All right, I promised you my Amma story. It happened about six years ago. Scott Sonnon and I were conducting a “Path” workshop down at LAX, and he told me that his guru, Amma, was making an appearance at a nearby hotel. I’d never heard of her before, except for Scott’s comments: she apparently sat in one place, giving and receiving hugs from the followers who stream by, for days on end: no eating, drinking, sleeping, whatever. I think I’d hade one friend who said she had received a hug, and it was said to be an amazing experience.
He asked if I’d like to go over, and I said: “sure.”
The other hotel was close enough to walk to, and as we approached, the number of people walking the other way who seemed “hippyish” increased: beards, t-shirts, a certain relaxed 60s atmosphere that was easy to recognized. Not exacly “blissed out” but more like laughing, aware, happy, kinda centered. I liked it. As we walked into the hotel and went down to the ballroom level, the atmosphere was downright carnival. I mean the room was filled with people selling Amma t-shirts and Amma comic books, people laughing and having a great time. Reminded me of an SF convention dealer’s room, actually. There were dispensers giving out numbered tickets, and I realized that there was a line that went all the way around a cavarnous ball room, and apparently if you took a ticket now, you might get a hug at about 3 in the morning. It was about eight pm. Ah…no thanks.
In the center of the room was some kind of platform I’d not looked directly at, but from my peripheral vision, I saw that the line of people streamed through that location. I was still taking things in, and hadn’t focused there, but picked up on something very strange:
In the middle of that platform was something I could only describe as an Easter Island head. You know those gigantic busts? Like that. A woman’s head. Huge. Grayish, maybe. Right in the middle of the room. That was peripheral vision. I turned and looked directly at it, and the image shimmered for a moment…and then dwindled, as if my contact lenses were focusing. And the “head” dwindled and dwindled…until what I saw was a small smiling brown woman sitting on that stage, hugging people as they streamed past, one squeeze at a time.
Now that…was odd. I marked it down to an optical illusion, and went back to looking at the room. Focused on someone selling something…soap maybe (Amma soap-on-a-rope?) and was chuckling, when…my peripheral vision picked up the Easter Island head again. Just as large. Glimpsed from the corner of my eye.
WTF? I turned and looked at it again, and as before…it dwindled to human size, and BOOM. I was looking at a small, brown-skinned woman again. I studied her more carefully. She was simple smiling and hugging one person at a time.
And…I felt a chill. As I’ve said, I cannot tell you that auras exist separate from our perception. I only know that I’ve experienced such distortions of the visual/kinesthetic field in the past, and always with people I consider extraordinarily focused on spiritual matters. Maybe it’s just my hind-brain giving me a head’s up.
But never had I seen anything like THIS. It was as if I was a two-dimensional person, and a three-dimensional being had thrust their finger through the plane I existed on. I’d see only a circle. But what if out of the corner of my eye, from my peripheral vision, I was, in the right frame of mind (like just finishing teaching a two-day transformational workshop with one of the highest-energy athletes I’ve ever met?) could sense the existence of the entire finger..?
I realized that I could interpret this as a simple hallucination…or a gift of a glimpse of something larger. My brain telling me: there is something happening here bigger than you. Larger than the world you can perceive with your forebrain. Outside logic. Do NOT underestimate this little woman. Not this frail flesh is she!
I live in both worlds. Know that none of us are “this frail flesh” alone. That we are deeply connected, on levels beyond our imaginings.
Which is why I see the dualities of black and white, Liberal and Conservative, gay and straight, male and female, Christian and Atheist, pro-and-anti gun, and all of the others as just two sides viewing the same mountain from different directions, each claiming they have the only route to the top. A magical revelation.
That all the anger is just fear, and that when you remove or address the fear, all that remains is love.That the route to that is communication between those with ears to hear. I don’t know what Amma’s goal is, other than healing the world. I honor he totally, and suspect that she may be the most evolved human spirit I’ve ever encountered.