Amma’s hugs are know the world over for the love and light they bring to one’s being, but even Amma knows that true Spiritual Activism is more than just giving hugs (even if it is over 27 million of them).
Amma and her organization have gained an unparalleled reputation not only for her personal outreach of bringing comfort and touching hearts with her personal touch, but as a result of the extensive charitable institutions she has established. Amma oversees a vast network of humanitarian activities. She has built hospitals where those in need can receive the best of modern medicine, over 100,000 homes for the poor, orphanages where the abandoned can find hope, hospices for those in transition, subsidized schools for those who would not have had a chance to have an education, pensions for widows, greened the planet with hundreds of thousands of trees planted every year and pledged tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars to disaster relief and suicide prevention programs...the list goes on and on.
It is a rarified group that walks the talk like Amma.
When you consider that she started from such humble beginnings, can anyone possibly doubt that Amma is more than just a woman. Jane Goodall described her as “God’s Love in human form”. I believe that she is a living embodiment of the Divine Feminine.
Some time ago, Humanity Healing polled its members who should receive the first Spiritual Activism Award. The results were decisive:
During her recent North American tour, Liane Legey and I traveled to Washington, DC to present Amma with Humanity Healing Foundation’s first Spiritual Activism Award.
Liane and I, along with her son Chris, arrived early in the day, as we had contacts within the organization that we planned to meet with to discuss both how we could interface with Amma’s organization to assist with her mission as well as discuss Humanity Healing Foundation projects.
Synergy is the key to successful Spiritual Activism.
Amma’s organization in Washington, DC was matchless in both its efficiency and, more importantly, the selfless beauty of those who were there to assist those who had come to receive Amma’s Blessing. Everyone who comes to see Amma is given a token to facilitate a smooth progression and first-timers are given special consideration. We received our tokens, but were quickly pulled out of line to meet with a succession of individuals within her organization to discuss Humanity Healing, our projects and the presentation of the Spiritual Activism Award.
Liane, Chris and I were directed to chairs near the front and asked to wait until Amma entered. For those who have not had the opportunity to attend, Amma entering the room is unmistakable. The audience joins in a collective meditation. Hearts begin to beat in time. The scent of fresh sandlewood suddenly permeates the air. A conch sounds. A visible ripple spreads outward through the crowd as each individual receives a conscious jolt from their Higher Self.
Amma has entered the room and her presence is felt with every level of the Self.
Amma gives a Blessing to all, despite the size of the crowd (she has been known to give Blessings for greater than 20 hours at a stretch), but there is a much smaller percentage that she has time to give personal answers to spiritual questions. This quota had already been filled, but I was directed by Swami Ramakrishna to the group at the front of the room, so that I might speak with Swami Amritaswarupananda, the head of her organization. I moved up the line and suddenly, I crossed into Amma’s Sacred Circle.
I know that each individual feels and interprets experiences like this differently. My background is with Reiki Jin Kei Do and I “feel” energy. Stepping through the boundary of Amma’s immediate presence is like passing through a living waterfall. Standing within her presence is to be continuously irradiated with an uninterrupted flow of pure Loving Presence. I am an engineer and not naturally poetical in nature, but it is nothing short of feeling the heat of the living flame of God’s Divine Love. I was fortunate to be given the privilege to stand within this energy for close to an hour, as I shared with Swami Amritaswarupananda and his representative, Steve Schmidt, who Humanity Healing was and what we represent.
Liane and her son Chris continued through the process until they reached Amma’s Sacred Circle. Liane was pulled aside to stand with me and Chris received a Blessing and returned to his seat to reflect. At this point, I was not just full of the energy radiating out from Amma, I was gently and protectively swelling and stretching my previous limits with her energy. Liane and I were allowed to bask for another twenty minutes or so. I remember Amma looking up from a Blessing at Liane, with a beatific smile for a minute or so before turning back to her joyous task. In my mind, I heard “Hello, little sister!”.
The time came and we were presented to Amma with the dispensation that a photo could be taken of the presentation. This was a great honor, and, to my knowledge, the only picture allowed that day. We were allowed this so that we could share with the Humanity Healing family a picture of Amma receiving her award.
Amma has received many awards far more important and known than our humble one.
I had a whole speech worked out in my head. I got as far as, “On behalf of the Humanity Healing Foundation, I am honored to present to you this Spiritual Activism Award for…”. At this point, I could no longer speak. Tears welled up
and I could only softly sob, “Bless you, Amma, and thank you….” Amma was gracious in her response. She kissed the award to Bless it and pulled me into an embrace.
I do not have the words to describe the Love and Peace in that embrace. It lasted but a moment and it lasted for an eternity as her arms and soul enveloped me, with her voice gently singing in my ear. I do not remember the words, but that is how it should be as she sang her song to my Soul.
After a long moment, or an eternity, I pulled back as she pulled Liane into her embrace, but she did not let me go so that I could retire. I was privileged to hear her sing and remember her song to Liane’s Soul. I will never forget it – it rings in my heart as strongly as my Soul’s song murmurs softly, yet indistinctly. When Amma had finished sharing with Liane, she pulled back briefly, and then pulled us both into an embrace to Bless each of you, the Humanity Healing Family, and our organization through us.
The rest of the day both incredible and difficult. Amma’s Blessing left us in such a positively charged state that we were giddy with joy, and yet we were meeting with members of her organization to discuss such technical details as the what we should be expecting for the cost of building in Tamil Nadu, India per square foot and comparing our vocational training center and expenditures per child in Uganda versus what she met with her project in Kenya. The insights and connections shared were invaluable to us as a small nonprofit organization.
I would like to thank formally and express my deep appreciation and Gratitude to Swami Amritaswarupananda, Swami Ramakrishna, Steve Schmidt and all the beautiful souls in Amma’s organization whose names I regret did not write down for all the love and assistance they provided.
One additional note. When we left Amma, she gave both Liane and I each an apple. It is my understanding this is an additional Blessing and helps to materialize and internalize Amma’s Blessing. We made a ritual asking for Amma’s joy in the life of each of Humanity Healing’s family and success in completing our shared humanitarian projects. I savored the entire apple with the exception of the seeds, which I added to the small bag I carry with me that contains a Reiki Cho Ku Rei medallion and a Rosary that was Blessed by John Paul II.
I am looking forward to a greater involvement between our organizations, but even more, I am looking forward to another hug from Amma.
Humanity Healing Foundation