WHAT IS BREATHARIANISM? OH MY!

Shutterstock licensed image.

WHAT IS BREATHARIANISM? OH MY!

When we list the things humans need to survive, most of us come down to three basic requirements: food, water, and shelter. But there’s a movement that claims two of those three things are holding us back.

Some of the most extreme Breatharians claim to survive off of the life energy of the universe alone, no food or water involved. Others who believe themselves to be One With The Breath appear to drink water and snack once in a while – and somehow remain healthy. 

One might wonder which of these Breath devotees are telling the truth – and which ones are projecting an image that no human could ever embody.

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Is it possible to go months or years without eating or drinking?

Do Breatharians really exist?

If so, how have they managed to defy the basic scientific principles we thought we understood?

Read on to learn more about this practice and whether it actually allows people to subsist on something loftier than mere food.

What Is Breatharianism?

Breatharianism is the practice of going without food, water, or both and, instead, living from the life energy of the Universe. As the name suggests, Breatharianism uses the breath to harness this energy and nourish the body. Breatharians claim to exist only on air and sunlight, foregoing food (and sometimes water) altogether, sometimes for years at a time.

While Breatharianism is a reboot of the ancient Yogic practice, today’s New-Age Breatharianism birthed in the mid-90s, thanks in part to the work of a woman born Ellen Greve, who has since changed her name to Jasmuheen.

Our friend Jasmuheen wrote a book called Living on Light: The Source of Nourishment for the New Millennium. This book describes a twenty-one-day process that will supposedly help your body adjust to surviving only on air.

While the new-age scene has bastardized this practice, which was established by serious-ass Yogis thousands of years ago, it takes a truly Divine Master or Enlightened Being to be a totes-for-reals Breatharian.

Even Masters like Amma, who eat very little, tend to stay away from using phrases like Breatharian because it’s a dangerous practice – and it’s only meant for people who arrive at some version of Breatharianism naturally – ya know, like because of deep spiritual practices which can result in liberation – a state that is very rare.

How Does Breatharianism Work?

If breatharians aren’t getting their nourishment from food and/or water, where does it come from? Breatharians claim to fuel their body with prana, a kind of life-energy emitted by the Universe itself.

Prana is the Sanskrit word for breath. It points to the substratum and eternal substance that permeates reality throughout every level and realm, including inanimate objects. In other words, Prana is the source of all life built into all aspects of living and non-living realities.

Breatharians claim to be able to harness this energy through intense breathing exercises that connect them with this life-energy. Pranic breathing is an empowering and cleansing practice found in most yoga classes and other spiritual disciplines. 

Pranic breathing is usually performed by sitting in the lotus position, breathing into your stomach and exhaling, all through the mouth or all through the nose – and sometimes only one nostril. The pace of this style of breathing is often very fast with truncated exhales. Pranic breathing can certainly feed you for a time. It can also clear emotions and help you feel more alive and rejuvenated at a core level.

There are centuries of evidence showing the benefits of breathing exercises and meditation. Meditation and breathing can allow us to connect better with our own inner life force, the Universe, other people, and our own bodies.

The challenge with Breatharianism is that proponents claim that these practices can replace food and water. While this might be true for advanced souls, chances are pretty high that Bunny McStretchypants, who teaches beer yoga at the local gym, and Trendy Taj McKrishna, who drinks his own urine at parties, are probably not real Breatharians.

Folks like these are most often hopped-up on new-age narcissism while pretending to be the real deal, when in reality, they can barely manifest enough money to pay their electric bills. 

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What a Breatharian Diet Looks Like

On its face, the Breatharian diet seems simple: don’t eat food or drink water, ever. But when you dive into the practice, you’ll discover it’s much more complicated.

There are two basic steps to the breatharian diet: the initiation and the long-term plan. And there are two styles of Breatharians: crazy people who think they can do it forever and reasonable people who know they probably can’t do it for very long. Both types tend to eat once in a while – and most Breatharians drink water regularly.

Many of today’s Breatharian programs recommend starting with an initiation period of fasting. Fasting  gets your body jump-started into surviving off of nourishment other than food. In some protocols, this initial fasting period, during which you drink either only some or no water and eat no or very little food, lasts seven to ten days. Other programs only require you to go three days without any nourishment.

After the initial fasting period, Breatharians recommend that you move to a liquid diet. This consists mostly of fruit and vegetable juices and broths. Some wanna-bees will drink lemon water with cayenne pepper to slowly shut down their digestive systems.

Many Breatharians say they eat every now and then, either in social situations or because they want to enjoy the sensation of eating food. However, a handful of Breatharian leaders claim to go for months or years without eating anything at all. 

