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Still Celebrating Firsts a Decade into Seeing Amma

This year marks a decade that I have been receiving Darshan (Hugs) from Amma The Hugging Saint.

Coming to her as a 40 year old woman truly has been different from any of the trips in my 30’s. My first trip I was literally crawling up to her on my hands and knees sobbing in a blind haze of tears. The soundtrack to this movie of my soul’s passage was the quickening beats of the Tabla drums and beautiful Hindu Chants swirling around my ears.

I had no idea what I was doing…yet it felt more right than any other decision I had made so far in life.

The only thing that made the sobbing and whirling in my head cease, was her beautiful sandalwood rose scented hug and her raspy voice whispering, “My daughter, my daughter, my daughter” directly into my soul.

It was as if at that moment, the soil of my life was tilled, the seed was planted, and I was finally ready to grow this seed into who I chose to be, instead of feeling like I was a casualty of the cruel whims of life and love.

I was then taught the tools within meditation, mantra and selfless service to water the seed, and water the seed I did…and continued to for 10 years and counting.

This seed of change is a very slow and deep growing seed. Slow and deep is what speaks to me. I am not good with fast and surface friendships, relationships or lessons. Finally, at 40…I embrace this about myself, and no longer try to hide this part of me in a sea of acquaintances, static, noise and unnecessary actions.

Do Less…Be More…Receive All.

This Mantra came of meditation, and has served me in all areas of life. The less I try to run around and do all the things…the more right things have a chance to come to me. I am forever grateful for this wisdom, and have no idea where the wisdom came from, except that I heard it whispered to me from silence.

This brings me to this past week with Amma. It was the first time I did the retreat with roommates. I usually did the retreat with my own room, so I could have a silent cocoon to hide in when the beautiful and ecstatic energetic buzz created by Amma and the thousands of people that come to see her got to be too much for me.

I am so happy and grateful to have had the two amazing women I had as roommates. They are both long time friends I met way over a decade ago in the Goth scene. These lovely ladies also have heard the calling of the light even from the dark depths of goth, and are spiritual seekers. One met Amma for the first time last year, and one hadn’t even met Amma yet…but still knew she was supposed to do the retreat. Sort of like me, the first time I met her!

One of the many Seva (selfless service) appointments I had was for a Lakshmi Puja at 7am after the first night of the retreat. After being awake in the main hall until 330am with Amma as she was doing Darshan for all of us, I had some late night girl talk in my roommate and passed out mid sentence of pure exhaustion (love those talks) just to have my alarm go off 2 hours later for me to report to where the Lakshmi Puja was taking place.

Abundance is many things…not just money. Abundance to me is happiness, peace, strength, love, health and being able to give back to the world because all of my needs are met.

Amma’s right hand woman’s name is Ma Devi, and she is a tall slender goddess type figure with long grey hair, expressive arms and hands, who floated around in a beautiful white Sari. She explained a bit about the Puja to us, and promptly began the early morning ceremony.

As the Puja fires were lit, her face was glowing with such love and devotion, her graceful movements danced as she kneeled on the Puja altar moving her arms and hands with beautiful flowing Mudras (meditative/devotional movements) and ringing bells, pouring rose water, lighting incense and singing.

I have been a part of many Pujas, some with Ma Devi, including my first ever Puja, which was a Kali Puja, where anything that was not within your soul’s greatest good gets cut out by Kali and her knife.

This was a beautiful Puja, which you can read more about HERE …and it was what started my transformation from a 9-5 cog in the soulless Advertising Industry machine into a woman who owns and runs 2 heart-centered businesses and makes a living doing her passion and helping people.

2 weeks after attending that first Kali Puja 10 years ago with Ma Devi…I was let go by my Corporate Job due to budget cuts, and decided to heed The Universe’s call, go to Massage School, finally move from Reiki 2 practitioner to Reiki Master and get The Healing Woods up and running on line as a true business.

I have nothing but faith and trust that helping at this Lakshmi Puja will break down any resistance or blockages I have to all forms of abundance. I have suffered many losses within the past 10 years, and at times those losses felt horrible, painful and scary. The blooms however, that have grown from the seed that was delicately placed after the weeds were violently ripped out, are definitely worth any pain and sadness I suffered through.

I am wearing flowers in my hair every day this Summer to symbolize my willingness to receive the blooms, now that the garden has been weeded, tilled and my intentions planted.

With all of this meditation on release, and with all of the people, places and things I have released in the past decade…I decided that it was time to go to Amma with a request to receive help releasing Ego. This was a first for me too.

I guess my life was so littered with things that needed to be let go, that I didn’t realize the most important thing to be broken down is not around me, but within me.

That night, I decided that I was going to ask Amma a question about my love life, and give her a coconut as an offering.

Giving her a coconut shows her that you are ready to release Ego, and are asking for her help in doing so. The coconut is one of the hardest fruits to break open, which is why it symbolizes our Ego…one of the hardest habits to break!

This is not for the weak of heart and soul…nothing soul searching and slow but deep is, I suppose.

My friend was in the Darshan line with me, and I jokingly tried to give her the coconut, to which she instantly laughed, and said, “NO WAY!”

I got up to Amma, coconut in hand, and gave my question to the Swami near her, and I heard him ask the question to her. She took the coconut from me, looked deeply into my eyes and giggled a bit and her eyebrows went up almost in excitement, as if to say, “Finally after a decade!!!”

She hugged me, put Sandalwood paste on my third eye and released me. I asked the people around her for the answer to my question I asked, and they motioned me away to sit for a while near her, but didn’t tell me the answer.

Already my lesson in releasing Ego is at work at this point.

My ego needed the answer to that question, yet I gave the coconut…so I had to release the need for that answer, and just be happy with finding out organically my answer within the life experience to come.

I can’t help but say I was a bit disappointed…like a child who asked for a puppy for Christmas, and received socks. I let it go though, and began doing my Mantra. Usually you are allowed to sit near Amma for a few minutes (at the most 5) after your Darshan. There are people there always moving you away so more people can enjoy time close up to her.

It was also about 4am…I was doing Seva earlier in the evening…so I didn’t go up until very late in the Darshan program. All of a sudden, I realized that I had been there like 15 minutes, and no one asked me to move. 20 minutes…30 minutes…and then Amma started singing with a child, and then people came up there with instruments, and a Bhajan (devotional song) was sung after Amma hugged the very last person after 8 hours straight of hugging.

I was 5 feet from her for all of this time, soaking in the magic, and it was at that point that I realized that releasing Ego, and what I feel like my mind needs to know the answer to, gave me this gift of pure love and celebration physically closer to Amma for more time than I ever have been…about 45 minutes straight at 5 feet away!

Thank you, Lakshmi…

Thank you, Amma…

Thank you, Universe.

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