AMMA IN CHICAGO
Amma-the-hugging-saint comes to Chicago every Fourth of July weekend. Her message, more or less, is "Love and Serve."
I went to yesterday's evening program out at the Yorktown Mall in Lombard.
(Yes, there is a saint in Lombard. At this very moment).
The hug I received, just after 1AM, cleared away many doubts.
It's just the thing when your own mother isn't around to comfort you, or you haven't seen your teacher or fellow sadhakas in awhile.
I'm going back tonight.
Read my (humorous) 2005 article about the experience here.
And go get yourself some unconditional love.
* * *
SOME AMMA-ISMS (from her 2005 talks in Chicago):
Creativity is not an obstacle to a spiritual life, but we must keep in the back of our minds that nothing in the material world gives the joy of the spiritual life.
When we suffer, we should turn inward to find the cause.
No one loves us more than they love themselves.
You should love others, but not become too attached.
A true master will not ask you to give up everything, but to take enough for your own needs and share with others.
Even if a gesture is small, we should try to give to others. Life is an echo; we get back what we give back.
God is pure consciousness that dwells in everything.
In order to receive grace, we must cultivate humility. When we bow down, grace will automatically flow to us.
Anger is the greatest obstacle to grace; it is like a knife with both ends sharpened.
All of our actions should bring happiness and joy to others.
Instead of giving up when things are difficult, we should hold onto God’s feet more tightly.
Spiritual practice is like getting a polio shot--the benefits are not immediately apparent.