Sunday, November 22, 2009

Amma - a wondrous presence - Mother Teresa 2.0

Amma

I was deeply moved by seeing Amma, the mother, last night. I had to share my experience to all of you.

There obviously cannot ever be another Mother Teresa.

After my Amma experience last night, I couldn't help but think I was in the presence of a woman (Amma) who is following in Mother Teresa's steps, trailblazing her own path. At the time of Mother Teresa's death, in 1997, there here Missionaries of Charity continued to expand, and at the time of her death it was operating 610 missions in 123 countries, including hospices and homes for people with HIV/AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis, soup kitchens, children's and family counseling programs, orphanages, and schools. Here Missionaries of Charity continue their work to this day.

I love Amma's purpose in life:
" I realize my purpose is to console - to personally wipe away tears through selfless love, compassion, and service." Amma.

Yesterday, a group of us (Rob, Elaine, Ginger, Barbara and myself) went to give oodles of Free Hugs and get Hugged by Amma. I knew the event started at 7 pm, so we got there by 5 pm. Figured it would last from 7 pm to 9 pm and I'd be home by 11 pm at the latest. Boy, was I in for a surprise.

We got to the Amma Retreat center in San Ramon and were greeting with thousands of people waiting in line to see Amma. We made it through the throngs of people, camped out in fold chairs, took the plastic cap off our chair and waited. and waited. and waited. After the first hour of giving free hugs to those waiting in line and stuffing ourselves with Samosas, we started making friends with those around us, waiting in the overflow room, soon to become the Amma restaurant. Personally, I met Taj from Berkeley, Julie from Berkeley, Cindy from Fremont, Tonya from Washington/Barstow/Alaska/Hawaii, Brianna from Santa Cruz, a gentleman from Ashland, OR who's been following Amma with his wife (whom he met at an Amma retreat) for 10+ years. These folks ranged in ages from 25 to 75. There were lots of babies, families, single folk, couples, all ethnicities here. I couldn't help but thinking of some of the wonderful experiences I had at Grateful Dead concerts, except for the fact that beyond spreading joy, happiness and love, Amma was channeling her energy to wiping out misery and poverty throughout the world.

So, after lots of Samosas, a full vegan Vegetarian meal, and a HUGE salad and lots of chatting and meeting new people, the time had come to get my hug. I was in group "N7." Group A1 started at 7 pm. It was now 230 am. As I waited in my chair, moving closer and closer, I began to imagine the real power, strength and tireless energy of this woman. Here, I had been whining, a little, about waiting 7.5 hours to see here, but she had been doing this all week - tirelessly (although I'm sure she was a bit tired!) - all week - until the early morning hours.

I got on stage, got closer to Amma, then in a whisk of a moment, she hugged me, said something in a language I didn't understand, and it was done.

I had been blessed by an angel.

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