Ammachi (Part 1)

Last week I spent a couple of days with Mata Amritanandamayi also called Ammachi what means divine mother. I was introduced to her about 10 years ago through my friend Ellen who also introduced me to yoga. Ellen told me about “the hugging saint” this woman from India who travels around the world and hugs people.

The first time I saw Amma was in a church on the Upper West side. Even back then there were thousands of people. How it works is that you have to line up to get a token. The number on your token determines when you get your hug. So I get my token, walk into the church and there is this woman sitting in full lotus close to the altar and two long lines of hundreds of people who want to get a hug from her. Right away I could see that there was something special about this woman, something that I could not describe even though I had read about her before, my eyes started to tear up.

It is said that Ammachi is an avatar; an incarnation of a divine being into planet Earth and that she was born enlightened.

I had my token and after spending a few hours listening to beautiful chants sung by the swamis and disciples that travel with her it was my turn. I lined up for my hug. The closer I got to her, the more nervous I was. There was a feeling that something very special was about to happen. Her disciples have a special system to make sure that as many people as possible are getting their hug. At times it can get a little stressful. Cleaning your face with a tissue, putting your backpack away and listening to the instructions what to do when you get the hug. But the closer I got to her the more quiet everything got and in the moment I got to her it felt as there was only her and me.

 

 

“Ammachi (Part 1)” Manhattan/New York City/ 38th Street and 7th Avenue 07-10-08 at 08:10 PM

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