Monday, February 16, 2009

Amma's ashram :: Kerala, South India

Greetings from the warm beach west coast of India, where the Arabian Sea catches the sun to set every evening. I am at guru Amma's huge ashram. the hugging saint that i spent 3 days conference in Tacoma at last June! she has hugged over 24 million people, donated $23 million to build 100,000 homes in India, started a few orphanages, built a hospital for free service to poor, an engineering college, a biotech college, an ayurveda health college, & many more amazing selfless acts to help out in this crazy world.

The reason millions believe her to be a living because she is! the women is transmitting LOVE x 10,000 or more , unlike most of us that struggle too much with our own suffering. Shortly after birth she was noticed by others to have eccentric deep spiritual yearnings. She would sit & meditate at a very early age (2-5+) & sing devotional songs with great passion. Later in her teens & early 20's she began to heal people around her village. She has brought people back from the dead, healed cancers, etc..

Her parents didn't understand why she was so strange & beat her & made her quit school & do ALL the chores. She just loved them back & kept helping people. At one point she began to live outside & the animals took care of her. A cow would come to feed her milk, eagles would drop fish in her lap, & so on. Now, many come to her to seek to heal their suffering & clear up their negative karma. It is said that in her presence, you have a direct deep connection with Great Spirit/God/Creator & the love light shines so bright that it clears your darker black energy fields.

I can't prove if the above is truth, but i feel it to be. I do feel a huge love wave around her & especially after getting a hug. I sit & meditate on myself being my own guru, healing myself, centering myself in deeper love for all my relations. I am not looking for a guru. I have found many gurus in this life & Amma perhaps is the greatest one i've seen. For now, I will enjoy the next 12 days I get to spend here. And I think I may have to come here for India trip #2 & do the 2 month detox/cleansing/massage "Panchakarma" royal treatment!

Om Lokah Sumistah Sukhino Bavhantu = May All Beings Be Happy!

p.s. meditation she teaches for tuning into Divine Love & Light =

breathe in silently hearing the sound mantra of "MA" (which means Divine Love) breathing out silently hearing the sound mantra of "OM" (the infinite sound of Divine Light) do for 5 minutes or more to manifest peace & deep love in your heart!

______________________ _

Amma's asrham blog #2

Amma. One woman that, like Gandhi, has united millions of people in the name of peace & love. One woman that from early childhood was extremely unique. They say she was born with a blue tint, like the beloved Krishna that Hindus admire so much. She was singing devotional songs & meditating by a very early age on her own. Her family thought she was a nutcase! They were devout Hindu's, but somehow failed to see her eccentricities as a mark of high spirituality. And her strangeness increased. She began to pray so much to Krishna & Devi (both incarnations of God) that she began to take on their personality for all night "bhavans" (ceremonies where Amma is possessed by that God), where more people flocked to be around this up & coming guru. She said it herself, "I'm just a crazy girl." But her humbleness just increased her fanbase. In these trancendental states Amma would literally merge with God-consciousness, & miracles began to happen. She healed lepers of their wounds, and a few times even sucked on their tepid sores with her own lips to do it! She cured many of paralysis, cancers & even brought back to life the dead (people with no life signs for 30min-1hour).

Her parents still did not understand that her daughter had a direct connection to the Divine, & she was therefore treated with less respect, forced to quit school & made to do ALL of the household chores. Finally, her dad was sick of seeing her taken over by Krishna & Devi & one day approached Amma while she was in a trance & demanded those entities leave her body & never return to her. Ammaji answered that she would die instantly if that were so, and her father said for them to go ahead & leave then. Amma died on the spot, and for 8 hours her body remained lifeless while her devotees prayed for her return. Her dad also deeply regretted this & prayed for her life back, & to everybody's shock, Amma was brought back to life. She was so devoted to God & absorbed in God-consciousness (aka Self-Realization, aka Enlightenment) that she constantly chanted Divine Names. In Hinduism...there are many many! Ram, Ma, Krishna, Shiva...choose one. all God. all a way to empty your mind & free your busy monkey mind from all the internal chatter for awhile! Chanting mantras is extremely effective for finding one-pointedness &

