It was my first retreat. I was sharing a room with a long time devotee I had never met. I was not even worried but what did unnerve me, was how would I react when this spiritual Mother, this world renowned guru would arrive? Would I feel something special within? Would there be a sign from the universe? I was going out of curiosity that summer of 2014 as I had been seeking something to help me grow spiritually. I was open to learn.
The first day I arrived I waited with my token, in a long line, to be embraced by this amazing woman. I reached the stage and sat down waiting to be summoned to move forward. I could feel my body shake out of anticipation or nervousness.
I wasn’t sure which.
My mind went back to when I had to face the bishop as a child at my Confirmation. I was so nervous I had to pee so bad! Not unusual since I was confirmed at five years old. Young? Yes, but I was tall and my mother wanted to spare the embarrassment of towering over my peers, so the priest gave his permission. I took extra Catechism lessons and memorized The Apostles’ Creed and I would be led to that man with the tall pointed hat! I did not appreciate the slap on the cheek (The teacher forgotten to tell me about that part)
Minutes later, I was standing in front of the beloved Mother and I lowered my body to be embraced. Her warm hug was like that of my grandmother’s, as if we knew each other forever and yet we were strangers…or had we once met in another lifetime?
Three days of similar rituals, meditations, warm compassionate talks and beautiful stories, singing…so much singing and the tap tap of the Tabla drums filled the room. On Devi Bhava, after Amma had completed all her hugs, her blessings and it was time to leave…she stood up on the stage, looking at all her devotees for one last long endearing moment.
The vast room filled with thousands of people fell silent…mere echoes of a far away cough, a tiny baby gurgling and Amma’s eyes on all of her devotees; was it possible to feel this pure love wash over each and everyone in that hall?
crowd falls silent
Holy Mother’s reverent gaze
beat of a heart,
echoes in the chamber of a chest
tears roll softly down a cheek
© Tournesol ’15