Hug it out

If it is their karma to suffer, isn’t it your dharma to help them?’ If somebody falls into a deep pit, is it correct to simply walk by, saying, ‘Oh, it is their karma to suffer that way’? No, it is our duty to help them climb out.

Amma (Mother) the hugging saint is coming to Reston. 

During my most recent training Kim shared the practice of the “Buddhist Hug” with our group. It reminded me of Amma and her teachings. I imagine during the hours upon hours of hugging that she utilizes a practice of this nature to stay present.  It is her presence, her willingness to suffer with others that makes her so remarkable.  
I use this practice now in many of my workshops and classes. I wont’ lie and say students LOVE it. In fact, it can be downright uncomfortable. To say the least getting a group of lycra clad grownups to hug perfect strangers is an interesting experience. However, based on their feedback, I reckon that it is more than worth the effort.
Next time you hug someone take a breath and say to yourself: 

I am stopping.
I am here for you.
You are here for me.

Amma will stand for hours and hours, hugging and loving, loving and hugging, again and again and again…