Here, New York Times bestselling author, Spirit Junkie, and Yoga Journal LIVE! New York's 2016 keynote speaker Gabrielle Bernstein shares a meditation to help us "recognize that the other person is you."
When you-know-what hits the fan, there’s a reason we say “I just can’t keep it together.” Whether the struggle involves a bad body image, lack of life purpose, or communication hurdles, discontent stems from disconnection. Maybe body becomes a separate object to be cajoled into perfection; long-term goals and desires seem obscured and out of reach; or a spar with a partner (or stranger on the subway) turns them into the opposition, drained of any relatable human qualities.
How can we reassemble the messy, jagged pieces? We turned to Yoga Journal LIVE! presenter Gabrielle Bernstein for a Kundalini meditation to get connected.
Based on Kundalini Yoga master Yogi Bhajan’s first sutra, “Recognize that the other person is you,” this meditation acknowledges that we’ll find harmony in the empty space between polarity. That means that stranger you currently despise from the subway is a key component of finding peace and your larger purpose in the world. “This meditation reminds us that we all have a shared essence that’s beyond our physical selves,” Bernstein says. “You can reconnect to the essence and experience oneness in the moment—with ourselves, with others and the universe.”
A Kundalini Meditation for Connection
Sit cross-legged on the floor with a straight spine. If necessary, add blankets underneath your sit bones and blocks under your knees to get comfortable. Bonus: Aiming to get back in sync with a partner willing to join the meditation? Sit back to back with that person.
Create a loose fist with your right hand. Bend your elbow, and position the fist above it at the side of your body at about shoulder level. Point the index finger straight up. (The index finger, associated with Jupiter, represents the expansion of knowledge and harmonizes opposing forces to create space for positive feelings to blossom.) Place the left hand over the heart center.
Focus your eyes and awareness to your brow point, the area above your nose where your brows would meet.
Humee Hum, Tumee Tum, Wahe Guru;
I am Thine, in Mine, Myself, Wahe Guru
Humee Hum tunes us into our own consciousness, while Tumee Tum accepts the depths of another individual’s consciousness and our connection to it, says Bernstein. Finally, Wahe Guru cements and celebrates our link to the universe.
Press play to chant along to "I am Thine" by Jai Jagdeesh or "Humee Hum" by Mirabai Ceiba for 11 minutes or less.