I’ve been going to be with Amma, my Teacher, twice a year for 19 years now and was with her in DC (Alexandria, just across the freeway from the Pentagon) last weekend. One thing hasn’t changed. She still gives darshan (hugs) for at least 10 hours a day the first day and night in any given city, and on the final day she gives darshan for 4+ hours in the morning program and then for about 12 hours at night, after giving a talk and leading meditation for 2 hours. So this past Saturday evening, she was on stage for about 14 1/2 hours (7pm-9:30am). Just witnessing it is a mind-bending experience, showing just a little of what is possible for a human being to accomplish, not to mention the huge heart-opening experience that getting a hug from her is.
It’s not a hug like you can get from anyone else, in my experience, having received and given many hugs over the years. My first experience of her darshan was of being completely known and completely loved. I and many others have experienced that but also that her hug is more of an “energy transfer” than anything else, clearing me so that I can more clearly experience the Inner Truth/Love and at the same time raising my mind and energy to be able to hold that experience without resistance (ego), to be able to see the Glory that is beyond the little mind. It’s hard to put into words this (or any) experience and for the most part, I just try to allow myself to be open to it and then let it be what it is.
When she was done in DC on Sunday morning, she got in a camper and they drove to Toronto where she is doing it all again, starting the next day, this past Monday morning and ending on Friday morning. And she’s been doing this for the past 5+ weeks in the US! We stayed up all night with her the last night as we do, after staying till the end of the program the previous night (around 3:30am), then I drove home. Caffeine was used to help on the drive home. The family and I are all, as usual, still recovering from the lack of sleep and hard (inner and outer) work. Right now she’s in Toronto giving people hugs. Most of the years that we’ve been with her, we were with her in multiple cities, so would stay up all night the final night and then drive to the next location where we would arrive very tired in the middle of the morning program at the next city, after having a very long sleep the previous night but still very sleepy, and she is there fresh and giving people hugs again/still and had been for some hours by the time we arrived.
One would naturally think that she is sleeping in the camper on the way to the next location, but the swamis who travel with her say that she sleeps at most 2 hours a night in general, but in the US, she almost never sleeps. She is the head of a huge organization that includes a university system, schools all around India, orphanages in India and Africa, many ashrams, a hospital system, and an NGO that is recognized and highly respected by the UN, and she is needed in all those capacities as well, even when she is traveling around the world.
People ask her how she does it all and doesn’t she get tired. She says, “Where there is Love, there is no effort.” Clearly she has tapped into something that we are either completely unaware or that we only get glimpses of. She also says about giving darshan (hugging people) that she is worshipping God in all of our forms. I see people/everything as something other than God (or call it Consciousness or Love Incarnate if you prefer), though I aspire and practice toward that experience, partly because the idea resonates with me and I can easily see/imagine how helpful it would be for me and others around me. Also I have in Amma what I take as a clear example of it being done in a human life.
“Where there is Love, there is no effort.” We can take that as a meditation. If I am efforting, then I am not in Love, or I’m not coming from Love. Or to the extent that “I” am efforting, “I” am not in Love. If I’m not coming from Love, what AM I coming from? Yikes! Certainly I believe and have had glimpses that Love is the Energy that is the basis/undercurrent of all Creation. If I’m not with that, or aligned with that, or coming from that, then I am lost…. for the time being. I think that’s part of what regular, dedicated spiritual practice is for: to REMEMBER and to find a way to come from Love and ultimately to LIVE in the Infinite Flow of Love.
I imagine that others reading this article agree with that statement, so may we all be blessed to do that. Clearly our sick, agitated world (and our own mind!) needs it!
And come take a class this week and get some of the residual Amma vibe. Or even better, come to kirtan on Friday which I see as a particularly good way to share in the Amma energy that I received.