My Leap of Faith

While I was traveling in India many years ago, I had the opportunity to meet either His Holiness the Dalai Lama or Mata Amritanandamayi (also known as Amma the Hugging Saint). They were both holding space at the same time in different regions of India. I listened to my inner guru and chose to attend the Dalai Lama’s lectures rather than Mata Amritanandamayi’s. This turned out to be a choice with no regret. The Dalai Lama’s wisdom, humor and infectious laugh are, to this day, still with me. However, I yearned for Amma’s famous embrace for many years after that opportunity to be in her arms slipped by me. While I knew the time would come when we would meet, I had no idea that it would be in my homeland instead of hers.

A few days before Thanksgiving several years ago, I got word that Amma the Hugging Saint was in Detroit, Michigan. At the time I was visiting my auntie in South Tampa, Florida and was planning on staying through the holiday. But I knew in my heart that I had to change plans in order to meet this blessed soul. I booked a last minute flight and headed to Detroit with an abundance of love in my heart.

While I knew the time would come when we would meet,

I had no idea that it would be in my homeland instead of hers.

I arrived at the Renaissance Center in downtown Detroit the day after Thanksgiving in order to meet Amma. As I walked through the glass doors of this building, the spirit of my father embraced me. My father, in the 1970’s, was part of the team that built this magnificent skyscraper. He was an ironworker. And he sacrificed more than anyone will ever know to provide for his family. I took a deep breath and smiled as I continued towards the large group of people waiting to see this living saint named Amma.

Out of three thousand people Amma chose me to receive Darshan first. I, for some reason, did not feel special or overwhelmed with excitement at the time, but the beautiful people around me were very excited. It was as if they couldn’t believe it but something told me that this was the way it was supposed to be. Amma’s people escorted me to sit directly in front of her as she spoke. I looked upon this spiritual woman and felt her greatness. She truly is divine and her light shines especially bright. After she spoke, her people, once again, came to escort me to a set of stairs that led to her. I slowly walked up the stairs and across the stage. As I approached Amma, I asked myself, “Where am I supposed to be? Where am I supposed to be?” It was a question that I can honestly say I had never asked before. I continuously asked this question in my mind as I received darshan. Her embrace encompassed my entire spirit and the words she spoke into my ear took me into an instant meditative form. I felt as if I was blissfully floating. She then gifted me with a mantra. I bowed in gratitude and walked off the stage.

Out of three thousand people

Amma chose me to receive Darshan first.

That evening, as I began to recite the mantra in meditation, Amma appeared before my eyes. With her hands in A prayer position, she said to me, “My dear, you are doing everything right but you are supposed to be in California.” Once I opened my eyes I knew there was no turning back from this vision and within a month I loaded my Volkswagen Beetle and drove across the country to a place I had never been before…San Diego, California.

When we are open to the possibilities around us, doors begin to open. Trust the guides around you and know that when you allow your intuition to lead the way, you will always be on the correct path.

Always grateful,

Alisha xoxo

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