I recently spent time with Amma at one of her retreats in San Jose. It was an incredible experience on so many levels. The best way that I can describe the retreat is comparing it to a very intense emotional healing, personal development or self-help program. Ya know the kinds that require SO much work. The writing, the talking, the lectures, the sharing, the homework, and the list goes on. And ya know even though it is SO much effort and “processing” during that period, at the end, you always experience the result of awakened consciousness. Yes? You always feel, in a way, rebirthed, cleared, wiped clean, and the benefits of your effort are all revealed.
Yeah, well after spending a few days receiving and witnessing Amma give Darshan, I experienced that same sense of renewal, epiphany, and paradigm shift at the end. Except, the actual experience is the EXACT opposite of effort.
Time with Amma is about absolute surrender. Zero effort. It’s about letting go and simply receiving her infinite Love, her embrace and allowing the Darshan to take care of itself. There is no talking, processing, sharing – haha, and instead there are trays full of vegan chocolate cake! (Sooo basically HEAVEN!) You sit in a chair for 3 days – one night we sat for 17 hours straight or some nonsense – completely mesmerized by her capacity of Love and pumped full of so much Shakti you couldn’t sleep even if you tried. This beingness – her Love – heals people by waking them up without all the effortful attempts to shift, change and transform.
Just being “in Love” with Amma has healed millions of people.
One of my greatest takeaways was peeling back another layer as it relates to the difference between human love and Divine Love.
Humanly love is really just attachment. We have labeled what that “attachment” feels like mentally, emotionally and vibrationally as love. In this sense, we have decided to put love between you and me, like in the phrase “I love you.” In this humanly sense, it is love that “attaches” me to you. This is not True Love. Humanly love/attachment is sourced from the ego.
Divine Love is totally free of this attachment of me and you. There is no “love” or “attachment” between us or anything used to tether us together (marriage license, terminology, etc.). Rather, it is about being “Love” – waking up to the essence of who we really are inside by transcending the ego – and holding that in the totality of our individual beings, together.
Divine Love is about becoming Love. Instead of “I love you,” it is “I am Love.”
This reminded me of the journey and practice of Yoga – I am Love, you are Love and we step forward into Love together, yes?
Namaste = When I am in this place of Love, and you are in this place of Love, we are One.
In this sense, you see that Love is no longer an attachment but rather a state of being. This is the beauty of the yogic path and its teachings regarding non-attachment & non-clinging – aparigraha. The absolute truth is, the greater you cling to something, the greater the suffering when it is lost.
This right here is the Achilles’ heel of the human condition. So many people are in incredible depths of suffering due to their attachments they refer to as “love.” They choose to cling to the idea of “love” as something that will bring forth the feeling of Oneness but as long as there is attachment, there is ego, and while there is ego there is no Oneness. To me it’s pretty damn clear – now sure what all y’all are missin’?
The Great Work of awakening the consciousness helps us to dissolve the ego, transcend this wheel of suffering and to instead become Love. Then from that place, making the conscious choice to step forward into Love – into the Oneness – with someone else.
If only we could wake up to the profound value and fulfillment relating in this way of “being Love” actually brings to our hearts and souls. Being Love and stepping into Love together, without the attachment and clinging that causes suffering, is an eternal & infinite experience. In this way – Love can never be lost. People suffer inside when they have lost something they “loved” and/or fear that they will lose this something in the future.
Being Love in relationships frees us from this illusion of loss.
My whole time with Amma, circled around this concept over and over again. It’s very beautiful (sometimes slightly annoying) how in the presence of great masters, you will get exactly what you need, instead of what you want. Guess I needed to take “inventory” of my past relationships because the whole time I was there I kept coming face-to-face with a handful of men that each individually were reflections of all my past lovers. Hahaha, needless to say – Mother was working me!
When each one would reveal himself to me at the retreat, I noticed that I was drawn towards each of them for very different reasons. Whether the “leaning towards” (best way I can describe the inner feeling vs. using the word “attraction”) was consciousness & eloquent speaking in one man (Oooohhh and his Jesus hair & beard...insert 3 heart-eyes emojis), pure, palpable devotion in another, creative expression in the next, and then bright eyes, a charismatic personality and remarkably sincere compliments in the last. It was interesting to witness how radically different my past lovers were and yet all so beautiful in their own way.
