5 Amazing Days With The Hugging Saint

July 17, 2018 | By | 2 Replies Read More

Amma HuggingUntil July 8, 2018, I had never been in the physical presence of an honest-to-God spiritual avatar. But by July 12, my partner Maeikisala and I had each received one-on-one blessings on four different days from one whom many believe to be such an exalted divine being. We were also given potent personal mantras. We’re both amazed at the resulting upgrades in consciousness, which have been rapid and profound.

For many, the word “avatar” brings up an image of a blue-skinned alien from Pandora, or a cartoonish video game character. But the first definition on dictionary.com is what I mean here: “Hindu Mythology. the descent of a deity to the earth in an incarnate form or some manifest shape; the incarnation of a god.”

Here’s how Maeikisala describes her experience:

Time stood still, as if the sands pouring through an hourglass hung frozen in midair. Ecstatic energy and unconditional love like I’d never experienced before swirled around me with iridescent light. Absolute peace and Divine love saturated my heart chakra.

This was not just an ordinary hug. This was a hug from Ammaji, said to be a living, breathing avatar, unscathed by the scars of karma … one who walks the earth radiating Christ Consciousness while wrapped in humanity.

Amma appeared to Benjamin and me in the inner realms while we were working at our shamanic altar a few months ago. She promised to guide us and watch our backs. Now we were here, basking in her Divine physical presence, and I am forever changed!

Following her hug, I found my seat next to my beloved Benjamin. Then I was swept up into new dimensions as if I had stepped into Dr. Who’s TARDIS! My consciousness swam in the blissful energy field of Divine Source. My entire body was electrified, purified and attuned. It seemed as if the intoxicating scent of sandalwood and jasmine poured from my very cells.

Now, four days later, the integration process continues … especially when I chant the mantra she gave me. I can still hear her husky, resonant voice chanting it into my ear.

Amma, with all of my being, I am humbly grateful beyond words for all you’ve done! Thank you for your beautiful example of selfless service, unwavering love and compassion. Having experienced your Divine essence, may I be your vehicle to shower this love to all!

Maeikisala and I flew from Asheville to Toronto to attend Amma’s public darshan day on July 8, followed by her retreat July 9-11. The retreat actually lasted late into the morning of the 12th, with Amma hugging one person after another with no break. I’m guessing she hugged around 4000 people in about 12 hours. And she was as fresh, enthusiastic and full of smiles at the end as when she started!

The Retreat Experience

Each day, Amma (her formal name is Mata Amritanandamayi Devi) did morning and evening darshans. During darshan, she transmits blessings through her famous hugs. Each time she hugged me, she spoke some syllables into my right ear. My intellect couldn’t understand what she said, but I could definitely feel the effects. Sometimes I felt an energetic shift during the hug, and always felt blissfully transformed in the hours afterward as her mystical seeds sprouted and grew. Maeikisala and I were both walking around in profoundly altered states, with huge grins on our faces!

Amma’s darshans lasted many hours. They were held in a huge hotel ballroom that not only seated several thousand people, but held a large, well-stocked “Amma Shop” in the rear. A variety of food vendors and Amma-related information tables were set up just outside the ballroom. (I understand that all proceeds from retreat food and Amma Shop sales support Amma’s charities.) Delicious vegetarian meals were served downstairs, including one in which Amma personally handed a plate of food to every person attending the retreat! Retreatants were free to sit, shop, or eat during darshans, and could come and go as they pleased.

I don’t think Amma speaks English, and I had no verbal communication with her in person other than a few essential, non-conversational syllables. But as usual, Amma and I were conversing easily in my mind. There she speaks English fluently, and she gave me lots of helpful guidance.

My Inner Experience

Maeikisala and I spent much of our time sitting in meditation during darshan. I used the same approach I use in plant spirit ceremonies: relax into my awakened self, merge with Maeikisala (she’s my twin flame) and the group field, and go with the flow!

My experiences and states of consciousness were remarkably similar to what I typically experience in ayahuasca and other plant spirit ceremonies. I enjoyed varying states of bliss and ecstasy. I sometimes transmuted other people’s hucha. (That’s a word from the South American Q’echua language. It means heavy, dark or negative energy.) As usual, my body occasionally shook and trembled in specific areas as the hucha worked its way through me.

As always, I was happy to serve, and at worst experienced mild discomfort during transmutation. The hucha that cleared through me was a minuscule fraction of what I saw Amma transmuting during her hugs, but I was happy to help in my own small way. The speed and efficiency with which Amma transmuted peoples’ hucha during her hugs blew my mind.

Music and Mantras

Music was central to the experience. We heard sacred songs from India throughout the darshans, usually performed live by skilled musicians. I’ve always loved the music of India, but witnessing it used with such expertise to shift the group’s consciousness took my appreciation to a whole new level. On top of that, it just sounded so good!

Maeikisala and I had our final one-on-one connection with Amma after staying up all night for her “Devi Bhava” darshan. During this event, she wears a special robe and crown and embodies the divine feminine with extraordinary power. This is also the time when she gives mantras to those who desire them. And desire them we did!

I’ve worked with mantras off and on throughout my life, but a mantra received from an avatar is unlike any other. Whether I chant it silently or out loud, I can feel my consciousness shifting rapidly whenever I use it.

There’s so much more I could tell you – about the extraordinary efficiency and timeliness of Amma’s all-volunteer staff, the delightful lectures and deep meditations presented by her swamis, the wonderful people we met from around the world – but this is a post, not a book!

Her Religion is Love

Despite her obvious Hindu influences, Amma says that her religion is love, and welcomes people of all faiths and backgrounds to her free darshans. Nor is she demanding any kind of exclusivity from Maeikisala and me: in the inner world, she’s encouraging us to keep working with our shamanic and spiritual allies from different traditions. They’re all her anyway, she says. And she says that we are her as well.

All is one, exuberantly expressing itself in an infinite variety of forms. Maeikisala and I are so grateful to Amma for all the help she’s giving our seemingly separate selves. The fact that she’s also helping millions of others, in the outer and inner worlds, doesn’t make her support any less special. As an avatar, Amma can be everywhere at once. But in our inner world, it feels like it’s just her and us.

You can learn more about our inner experiences with Amma in my May 2, 2018 post, “A Surprise Visit from the Hugging Saint.” To learn more about Amma, including her global touring schedule and worldwide charities, visit amma.org.

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Category: Practical Spirituality, What's New

As an “astroshaman,” Benjamin Bernstein offers both the soul-level insights of astrology and the healing power of shamanism. Benjamin hosts iTunes' #1 astrology podcast, and was voted Western North Carolina's best astrologer three years in a row. After doing over 6000 sessions, Benjamin has fine-tuned his ability to help clients master challenge and embrace transformation. Satisfaction guaranteed, or it’s free!

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  1. janis abrams says:

    Hi Benjamin,
    Thanks for sharing your experience, sounds delightful. Therefore, I checked to see if she would be in New York, but I just missed it!
    Hope to meet you as well when I come to Asheville.
    Blessings,
    Janis

  2. Jim Lunney says:

    Beautifully written.
    We met in the dining hall at the retreat.
    Jim

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