While this may or may not be true, it’s certainly fascinating! I have to mention here – um, please do not try this at home!

Breatharianism Doesn’t Work

Now that we know about Breatharianism and its principles, let’s get right down to the facts – it doesn’t work for 99.9999% of those who claim it as a lifestyle.

The simple truth is that the overwhelming majority of humans, aliens, and wandering spirits need food to live. More importantly, you can’t go more than a few days at a time without drinking water before your body begins to shut down. 

There’s no denying that our culture often tends to overindulge in food, and many people have unhealthy relationships with food. As we’ll discuss more later, there are some potential benefits to using breathing exercises and meditation as a way to improve your relationship with food. But the basic tenet of Breatharianism – that humans can live without food and water – has no basis in fact or science, except the occasional Enlightened Master who probably doesn’t need to promote their adherence to this practice. 

And any Enlightened Master worth their salt will probably want a cookie now and again, because cookies were made by God to make our inner-children smile. So there.

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Breatharian Deaths

One of the problems with Breatharianism as a practice is that it can be very dangerous. So far, there have been five known deaths connected with Breatharian practices. The most recent death was in 2012, but the best-known was an incident in 1999 in which a woman died of dehydration and hypothermia after practicing the program described in Living on Light.

In most cases, people don’t die of starvation as a result of Breatharianism, but rather as a result of dehydration. Doctors estimate that you can only go for less than a week without water before you die of dehydration. After that point, your organs begin shutting down, your blood gets thicker, toxins build up in your body, and eventually you die. Good times!

Breatharian Leaders Eat

When you start looking closely at Breatharian leaders and the programs they claim to follow, one fact emerges: Breatharian leaders eat. They may make sweeping statements about going months or years without consuming any food. But when you start asking for details, a number of inconsistencies tend to show up.

Some Breatharian leaders admit to regularly drinking vegetable broth or fruit juice, as well as eating in social situations. Although these amounts of food may be much less than what most people consume, it’s definitely a source of nutrition other than sunlight and prana. A few Breatharian leaders have even been caught ordering in-flight meals or with whole refrigerators full of food. 

The Cost of Breatharian Retreats

In addition to being physically dangerous, some might say that Breatharianism classes and retreats are outright scams. Breatharian leaders tell their followers to go long periods of time without eating or drinking, all the while they are regularly eating food. Meanwhile, they’re raking in thousands of dollars in profits from retreats and coaching fees.

Why are they making so much money? Because New-Agers are knuckleheads. They believe trends will save them from themselves. Yeah, it doesn’t work that way.

They way it works is this: chant, pray, eat healthy, forgive, accept, release – and repeat. It’s not complicated.

Many Breatharian retreats, which are designed to get you started on the fasting program, cost more than $1,000. One-on-one coaching sessions can cost $75 an hour or more, depending on who you see. The simple fact is that too many New-Age trendsetter phonies make an insanely lucrative living off of selling dangerous lies.

Using Breath for Food Control

Although the Breatharian fasting program is dangerous, there are some helpful ideas we can take from it. Many people in our society have unhealthy relationships with food, including overeating and, in many ways, being addicted to food. We have to eat food to live, but there are definite benefits to being more conscious of what we eat and how we consume it.

Mindful eating is a helpful practice that uses meditative practices to help control food intake. You may find that using breathing exercises can be a great way to curb food cravings in times when you’re trying to cut back.

Breathing can be a great way to build a healthier relationship with food, but you have to be sure you’re managing your diet in a safe, healthy way. 

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Do Breatharians Exist?

It would be easy to say that Breatharians do not exist. I’ve personally met a few Enlightened Masters who I never saw eat. And if you’re a real Breatharian or spiritual master, you’re probably not running around with a trendy book telling everybody to try it. Why? Because elevating ourselves through the most intense spiritual practices is f*cking painful – and not for everybody. 

While most of us cannot survive on life-energy alone, breathing and meditation can build healthier relationships with food and our inner Beings.

Breathing, sunlight, food, water, movement, and forgiveness can all work together to help you to build a life that’s healthy for your body, mind, and spirit.

I am here to help you awaken and bravely create an inspired life. Learn more about my services today and start changing your life in the most positive way.

REMEMBER!

You are a beautiful Living Being filled with light and love, born from stardust. You are unlimited potential in every direction. With a focus on discipline, virtue, and your own goodness, you can become as expanded and liberated as you desire. 

Pray for others and the Universe prays for us. 

LOTS OF BLESSINGS TO YOU!

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There is no “Other.” There is only you experiencing yourself.

