Wednesday, June 17, 2009


I went to the fabulous Radisson Hotel at LAX
to see Mata Amritanandamayi,
otherwise known as Amma.

Amma, or 'Mother' is an Indian Spiritual teacher,
and is most widely recognized for her
humanitarian efforts.
Her followers call her the 'Hugging Saint.'

I've never been to an Amma event,
nor had I really heard much about her,
but a friend of mine said a saint was hugging people,
and I thought, 'Why not?'

We arrived and got in line for Darshan,
the opportunity to meet Amma,
get a hug from her,
and subsequently receive her blessing.

There were booths selling amazing scarves,
incense, and tons of books on spirituality.

But something more interesting caught my eye.

The Amma Doll.

Amma Dolls came into being when a
young girl living at Amma's Ashram in India
carried a doll with her everywhere.
Amma suggested that she carry a doll like
Krishna or something similar,
which would help her go toward God
instead of going toward worldly things.

The girls mother asked Amma if she could
make a doll for the girl in her likeness,
and Amma replied with a resounding 'Yes!'

That night the woman made an Amma doll and
the young girl started to carry the doll everywhere they went.

People she encountered, without knowing why, wanted to hold the doll.
The doll became a way for others to receive darshan,
a spiritual encounter with the saint.
Women and men alike claimed to have a spiritual experience
through hugging this doll.

I am always one for having a souvenir of my experiences,
spiritual or otherwise,
so I gave a $20 bill to a woman
selling tiny Amma dolls, about 3 inches tall,
and got in line for my hug.

*my Amma Doll

Amma pushed me to her breast, chanting into my ear,
rocking me like a small baby.
She smelled of incense and rosewater,
and a calmness washed over me.

I was loved.

She blessed my little Amma doll, and sent me on my way,
with a few rose petals, and a Hershey's kiss.

When we left, I realized that I truly AM loved.
And, by many people.

And although I am grateful to have been blessed by a saint,
and to have this sweet little doll to talk to,
ask questions, and have something
to hold as a connection to the Greater Universe,
I realize that I have all that I need inside.

Maybe THAT is what she whispered into my ear...

At the very least, I have a sweet little friend to hold at night,
while I dream of travelling across the stars.


1 comment:

  1. My friend sees a women named Mother Mira who gives her hugs, spiritual guidance and blesses her.