connecting with the infinite (if like me, you are too restless to meditate, try chanting out loud, or silent internal chanting of mantras & woo-laa! you will be able to sit & still that busy mind). Amma was so devoted that she would chant while walking & if she missed ONE mantra for that step, she would walk backward & take the step again with the mantra. Constantly absorbed in God-consciousness. This is a true saint. A living saint! Some say she is one of the highest true guru's to walk the Earth in many generations. Perhaps no Jesus or Buddha, but very very high. Many more stories about Amma you can read in one of her biographies.

My experience at Amma's ashram is as follows. I arrived at 3am February 12th, a day after Amma returned from her

touring, & I stayed 2 weeks. The price for all 3 meals & a nice room is only 150 rupees ($4). This place is 200 meters from the beach, but unfortunately, not a swimming friendly area. There is a very nice swimming pool in the ashram that I used a few times! While there I enjoyed the space & freedom of not having a strict schedule, like most ashrams. There are no enforced routines that one must follow here. Amma encourages people not to freeload & to work towards their Self-Realization, instead of just coming to lounge. From the early days, people would come to Amma just to be around her...for that high feeling that one gets from being around a true guru. A realized master radiates love & peace energy so much, that it puts others into that state. I felt this everytime I was in the same room as Amma! While there, I went to 5 darshans, & received 5 hugs from her. Darshans are where Amma gives hugs, advice, & even gives you a mantra or spiritual name if you ask. I got my mantra from Amma. I wanted to do this in Seattle last June but had to leave the night she gave them. Now I have one, a secret mantra of my own! And let me tell works! Physics & metaphysics have proved what mystics & yogis have known for millenia - that the power of sound vibrations can altar human emotions, & even altar material reality (watch movie "What the Bleep" or read about about Dr. Mitoto's studies of words effects on water molecules). Even saying the mantra silently, which is done in this kind of mantra received by initiation & kept to oneselve, puts out thoughtwaves that produce vibration & link one to the guru & therefore Divine Mother (GOD). Amma uses the word Divine Mother alot. I like that alot better than the G word....GOD. GOD has a negative connotation to it from the ties with Christianity & it's holy inquistion bloody past. Besides, it feels better to call the Creator by a female name, since females give birth to everything, wouldn't Creator be the mother of everything & not an old white man with a beard? In Hinduism, Divine Mother is seen as everything. Everything & everybody are GOD in Hindu (same with Sikhism, Native American spirituality, etc..). Krishna, Shiva, Laxmi, Saraswati, and the thousands of other Hindu deities are just aspects of Divine Mother, and not to be confused as multiple Gods. They are divine incarnations that came in ancient history to show humans their own divinity. The Bhagavad Gita, one of India's main holy texts, shows us a way to guide us to this Divinity in find God-realization, or what has been called Self-Realization. As for the spiritual name, I like my birth name Adrian & will keep that. I think spiritual names are great for devotees that truly live the monk path & need to erase past ego

identification. I used to think it was cheesy for non-Indians to have a name like "Saraswati, Shiva, ...", but some have become

devout Hindu's & believers in these deities, so why not? Names & holy mantras are powerful, that's for sure, & you can easier

align yourself with high vibrations by taking on a spiritual name or mantra, especially when given by a real guru.

Although not required to have a strict schedule at Ammas ashram, there is one that people are encouraged to practice.