The 25 Most Inspiring Divine Masters Throughout Time

The 25 Most Inspiring Divine Masters Throughout Time

Guru. Master. Teacher. Sage. There are endless synonyms and titles for the bigger-than-life figures that have graced our planet’s existence. Whether they walked among us to lead by word, example, or both, they are beings we must look to for guidance in our journeys.

It is said that when we have a Guru, not just a humble teacher, but a true Enlightened Master, our paths are expedited and we can reach liberation in a much shorter period of time. Since we all have the spark of Love & Light that fills every Divine Being, our fires are already ignited. All we need to do is choose a path and dive into it with all of our hearts. Vulnerability, prayer, mantra, chanting, forgiveness, and rituals are some of the tools.

Divine masters encompass an amazing dualism of both lessons for our physical and spiritual lives. They help us align our bodies with our minds and find the right path for our souls while taking care of our physical health. No matter your concerns and troubles in life, you are sure to find solace and assistance in the lives and lessons of divine masters.

If you are looking for a new role model for your physical and spiritual journey or need consolation in your current life situation, you’ve come to the right place. In this comprehensive guide, I’ve put together the 25 most inspiring divine masters who have ever existed. Within this list, you can learn about their journeys on Earth and the shoes they have left for us to fill.

While the full list of saints and wonderful souls could be endless, this list comprises some of the most popular. Reflect on these figures as you turn inward and apply the lessons of these gurus to your journey. 

Amma the Hugging Saint

Mata Amritanandamayi, better known as Amma, is a revered spiritual leader in India with a mission to comfort the entire world. She is known as the “Hugging Saint” for Her tours in which she lovingly embraces every person who comes to see Her. Amma’s mission is to extend the true love she holds in her heart outward with physical actions that benefit humanity. She has hugged over 40 millions times as of this writing.

Amma has the broadest, most remarkable mission in human history. She has reached more people and blessed them – than any other human figure.

Amma tours, holds retreats, and even has an Ashram in her name. People from all over are welcome to follow her, meet her, and emulate her love for the world.

Mother Meera

To many, Mother Meera is the physical embodiment of the Divine Feminine. She was born in Southern India in 1960 and now resides in the German countryside. She is best known for sharing the blessing of Darshan, which is to be in the presence of the Divine, by offering her time in complete silence to humanity and bestowing light upon the souls who seek it.

If you’re looking for a teacher in the traditional sense, Mother Meera is not the figure for you. She does not offer verbal guidance – instead, she is the presence of the Divine itself from which you can draw peace and enlightenment. 

Thich Nhat Hanh

If a silent presence like Mother Meera isn’t what you’re looking for, then maybe a poet-activist is exactly what you need. Thich Nhat Hanh is famous for his peace, ethics, and mindfulness teachings. Most of all, he preaches that we must live what we teach – and that he does!

At 16 years old, Thich Nhat Hanh became a Buddhist monk in Vietnam. He believed that he could forge a new path for Buddhism in which the religion could respond to the world’s needs in its current political climate. He has since become a published author and influenced many world leaders, calling for peace and reform in many industries.

Jesus the Nazarene

Jesus is followed by over a third of the world’s population, standing at the center of Christianity. Jesus was both a historical man and a divine master, devoting his life to the suffering of humanity and lifting them from the depths of temptation and death. He marked the end of the Old Testament understanding of the Jewish God and began both a religious and political movement that would forever change the world. 

Jesus is believed to have performed many miracles on Earth, becoming the champion of the poor, sick, and oppressed. During his lifetime, he preached forgiveness, mercy, and unconditional love for all people.

The Buddha

Siddhārtha Gautama, widely known as the Buddha, was a revolutionary born near the Indian border in Nepal. At first, Siddhārtha made contributions to philosophical thought in his local area, but his teachings spread long after his death to form the foundations of Buddhism.

Spiritually, the Buddha teaches rebirth and of the enlightened state of self, called Nirvana. Physically, he leads the life of the “middle way” and exercises moderation and critical thinking. Overall, following the Buddha means letting go of the Ego, finding balance, and achieving peace.

Mohammad ibn Abdullah

Jesus founded Christianity, Siddhārtha founded Buddhism, and Mohammad founded Islam. In Islam, Mohammad was a prophet who received the Quran from God as a final revelation before the world’s end. Suffering persecution early on, Mohammad had few followers and sent many away from his home region to protect them. 

Mohammad preached monotheism despite threats against him from the widely polytheistic society. While Mohammad’s teachings were rebellious to the religious and political leaders of his time, he was a uniting force for many people, converting almost the entire Arabian peninsula to Islam by the time of his death.

