Hi there, well my blog writing has certainly stepped down a few gears after a very prolific March. I must admit I was probably spending too much time in the email cafe but all of that stuff was wanting to be expressed so that was that.
I'm pretty well although I did have two or three days there of boredom, frustration and confusion which seems to have passed now. Can happen where ever one is. That said it has become very quiet here and becomes increasingly hot. It is quite likely that I will hit the road in the next two or three weeks and head over to Kerala.
There is one famous Saint there commonly known as 'hugging Ma' or 'Amma'. She travels the world every year holding events where thousands of people come to receive her blessings which come in the form of a peronal hug as well as a very devotional and highly charged atmosphere.
I met her myself last time in London October 1999 while I was in the Royal Navy. At that time I was going through a lot of suffering due to inner turmoil over what to do with my life. During the weekend with Amma I tuned into and softened into the inner depths, helped greatly by her presence, and also received a big boost in energy from her. I was in a very peaceful state for about a week afterwards.
The turmoil returned but perhaps not so intense as before and some months later another breakthrough came with meditation where the confusion evaporated and I had a clear knowing that I should leave the Navy and come to India. As it happened I did leave the Navy but instead of going to India life had another plan and I ended up meeting Maitreya and emigrating to New Zealand instead.
That was a rich time and here I am 9 years later, imbibing the stillness of Arunachala and finally going to see Amma again. I have met several of her devotees here both Western and Indian and at one point there was a gang of five of us (all staying at the same Ashram) and we were going for swimming, walking around the mountain and afternoon refreshments together. I called us the Sat-gang but neglected to get a picture.
They have mostly gone now but there is one Indian man, Batel Valsaram, with whom I have become good meditation buddies. This morning we went around the mountain with one other dude, went swimming in one of the big man-made holy watering holes called 'Tanks' (far from people so I am confident it is clean) and then had a game of chess after lunch. That was the first time I had played since with my Grandad in Scotland over Christmas. It was quite a good match and gives the brain a good exercise. I won as it happened but we'll see how future games go.
Other things happening are the situation with the young college girl I mentioned in a recent post. I have been over there for a couple of Tamil lessons and think that that could be a viable business for her with the westerners. In addition two generous offers of help have come in so far in reponse to my blog request along the lines I suggested. I am just checking into some final details in the next days and then I'll give my report.
I have also been a couple of times to see one 'Aum Amma' a few km's from where I am now. 'Amma' means mother in India and is often a name given to lady Saints here. Aum Amma is very sweet. She appears to be in some kind of ecstatic devotional trance most of the time and during 'Darshan' (seeing/meeting with a Saint) there is devotional Indian singing while she is all decked out in flower garlands and covering herself and those nearby in buckets full of flower petals.
The first time I went, after the initial session, she met with each person individually in a private room and gives them a big hit of cosmic loving. Like hugging Ma in Kerala (who is much much more well known), Aum Amma is considered by her devotees to be an incarnation or embodiment of the Divine Mother. That is the cosmic principle or Divine expression of Love. I can't comment on that but I do know that there is a very special energy around some of these beings and I have met many people who have been helped to lasting inner transformation by it (Satsang Werner being one of them).
On the social welfare front Hugging Ma in particular has instigated or inspired huge amounts of service work in providing disaster relief, schools, education, work skills, medical treatment etc. etc. for many under privileged people in India. In general it is probably better to give money to well run aid organisations like this rather than to individual cases although there is always an exception.
I'm not sure that Aum Amma is compos mentis enough to put anything like that together or whether she could even hold a reasonable conversation. Apparently Hugging Ma was a bit like that too in her early days but eventually adjusted to normal functioning, or should I say super-normal functioning which might be more accurate.
So no cosmic fireworks so far but Aum Amma puts a smile on my face and warms up my heart. Check her out for yourself :