Getting up at 4:50am-5:50am to chant 1008 holy names, followed by meditation, breakfast 8-9am, seva, & darshans on

those particular days, which go from about 10am to 5pm on a slow day, midnight on a busy weekend! When I went to the darshans, I sat very close to Amma, & just like thousands of others, I too felt that LOVE pulse very strong. It is easy to meditate when in her presence. Ya know...they say Buddha put out an energy field of peace/love/compassion that was 40 kilometres radius! Now that is presence!!! Amma is without a doubt charged with an ego-less deep connection to Divine Mother. She gives these hugs 4 full days a week & during this time does not drink but a few sips of water, no bathroom breaks, & usually a few bites or no food. She just constantly pours out compassion & feels that only that will satisfy her appetite! She is known to sleep but 2-4 hours a night, most of her life!

While at Amma's, people are required only to do volunteer work for 2 hours a day, called seva, or self-less devotion. This seva is known to take your mind off your own egoistic attempts at striving forward to gain more material goods. It is a service meant to bring you into deeper states of giving, for giving's sake. I got put in the kitchen weighing & washing vegetables. Although I did not feel attached to the outcome, it was an extra bonus to get free coconut water & pieces of coconut meat now & then. :)

And this turned out to be an easy job, sometimes only half hour a day. It was the perfect job because I signed up for 7 days of Shirodhara treatments, which demanded that I stop doing yoga, relax, & not work too hard. Shirodhara is an ayurvedic technique of receiving many litres of good oils (picked for your body type & condition) heated & slowly dripped onto your third eye to bring deep relaxation & concentration. I found myself so relaxed that I was able to fall asleep 4 out of 7 treatments. I usually am so mentally active that it is only 1-2 days a year when I can take a nap (usually when i'm completely exhausted). These treatments have helped me to come down off this anxious phase & enjoy relaxation again! I was again reminded that doing a self-massage

every night is also a great way to get deeper sleep & way to relaxation. Just a little massage oil & your own two hands

on your head, face,neck, shoulders, arms, legs, & feet...places that YOU can reach! At the least, the head & feet

can work wonders! Another Keralan ayurveda special treatment is called Panchakarma. It is usually done in 7 day intervals,

with 2 months being the full treatment. It is a complete detox, rejuvination, & relaxation treatment that was invented

for royalty in the ancient days, consisting of daily massage, shirodhara, sinus cleansing, herbal supplements, & other

methods to flush the body of toxins. In Kerala you can do 2 month treatment for about $1600, which would cost $10,000 back home. I feel very healthy for the most part so will maybe try panchakarma later in my life? I did see an ayurvedic/naturopath

doctor at the ashram to get some second opinions on health issues I am working on totally healing (allergies, anxiety,

digestion, diet). I got some very good advice and bought some organic ayurvedic supplements to aid in coming into

even greater health & balance. Am I a health nut or what? Feels good to feel good, ya know?

Since I couldn't do yoga most of my time at Amma's, I got into doing japa (mantra meditation) quite often. I felt really peaceful & clear after doing an hour or so of this in the morning & evenings, but unfortunately, my anxiety kept returning in waves, & it wasn't until the final days of the Shirodhara that I was not 'cycling' back & forth with.....relaxation... .then....nervousness.

One of the highlights of my stay there was hanging out with a new friend Rebecca, from Ashland Oregon, whom I had met

at Arambol. She & I watched many sunsets, ate together, laughed together, & took a 3 hour imfamous Kerala boat ride up

the canal. We went to this very cool pagoda style ancient temple - looked like it would be in Japan, Korea, or China with the dark wood, red tile roof, stone wall. Only this was Hindu & there happened to be a 10 day festival of some sorts during our brief

visit. Good timing again! To enter, guys had to take off their shirts, which i thought was odd in this sexually repressed country.

It was a short, fun visit full of many stares, bows to the gods & goddess statues, & a happy departure from a group of curious

kids. When I come back to Kerala I would like to take a one week boat trip up the many canals...what fun!

Amma left for her north India tour on February 25th, & I left the day after feeling complete there & thankful for the

time spent near Amma! Next stop, return to Arambol Goa beaches!

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