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Posts Tagged ‘AMMA’

My Hug with Amma

Monday, July 13th, 2009

Amma - Hugging Saint

Amma - Hugging Saint

“The first step in spiritual life is to have compassion. A person who is kind and loving never needs to go searching for God. God rushes toward any heart that beats with compassion-it is God’s favorite place.”

Amma (Mata Amritanandamayi Devi)

I joined hundreds, if not thousands, of New Yorker’s last week when I went to the Manhattan Center to receive darshan with Amma. Amma is affectionately known as ‘mother’, ‘hugging mother’, and ‘hugging saint’. She has devoted most of her life to humanitarian causes around the world, especially in her home country of India. Amma says her sole mission is “to love and serve one and all.” Her only wish is “that her hands should always be on someone’s shoulder, consoling and caressing them and wiping their tears, even while breathing her last.” Amma’s purpose is to embrace the world – otherwise known as an Amma hug. She holds you tightly in her arms, like a mother holding a new born baby. She whispers in the ear of each person she hugs, and can often be heard saying, “my dear, dear child.”

There are no words to possibly express the experience with Amma – each person has their own spiritual awakening. While in her presence, I found myself more open to the divinity within. After receiving my blessing, my hug, my embrace, and love, I walked away wanting to just sit in stillness and silence. I found that I wanted to be reminded of love, compassion, and service. I wanted to rest in the place of noticing how love shows up in my life. I wanted to hear the sound of my heartbeat and my breath. I wanted to look at each person that caught my eye and just smile.

I watched as each person slowly walked away from Amma’s embrace – many smiling, others with tears rolling down their cheeks, and others placing their hands on their hearts. As I watched streams of people, everything suddenly slowed down, and I realized that I was also smiling and crying simultaneously. I closed my eyes and prayed for the willingness to give myself the same compassion Amma so lovingly shared with me.

In one simple and profound act, Amma is able to touch the hearts and minds of millions of people. But with Amma it is more than being held – it is being seen and loved for being a gift to the world. It is an act of selfless service by BEING with people where they are at. As I continue to feel the love vibrate within, I am reminded of all the things I do each day for work, for school, for getting through each day and it is not the actions that are the service, but the love I give to them. If I can show up each day with love and compassion with myself and all those I meet, I can be of more service to the world.

In what ways do we embrace the world, or even embrace one another? As Amma says, “Love is the foundation of a happy life. Knowingly or unknowingly we are forgetting this truth.” Amma on several occasions has said that it is important not only to feel love but also to express it. “After all, love is our true nature. When we do not express love in our words and actions it is like honey hidden in a rock.”

How do you share love and compassion? How do you want to be of more service each and every day?

Dedicated to Amma, to my friend Padmini, to Lorene, to my beloved mom, and to all those who generously share their smile and hugs with me.

I AM Love, Mary Anne

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