi otro yo.
You are my other me.

Si te hago daño a ti,
If I do harm to you,

Me hago daño a mi mismo.
I do harm to myself.

Si te amo y respeto,
If I love and respect you,

Me amo y respeto yo.
I love and respect myself.

-Luis Valdez

With love, light, and gratitude,

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