Yesterday, I shared the Amma experience with my daughter, Tayler. I was totally surprised that my 14 year old daughter said yes she would like to come with me. A small group of us had planned to make the trip to New York city. As the date got closer, the group got smaller. I now feel like that was the Grace of the Divine at work.
By the time we arrived at the Manhatten Center all the chairs up front for the newcomers were taken. We ended up having to sit in the balcony. (BTW, the view is better from there) "Amma will be arriving shortly" someone announced. I see that the devotees are preparing for her arrival. Flowers in hand and camera in position. I felt Amma's presence before I saw her. "That was a strange feeling" I thought to myself. Was that just my imagination or my excitement to see her? Who knows.
I'd like to say that the meditation at the beginning of the program was good but unfortunately, the man behind me didn't know how to put his cell phone on vibrate so it rang several times and then his fumbling around with it just made it worse. Om Namah Shivaya....... He was trying to turn it off, poor guy....
As Amma began giving darshan (hugging people), Tayler and I wandered around looking at the vendors. As people from the chairs up front started receiving darshan, the seats opened up and Tayler and I moved to the front of the hall to be closer to Amma. Watching her, for me, is just as powerful an experience as actually being hugged by her. Words cannot experience what I was witnessing. Her face so full of love, it feels like you are witnessing an intimate moment between mother and child.
Finally, after 4 hours, with our tokens in hand we make our way to the back of the line. we patiently move from seat to seat until we find ourselves kneeling in front of Amma. She embraces Tayler first and then I find myself in her arms. I know you're not suppose to hug her but my arms naturally went around her waist.
It happens so fast but the embrace felt like it was so long. The smell of roses I remember and I remember how all the noise of the swami's chanting and music, all the noise of the people bustle around us seemed to disappear and all I could hear was Amma whispering in my ear. Just as I was feeling like I was melting into the experience, somone yanked me away.
I stumble, I can't see because my glasses were in my bag. I can't find my bag to get my glasses because I can't see. My heart is racing, I'm feeling myself starting to panic. I can't see, I don't know where Tayler is.
I scramble around on the floor, I find my bag and pull out my glasses. I still can't find Tayler. I'm thinking she's probably so disoriented from the darshan and she doesn't have her glasses either! OMG! She finds me. Keep in mind that this entire drama last about 60 seconds but again it felt so long.
I would have liked to sit on the floor beside Amma for a little while but I think the experience was a bit overwhelming for Tayler. We walked outside, ate some lunch. Then went back to the balcony seats to watch Amma and to wait for our travel companion. How happy I was to share this experience with my daughter! I don't really know what she was thinking or feeling but I know I was happy to spend time with her. I am so grateful that she is so open minded and easygoing.
I have to say that the Amma experience was even more blissful since I had Tayler by my side!!
Om Namah Shivaya!