Amma, Gurus and retreats - Nov 2015

A weekend on retreat with Guru Dev, Padma and friends, & then with Beloved Ammaji in London Nov 2015.

It’s a strange life living with Gurus. You cannot write it…people would not believe ……

This last week I have followed my heart to an earthly reconnection; first through a weekend retreat with my soul family of Integral Yoga on our annual Samhein retreat at Cleeve house in Wiltshire; and secondly with Beloved Ammaji.

A week that might actually have been a lifetime or several ….. last week seems so long ago.

With Gurus the impossible becomes possible, a flow emerges, a flow of service and joy. As attention wakes up to waking down to the earth and what needs attention from human beings, from us, from each one of us a different life emerges…….

This is the blessing of sangha, one's soul family coming together lovingly with attention to the Divine in each one, Meditation & Yoga to train the mind, body & emotions to flow from the heart and to listen, pay attention to Love: Relaxation, Sound travelling, Bhajans & singing to open to the inner journey of soul reconnection, soul remembering and oneness with Divine Presence. It changes you into a nicer and very busy but very relaxed person.

People seem surprised by the busy-ness of my life flowing from event to event, sounding my Gong, reconnecting people with Source…….but there is so much to do, and why not do it? Someone has to ….. actually we all have to……..

That really is Amma’s message, “endless selfless service is essential, giving whatever one can give, tirelessly, joyfully, pushing through the mainly self imposed barriers of habit and conditioning ,………. the earth is in chaos, people are living in chaos with no boundaries with their children or on corporate greed, craziness in their jobs, as anxious managers impose on anxious staff, ill thought through reforms that cost massively in the long term, and create short term madness; illusions of time limitations, massive exploitation , starvation, homelessness which we ignore it at our peril.

Self protection forces us into boxes of self imposed limitations, self driven concerns and outcomes, distractions and an endless satisfaction of transient desires.”

Action, - with inner guidance, & the support of a magical guru teacher; impacts and is helpful in the world; indeed it is essential.

Gurus are not really about sitting on platforms with devotees bowing down , although what that teaches the mind is the value of surrender to Love. Real Gurus are about Love and Service. They serve selflessly…..who in their right mind wants to hug 4000 people a day, or listen endlessly to needy requests from people fraught with guilt and anxiety, trauma and pain? They do it to serve all of us…to show us how we can live more harmoniously with ourselves and the earth. Their service is to us, to help us be the best we can be, and helping us to rise above the mundane preoccupations of the mind and the “little self” into a wider world where there is so much to be done. They serve from a wider perception of the mechanics of how the universe operates karmically impacting from lifetime to lifetime, and a clear understanding that we all create our own reality & destinies, through our perceptions, our viewpoints, endless thoughts and desires. Their message is common through all the major master teachers and religions:

Group meditation and group service can change the world…. The world is not as we see it…. change our perception and realize that as human beings, we can make a profound impact and she –Ammaji , the Guru , the Mother , Divine Presence, will help…with the right connections, with the right magical intervention .

Amma is actually superhuman, impossible, magical, inspirational, tricky……… an emanation of Kali , setting unusual puzzles for the mind to resolve for our soul’s growth where hopefully we settle the restless mind and can sit in heart………

Trying to describe the experience of Amma is impossible….. its like trying to describe all the subtle and not so subtle layers of India.

Ally Pally hums with the energy of endless sounds, carrying aspirations, energy and resolutions, winding up the Shakti, touching each heart impossibly. The Goddess works in mysterious ways…….

I meditate with her: breathing Ma-Om into the deepest heart place and am touched by the depth, the momentary flash of diamond- light blessing she imparts, as she connects soul to soul…… waves of bliss, indescribable bliss. A moment of eternal emptiness filled with eternal light, sustained in the sound current of massive meditation. A moment carved onto the timeline of soul-growth, inscribed forever in memory, the memory a mere reflection of the indescribable beauty of connection & interconnectedness.

In that moment we are all one, no distinction, no-one better than the other, all together a sea of consciousness, making a difference to the consciousness of humanity; in relationship with the magnificent hugeness of earth-bound, beyond earth consciousness. She shares the cosmic soup with Grace.

As she transcends the laws of human physique, physics, so we are each one moved into action beyond our little selves and the limitations we place on our possibilities.

I meet friends…….interestingly most of them the organisers, part of the great team behind this huge annual event at Alexandra Palace, each event just one microcosm of the huge number of events in Ammaji’s life. I offer service. I receive deep physical healing, I buy my Christmas gifts!.........

India recreated in an unlikely venue…..

She takes people and uses them to their potential stretching them beyond human limits, supporting them on the inner planes and throwing up mirrors of their consciousness and the self-imposed limitations they put on themselves. Her Swami says…she keeps us busy….. we don’t sit down….

I first met Amma about the time I got the Gong 23 years ago. Then she was at Battersea Town hall surrounded with nice people in white. I did not understand, I did not really connect, my head was full of myself, my problems, my anxieties…..

