Today is a special day: Mother’s Day. Today I am filled with so many wonderful feelings.
I remember hearing Baba Ram Dass speak of the first time he realized that his guru had unconditional love for him and what an impression that had on him. As I listened to him, it made me realize that I was a truly blessed child, born to an amazing, loving woman with unconditional love for her children. I was not always the easiest child but my mother was always loving and understanding. Even when I did something wrong, she was able to talk to me and explain how to be a better person. She was able to get her points across without ever resorting to hitting me or yelling and I had total respect for her. She taught us love and compassion for others. She taught us to never judge others who were different from us. She taught us it was okay to talk to strangers and make new friends. (It was a different world then, but I still do that even now.)
My mom loved to tell jokes and it was her own laughter before she said the anticipated punch line that made her delivery so precious. She taught me the wonderful lesson that laughter was the greatest medicine and it kept my family sane during tough times. I think one of her greatest gifts was her wonderful hugs; it was like being wrapped in the arms of the Goddess of Love and Compassion. She could comfort any pains a child could experience with those hugs. Whenever I have a rough day, before I go to bed,I close my eyes and imagine being a child in her loving arms.
Have you even been hugged by a Saint? Every year a living saint Mata Amritanaandamayi (known throughout the world as “Ammachi” or “Amma” which means mother) comes to New York as part of her worldwide tour, this year in July. She will hug 100’s of people a day, spreading love and compassion. People are so taken by her love that they often break down crying from just one hug. Her entire life has been dedicated to alleviating the pain and suffering (both physical and emotional) of all. In this incarnation, Amma has hugged over 34 million people and raises money for charity. I try to make it my business to take family and friends along with me to get hugged by her. When asked where she gets the energy to help so many people, she answers: “Where there is true love, anything is effortless.”
Today, as we celebrate and honor mothers, I wanted to share a quote by Ammach from a speech at the Global Peace Initiative of Women’s Religious and Spiritual Leaders (October 7, 2002):
“The essence of motherhood is not restricted to women who have given birth: it is a principle inherent in both women and men. It is an attitude of the mind. It is love – and that love is the very breath of life. No one would say, ‘I will breath only when I am with my family and friends; I won’t breathe in front of my enemies.’ Similarly, for those in whom motherhood has awakened, love and compassion for everyone are as much part of their being as breathing.
So to all the men and women, today and everyday, in the spirit of motherhood, I hope you will practice the attitude of compassion. Say out loud (or silently) “I love you” to every soul you come across… yes, even your enemies… and with this love, we can change the world for the better.
I wish you all a wonderful day… may Divine Love and light surround you and give you peace, strength and joy and may your day be filled with blessings.
Happy Mother’s Day!