Kuan Yin

Kuan-shi Yin, which means “observing the world’s cries,” is recognized across Asia as the Buddhist goddess of compassion and mercy. As a Bodhisattva, Kuan Yin has earned her place as a Buddha but has chosen to dedicate her life to saving humanity instead of enjoying Nirvana. She is often depicted with a thousand arms, representing her vow never to rest until all beings are freed from the cycle of reincarnation and suffering of the world.

Krishna

In Hinduism, Krishna is credited as the creator of the universe and the eighth incarnation of another Hindu god, Vishnu. This hero’s journey is accounted for in sacred Hindu texts, in which at a young age, he fought off many enemies and forces of evil with his advanced weaponry expertise. To save him from those who feared him, his mother disguised him as a commoner in a village. There, he dazzled many with his charm and talent. Now, Krishna is revered as both the bringer of enlightenment and a punisher for bad deeds.

Anandamayi Ma

Sri Ma Anandamayi is a divine presence of self-sufficiency and joy. Born in 1896, she grew into a mysteriously aloof yet warm personality that struck the hearts of all who encountered her. No matter where she traveled, she was met with great reverence, and many came from faraway places just to see her. 

Sri Anandamayi Ma’s teachings are numerous but include achieving a life full of simplicity, love, and good works.

Ramakrishna

Sri Ramakrishna was born near Kolkata in 1836 and grew up utterly uninterested in worldly affairs. Instead, he loved the arts and philosophy. He listened to men in philosophical discourse, singing, and painting. He was known for entering states of ecstasy in which he experienced visions and had a devotion to Mother Kali. 

However, perhaps the most revolutionary thing about Ramakrishna was his ability to achieve the highest levels of revelation in several different religions, including Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism. He preached that all faiths are just different paths to see God.

Babaji

Babaji, reigning from the foothills of the Himalayas, claimed to be a manifestation of God. He did not need to be born into humanity through a woman. When people encountered him, they all saw him as a different person, whether that was young or old, shaved or bearded. One day, he is said to have climbed a mountain and sat in a yogic fashion for 45 days to meditate. Then, he began preaching his message: humanity was in trouble and needed to rebuild society as a humanitarian refuge with their eyes towards God.

Rumi

Jalāl ad-Dīn Mohammad Rūmī is now known as one of the most famous poets to have ever graced the world with his verses. Born in the 13th century, Rumi was a scholar, theologian, and poet. His influence now transcends time and language, spreading his message of infusing love throughout the world with its basis in Islam.

The First Sikh Guru: Nanak

Guru Nanak was the original Sikh, the founder of the religion. Born in Talwandi in 1469, Guru Nanak was born to Hindu parents under Muslim authority. Growing up, Guru Nanak refused to take on the faith handed down by his parents. Instead, he meditated and spoke with holy men in Hindu and Muslim traditions. After an eventful revelation, Guru Nanak realized a new religion and began traveling to spread the good news and turn upside down many of the strict laws of established religions.

The Last Sikh Guru: Gobind Singh

Gobind Singh is the last physical Sikh guru, dying in 1708. He was a philosopher, poet, and warrior and is attributed to starting the Sikh warriors called Khalsa. During his lifetime, Gobind Singh installed the 5 K’s, the articles of faith that the warriors wear, and wrote the Dasam Granth, sacred texts consisting of hymns and stories. Many look to the Sikh Gurus for strength and inner stillness to remain steadfast during storms of change.

Zhang Ying

Master Zhang Ying realized her psychic abilities from an early age. While she was raised within the Buddhist faith, her powers and practices extend beyond the traditional understandings of Buddhism and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Throughout her life, she has been able to heal others through her ability to move chi, diagnose physical and spiritual concerns in her patients, and connect with the spirit realm. 

El Morya, Ranbir Singh

Ranbir Singh was the son of the ruler of the Kashmirs in the 1840s who protected his land against British invasion. When Ranbir took his father’s place, he continued to improve his society by instituting fair civil and criminal laws and uniting divided factions. After his death, he was written into literature as an ascended master called El Morya with ties to Buddhist divine masters and is now channeled for assistance in defense against harm and decision-making.

Master Koot Humi

Koot Humi, also known as K.H. or Kuthumi, is said to have been the inspiration for starting the Theosophical Society in 1875. During his lifetime, he engaged in letters with other theosophists in India and was revered for being strong-willed but logical and calm. He has reincarnated several times, born as figures such as Egyptian Pharaohs, ancient thinkers, Catholic saints, and Indian princes. Students of his life and teachings are encouraged to open their hearts, express unconditional love, and seek higher knowledge.

