This piece was written in 2002. Stephanie
I have discovered that this Great Love of which we are all a part, really is a Love that passeth all understanding. It IS; and we are only able to access the portion of Its being that we are able in turn, to offer to others unconditionally. We cannot receive more than we can give.
As we are able to open our hearts more and more to giving of this within ourselves, so we are filled with Love’s greatness to that extent. It is in direct balance, thus, the more we can extend of ourselves the more we are able to receive.
The opposite is also true. If we wither and hold back with our giving, we are only able to absorb a fraction of Love’s richness within our own lives. The scales of human experience are always in balance and yet, often, people feel out of balance and that they are not getting “their fair share”.
Yet, our “fair share” is the All of Love, that is our portion. And to receive all of Love, all we have to do is give all of Love.
A living example of this in action, Love In Action is Amma. It is estimated that she has hugged over 31 million people. What does Amma do? She hugs people extending the Divine Love to all. As she extends, so she constantly fills herself and then extends more. She has been called the “hugging saint”.
There is no charge for her hug which can last up to 4 minutes. People have been known to burst into tears following Amma’s hug which suggests that many people don’t get too much affection in their lives and perhaps feel alienated much of the time.
“When each person comes to me, I am their mother and they are my child,” she beams, rather cheerily. “In everyone, there is a little child, and if their cries are not being heard, if that child remains unattended, it creates a vacuum that can only be filled with love. And the purest love that exists is between mother and child; as a mother, you are part of that child and, in the same way, I see myself as an extension of everyone.”
She never tires, she never complains, she never cancels an event,” says her swami assistant admiringly. “In India, the groups are even bigger; sometimes she will hug 2,000 people in one hour.” Which, you have got to agree, is some serious hugging.
It’s an improvement compared with her early life, in the Kerala fishing village of Parayakadavu. As an unworldly young girl, given to devotional singing and meditating, she was beaten by her parents, forced to give up school to look after her seven siblings, and subjected to regular poisoning attempts (laced milk, deadly thorns) from locals who didn’t like her spiritual inclinations.
However, ask about her hard life then and now, and Amma, now 58, replies with a shrug and what sounds like the Malayalam equivalent of “It’s what I do”. And that people queue for hours to get her hug is testament to the emptiness or fear or stress that many people feel in this warring, dog-eat-dog world. Amma, as well as tirelessly hugging, has also set up orphanages, hospitals, universities, homes for the homeless, etc.
Here is her website: http://www.amma.org.uk/
And here is a short video of Amma in action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6UqoMUowj7k&feature=related