How would I get home on time, how could I get “my “ darshan quick enough to make it home to my bed. She sent me away confused reflecting my chaos, …I thought, without making connection… but in fact it was that year I met Padma, with her picture of her Beloved, my Beloved Guru Dev Satchidananda….sitting under a tree, in Blissful contemplation….whilst actually inspiring an immense service of training yoga teachers… training people to become useful instruments for humanity, for the earth. He works deep at what appears to be a different pace….but actually not. Just contemplate Padma’s schedule or any of the Swami’s there is not much time for rest……

Until this year I have always thought Ammaji wanted me in Integral Yoga learning to be a yoga teacher…offering the sounds that have come to me to be shared, to help quicken that movement, those souls….. she does want me there sometimes, that is one of “my places,” one of “my families,” home of so many friends , each one a model of perfection….so many perfectionists modeling selfless service and a deeply peaceful meditative life.: a place for the learning of this soul.

But this year as human greed stretches humanity on the path to extinction… there is more….. so much more for us all to do…..

Meditating together in joyful sounds, is the core of the wake up that is waking down to take charge of our human interaction on the earth, maintaining and sustaining health and wellbeing, the birthright of the earth for our children and grandchildren.

It is an immense privilege to serve, to be called to serve.

The personal journey, a few impressions,:

I arrive to the mele of sound and spaciousness, the carcophany that is India at Ally Pally and am immediately drawn to the Seva table….. I offer a sitting service, - legs and weight prohibit too much standing around, later of course she laughs at my self-imposed limitations, offering me the standing service of marshalling people by the fire exit, as she leaves the hall some hours later, ironic – she has great humour in her play.

I must be doing something right, for as she sweeps down the red carpet to my little marshaled area, gatekeeping the doorway, she veers off the path straight at me, grasping my hand, as she blesses those standing in my section, her left hand touching the raised anxious waiting hands making use of my hand for physical support…not that she actually needs it… it is a blessing!

I seek to book a massage early on… I am resolved to share some of the fruits of my recent labours spending for her charities, I just love the win / win of what she creates, its part of my conditioned businesswoman's heritage, & its part of the magical synchronicities she orchestrates; although I am still musing on the story/parable she shared of the woman with a peanut allergy sharing her peanuts with the taxi man - he asks "why do you buy peanuts that you cannot eat." She says "I like the chocolate" he asks "what chocolate?" she replies Oh I suck that off first!.....…..

We in the west seem to find it impossible to give unconditionally, expecting nothing in return, like the woman in the story, so much of our giving is just a little tarnished by the selfish desire that comes with it. Its amazing we are so unconditionally loved. I hate it when we dish up Aid to foreign countries with all the ties of trade for the UK built in, but hey ho another little reflection on my conditioning to contemplate......

At lunchtime I receive a great acupressure rebalance which points me to more kidney and spleen support through homeopathy.

At tea time, I indulge in a deep reflexology that shifts stuck intestinal energetics and points me to a trauma I have somehow managed to ignore in my endless self searching…and lots of advice on food and weight loss….odd how people seem obsessed with projecting their worries about food and weight onto me…do they do it to Amma? I think not……… The treatment has kept me off sugar even in the face of a feast of cake for at least 2 days!

Then there is the leela of the darshan tickets…..always a leela![1] The ego needs that polishing I guess! This is how the story played……

My Buddhist friend from London arrives later than me & needs to leave early, so I swapped my ticket with her…. She ends up in the darshan queue making a great relationship with a buyer who can potentially help her project and the Integral Yoga Aum Sri Lankan project and is fascinated by Amma’s ability to magically connect people……I end up being stopped from “having the hug” until the evening where I end up at the front of the queue for one of the first darshans…that actually do not start until 10 pm…..

This does rather throw my carefully planned schedule of driving to Bristol so that when I finally exit the building minus my shawl that has mysteriously disappeared it is at 11.30 …my son in Bristol is not answering his phone and fear arises he will be in bed, …I will be locked out…. I will have to sleep in the car …no blanket! Just like all those homeless people I just asked for her to help, she shows me what it feels like to be out on the streets at night, shows me all my attachments and fears…in the gentlest of ways.

So being well supported fortunately I text three friends trying to find someone awake. Two respond immediately and I am soon on my way back to see my homeopathic for what turns out to be a necessary completion and chat until 3 am.

Oh and then there’s the Christmas shopping… mainly done now! All monies to Amma’s charities… Fantastic.

Fullness and blessings for Diwali…..and why did I leave & not return on the second day……because I am stupid! Why would anyone not want to spend every second of every day with such a great soul who blesses the UK by coming here every year.

Thank you Beloved Amma.

Thank you Blessed Sat Guru Swami Satchidananda, Thank you Padma

With Love Light Peace & Joy

Ammaprema Grace


[1] Leela= A hindu cosmological concept denoting a cosmic imaginary play that happens in life . It is designed to help a student gain a refection of the projections in their lives and how they play out. To give an example : one brings an issue or a question to a Guru for resolution and shortly after one’s life begins to play out elements of the question, as a drama in ones life that provide one with the answer or help for the situation. It’s a bit like transference in counselling where the energetic imprint of the issues can be played out in the relationship between counselled and counsellor. In this context it is designed to help one realize how the mind acts in ones life and to help the process of dropping the mind and living in the heart.

Darshan= Darshan blessing is the way different spiritual teachers bless one. Amma does it with hugs and one has to get a darshan ticket to tell you roughly what time your hug will be. Mother Meera does it in groups with her eyes. Dalai Lama & many Buddhist Lamas do it through group teaching and blessings, or head to head, exchange of scarves, touching the head. Guru Dev Satchidananda created an organization of yoga teachers and a model ecological community where people can grow into healthy ways of living and visit his tomb /house for individual communication, sometimes strange things happen with his pictures! Some say it clears obstacles to spiritual growth.