Amma is in New York City this weekend (July 5 - 7) so we are revisiting our resources about her incredible service.
We thought of this Indian saint when we re-read our blog post on Arms, Hugs & Cuddles: The Path of Connections and this quotation by family therapist Virginia Satir: "We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need twelve hugs a day for growth." Hugging is a spiritual practice which outwardly expresses love, affection, encouragement, peace and healing. Inwardly, we feel a mix of positive and life-affirming emotions when we hug or are hugged.
What goes on when a person is held in Amma's arms? In her book Amma: Healing the Heart of the World, Judith Cornell writes:
"When Amma embraces or kisses someone, it is a process of purification and inner healing. Amma is transmitting a part of her pure vital energy into her children. It allows them to experience true, unconditional love."
Here are a few of this Indian holy woman's teachings gathered by Janine Canan in Messages from Amma: In the Language of the Heart:
"Children, don't waste a single second.
Serve others, above all the poor,
expecting nothing in return."
"Wherever a heart beats
God is there."
"Into the cup of intellect
In the documentary Darshan -The Embrace, directed by Jan Kounen, we see a clip from the moment when Amma received the Gandhi-King Award for Non-Violence. Previous recipients have been Nelson Mandela and Jane Goodall.
Amma's primary message "Love and Serve" comes across effectively in River of Love, a documentary directed by Michael Tobias. It provides an up-close and personal look at the life and work of one of the world's greatest living saints.