Afterwards a friend pointed out to me, that all those things were qualities that I embody (minus the Jesus beard and hair). So basically, what? I'm attracted to myself? Ha! But think about that for a moment. All kidding aside...if I do not exist outside of you, then you are...therefore, I am. (Insert Master Yoda's voice here) Hmmm...interesting, yes?
That experience brought me into a place of really appreciating each ones unique, natural gifts and talents. At the very end of the retreat, having swam through the sea of all my past lovers for days, I noticed that my heart leaned towards the reflection of one specific man. There was just one that stood out above the rest.
This man represented my best friend when I was young, let’s call him Vladimir (keeping his character Russian...wink!) Before Vlad and I were ever lovers, we literally shared a solid friendship for many years. We did everythhhhhinnnnng together. From attending church services together, dragging him shopping with me, gorging on chocolate, ditching class and pulling ridiculous pranks on campus (you don’t even want to know but it involved streaking, a gas mask and body paint), to spending the holidays together.
One day, after years of being best friends, I literally woke up in the morning, dumbfounded and shocked...”I’m in love with Vlad.” Ha! I remember going to my parents and confessing to them my epiphany. I remember what they said to me:
“We were wondering when you were going to realize that.”
Vlad was the best friend of all best friends. When I was a teenager I was in a very dark place – my environment was toxic, dramatic, traumatic and crushing to my spirit. At that time, I can remember lying awake in bed, crying for hours, until finally at 1am or so I would break down, roll over and text Vlad. He would literally get in his car, drive 30 minutes to crawl in my bed and hold me until my tears dried up and I would finally fall asleep. Then he would get up and go home!! These incidents came many years before there was ever a romantic or passionate fire between us.
After Amma’s, I contacted him. Without one second of hesitation. A friend asked me if I thought I should touch base and what I thought he’d do if I did? I said, “Oh he’ll respond in 1 minute.” I knewwwww deep in my heart it was right to contact him. Not like we are meant to rekindle some “lost love,” but all the pieces of the puzzle were coming together and I sensed he had a missing piece. And he sure did.
He literally responded in one minute with a beautiful message. I knew it! A message remarking about the “angel” I was and have always been to him. He wrote to me that he just recently shared with his friends the influence I had on his life and that looking back now he can see how many of his accomplishments and successes can all be threaded back to me. To me?!?!?! What!?!?!? I was blown-away!
I cried like a baby when I read it, the same why I bawled when he held me 15 years ago. But instead of crying because of the pain within my heart – my suffering – I cried because I realized that the Love we shared between us, was True Love...it had never been lost, not even a drop. We had been each other’s Angel for so, so long.
After drying my eyes, I realized that I have been so blessed in relationships. Wow. That although I’m not married with an army of children, I have truly, experienced Love in relationship that far surpasses what most relationships are built on --- attraction.
Today, right now, there are two men in my life that I never hesitate to call, that I know would show up for me if I REALLLLLLLY needed them...which that Truth makes me never need them. Beautiful, right? And more importantly, they always hold me in their hearts. One of them still holds me when I have nowhere else to hide my face and cry. (Hey you, if I don’t tell you enough...thank you.) These two men are amazing examples of being LOVE. They never tossed our cultivated friendship along with me away when the time of our togetherness romantically came to an end.
I realized that the difference between these two men and the others I have shared moments with, is that they were never just my lover; they were first and foremost, my absolute #1 best friend.
What a beautiful awakening of absolute CLARITY! The desire, the attraction, even the sexual chemistry doesn’t last, right? It doesn’t!!! You and I both know this from failed attempts at relating. What most people refer to as “chemistry” is really a chemical cocktail my energy psychologist refers to as “the mating instinct.”
Conscious, fulfilling intimacy and sexuality in partnership can be sought out by declining this offer to drop to low levels of relating (desire & lust) and rather choosing to become ONE, through sacred practices that support the “beingness” together rather than getting your rocks off. (Wink!)
To sum it alllll up – my radical clarity after spending time with Amma is as follows:
For Love to truly last a lifetime --- just “be LOVE” together with your best friend.
When I am in this place of Love, and you are in this place of Love, we are One.