Yoga means union (from the Sanskrit root yuj, which means to yoke or join). Some say the ultimate experience of yoga, the end that we are seeking, is when you no longer see any separation between yourself and others; you don’t see others at all. You have expanded your sense of Self and your ability to feel compassion so thoroughly that you want happiness and freedom – the things you want for yourself – for all beings and you act accordingly. What is the difference between the suffering of another being and suffering you are experiencing yourself? It might seem like a lot, but the more you open you heart and allow yourself to feel, the more you can realize that one person suffering is all of us suffering.
My friend Courtney reminded me of this, and how amazing it can be to experience someone feeling what you feel and being intimately connected to you. I was upset the other day and Courtney could see this. I watched as she took on my suffering and truly felt empathy for me. She broke down the boundaries between us and her expression of compassion towards me made me feel so much better. That’s all you have to do – let someone know you understand how they are feeling and want them to feel better. And trust me, it works. Love you, Courtney.