Thunder Hug. My experience With A Saint. Amma.
February 14, 2014. Full Moon.
The patience tests, which have been challenging me each morning at the Ashtanga Yoga Shala with Sarath in Mysore, worked their way into me at her ashram too, where we waited 10 hours with unbelievably unreal amounts of other humans in serious heat & no movement. There were many times that my mind, currently in training, wanted to collapse, to give in. There were indeed a few times I felt as though I would faint. We had gotten there so early. We did not eat all day. Water was hard to come by. So was a restroom, or moving out of the crowd, or your spot. All the things on the “outside” were not “perfect”.
In India and in the Hindi language, often things are repeated twice for emphasis . I have been doing it here. It helps. I repeated “Jayanti. Jayanti” “Victory over my mind. I have victory over my mind”. It’s quite a game to start really getting in their with your mind once you stop all the external stimuli that distract you from what you mind defaults to amidst challenge or discomfort. Jayanti.
In English she said to me…” you are MY child. you are MY child. you are MY child. You are always protected, never threatened, never unsafe, my child. Continue to be love my child”. It was just what I needed to hear for many personal reasons to a story long forgotten but still there deep and past. Many of us often have issues about growing up, don’t we? I felt completely accepted and whole. Then as forcefully as I was thrown into her with poignant, direct purpose I was peeled out of her heart in a drunken child like mess of gooey goodness.
In being around "super humans" in our perception as such, I think it worthy and valuable to also discern ("Viveka" in Sanskrit) and question any teacher or Saint. I have been around numerous effective spiritual leaders that truly have done their work and are kind, intelligent and inspiring....living the teachings. I have also been around some leaders/teachers more concerned with themselves & the powers they are cultivating than serving or generating the impersonal teachings for everyone to exceed. There was no denying the lucid, brilliant level of shakti I was surrounded by as I had the direct chance to observe it so closely. I needed to know it was this possible. There was no room for doubt. The actual "beingness" of Grace there.
I was so intoxicated at times I would become confused & my logical mind would try to intervene. “Do I need water? Do I need to find a bathroom? What am I suppose to be doing here? Why do I deserve this? I feel strange… overtaken… is this actually real and pure?” followed by the far more all pervading thoughts of “this is Supreme Love. This is what it feels like when you don’t need anything. This is what it feels like when you realize you lack nothing…when you merge into the Source of all things, when you are One (not just understanding the concept). And this is what you do when you get there, when you feel you are Love itself. This is exactly what that looks like when it is pure…”
It was a thunder embrace. I am still embraced, I am flying from it. Getting thrust into the bosom of Grace was not something I thought was coming when I booked my flight for India , but when I get home, I too want to develop my skills and practice the art of profound thunder hugging. Of course, in humility I also await, in due time to evolve this because the more work I do I see the work it takes to be consistent, well established, grounded & truly effective. I also know the work, which is love made visible, magnetizes the experiences of something Real our Soul craves & desires to share.
I remember Sharonji quoting Shyam Das on our Jivamukti Yoga & Bhakti Yoga trip in Mumbai with Jules Febre & Radhanath Swami…”Whatever you do, do not go to that river of thrust and flow that is Love (the Yamuna River as she was speaking of in this case, in Vrindavan) or you will never come back. It will have you.” And Amma kept hugging, and giving, and crying and embracing the world, on and on, endlessly. There was no limit to it. The Love kept going and going and pouring out, all into the night. We were struck by thunder with the Love Embrace. Sat-chit-but mostly Ananda. Thank you Matha Amritananda Amma.