I have a treacherous relationship with Amma, the hugging saint who has graced over 33 million people with her loving embrace.
When I finally resolved to see her, I fooled myself into thinking, based on the cute cotton replica dolls of her, the friendly glittering Ganesh’s and the flowers sprawled all over the stage, that it would all be fluffy love.
Alas, Amma was about to reveal to me what she does best: her world-class capability of shape shifting into whatever she pleases.
In my case, she came forth as the goddess Kali – the badass, scythe-wielding goddess who slays the illusion of our ego to allow the truth to take its place.
Connecting with Amma was the beginning of a deeper plunge into the world of magic, where I could tell she was working through me like the master she is – yielding her sword in the realm of the unseen and the subconscious whilst I attempted to carry on with my life as normal to no avail.
At that time, I had made a commitment to get through a gripping obsession that involved a man I had been addicted to and had lost the better part of a year trying to disentangle myself from.
By day, I could feel Amma’s ‘love’ like syrup over my heart. I could easily tap into her field even more so when I joined my voice with other devotees for a good session of Bhakti Yoga, or what I also see as musical astral travel.
By night however, my dreams became terrifying, as I saw myself being dropped into a boiling cauldron of hot oil, frying in my own personal hell.
I was in a circle of flames as I watched all of my worst fears that kept me separate from myself, devour me.
That’s when I started my descent. As I went down, my saving grace was that I started to drop things off, too. I started to alchemize feelings and emotions quicker and more easily.
Sometimes there were casualties in the purifying process – old stories, frequencies and even people, came bubbling up from every corner of my life to be dealt with one way or another, and when finally even my shame began to be gobbled up by the flames, I slowly started to resurface, only this time with new skin and with a similar flair to Kali.
I had tapped into some rare form of unprecedented personal power and it seemed as though I could channel the goddess Kali herself.
For a period of a few months, I took people and situations down in a full blaze of glory, finally free to express myself fully, no holes barred.
My anger was uncalibrated, persistent and audacious.
Eventually I began to simmer down and my gratitude for Amma grew, as did my heart and my feeling of being a whole embodied person.
I had traveled to the underworld to find the other pieces of me that I had relinquished to merge with them again. I reconnected to my body and began to saturate myself with my orgasm and the pure charge of my emotions.
I understood that far from just providing a soft pillowy shoulder to cry on, Amma was sheer orgasmic force, wanting to be approached with careful consideration. She was the unhindered power of the feminine, life energy itself.
Amma is the same as Mother Earth, with all her transformational powers.
She knows that all bodies eventually return to the black fertile earth, to be devoured and to receive her life to live again. She is a reminder that the soul develops in dark places and that ultimately soul must be rooted in body.
Like Mother Earth herself, she reminds us that we must ground in the reality of nature and incorporate all sides of ourselves, be they pleasant or unpleasant, light or dark.
I had no choice but to be in my body and fully feel all the sensations and all the desires that were coming up. I started to prowl like a wild animal, burning embers just under my skin, lighting me up from the inside out. My secret fire had been ignited.
My secret fire is my essence. It’s the place I strive to live from nowadays.
It’s the fuel that allows the process of alchemy to work its way through my body.
My secret fire allows my dreams to manifest, as it heats up the crucible inside my belly from which all my dreams and desires become reality.
My secret fire always reminds me to come home to my most authentic self, because it can only thrive from that place. It is fed by it and nurtured by it.
And Amma? She remains my true Guru in the original sense of the word: a way shower that has led me from the darkness to the light and back again.
I am eternally grateful to her for showing me time and time again that unconditional love goes hand in hand with the need to surrender to the dark.
In our place of darkness we no longer need to hide from ourselves and we can create more space for our true selves to inhabit our bodies.
With her I am always reminded that there is no place that Love is not – all of life is just one orgasmic, blissful, kaleidoscope of shadow and light coming together.