Moses the Prophet

Moses was seen as one of the fathers of the Jewish and Christian faiths, a prophet spoken to by God to bring freedom to the enslaved Jewish people. God also tasked him to provide commandments by which to live. Through faith and determination, Moses did as God asked and thereby performed miracles that allowed him to bring the Jewish people to their promised land. We can look to Moses for leadership skills and steadfastness in the face of adversity.

Merlin

Myrddin Wyllt, better known as Merlin, was a court magician, bard, and King Arthur’s protector in the 5th century. His legacy involves a dark history of demonic dealings because of his relationship with magic. However, he was a known shapeshifter and prophet who helped King Arthur defeat his enemies and protect his kingdom while still only a teenager. Many people look to him for guidance in decision-making, persevering through troublesome times, and foresight.

Melchizedek

Melchizedek was both a King and Priest, though the only Caananite recognized as a figure of authority in the Bible. Abraham paid tithe to him, and he is revered as a solid father-like figure, although he is never mentioned in the very detailed account of lineage in Genesis. Therefore, Melchizedek’s existence and importance in the Bible and history remains somewhat mysterious. Many channel him for righteousness and oneness with creation.

Yogananda

Paramahansa Yogananda is the father of western Yoga, focusing on self-realization and finding God using the path within. He has built a following for his teachings on spiritual living and meditation using Yoga as a centering practice. He has also traced Yoga back through history and shown how other divine masters, such as Jesus and his disciples, used the same approach in their spiritual lives.

John of God

St. John of God, also known as father to the poor, was a Portuguese soldier in the 1500s who lost his faith and lived a life of temptation and darkness. Later, he realized the error of his ways and turned to a life of work in health care. He tended to the sick, both in body and mind, and was later canonized with a considerable following. He is now channeled for assistance with mental illness, poverty, death, and strength for health care workers. 

Zhang Daoling

During his meditations on Daoism, Zhang Daoling had a revelation claiming that Laozi, the great sage, appeared to him. Laozi told him of the “coming peace” called Taiping. This revelation drove him to begin preaching a new Daoism, keeping the tenet of physical immortality but stressing the need for religious organization. As a result, he founded the Way of the Celestial Masters, also known as the Five Pecks of Rice. He taught that illness resulted from sin-mindfulness and that Daoism offered spiritual healing that many tap into today.

Zoroaster

Zoroaster was an ancient prophet in Persia who started the first historically acknowledged world religion between the 18th and 16th centuries BCE. He wrote the sacred book Zend Avesta in which he recounts a vision he had about the cosmic war being waged between the God of Light and the principle of evil. This concept of choosing between good and evil was the first push towards monotheism in the Middle East and guided Persian civilization. This religion now serves as the basis of the Parsi faith in India. Many draw on Zoroaster for guidance in choosing good over evil.

Confucius

Kong Zi, known in Latin as Confucius, profoundly influenced philosophy and religion throughout Asia by teaching about morality and justice. He tapped into the very truth of the universe and humanity’s existence to draw out guidance for people to live by in their daily lives. He was the first to historically teach the concept of the Golden Rule, which is to only do unto others what you would want to be done to you. Many look to him for balance and guidance in ethics without being tied to organized religion.

Begin a New Path to Self Realization and Love

With such an expansive list of divine masters, we still have only touched on just a few. You’re sure to find in this list some inspiration, whether you choose to devote your meditation and prayer practices to one, a few, or all of the above-listed gurus and divine personalities. The deeper you dive into your research and relationship with these divine masters, the more inspiration you will find in your journey to self-development and spiritual alignment in your life.

REMEMBER!

You are a beautiful Living Being filled with light and love, born from stardust. You are unlimited potential in every direction. With a focus on discipline, virtue, and your own goodness, you can become as expanded and liberated as you desire. 

Pray for others and the Universe prays for us. 

LOTS OF BLESSINGS TO YOU!

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There is no “Other.” There is only you experiencing yourself.

The Loving Magic of St. Patrick

Shutterstock licensed image: St. Patrick Was Full Of Love

The Loving Magic of St. Patrick

Have you ever thought to yourself, “If only I could find just a teeny tiny bit of luck!”? Maybe you’ve been out of work, enduring endless job interviews, or you’re on the tenth blind date this year. Or maybe you’re going through a challenging time emotionally or psychologically. If you’re feeling down on yourself or your luck, it might be time to lean into the loving magic of St. Patrick.

After all, even when deceased, high-vibration souls like St. Patrick still emanate light and love. Just like any deity we can tap into this vibrant soul’s divine light.

Sure, it might not be March 17th, but St. Patrick’s legacy and healing aura extends throughout time. St. Patrick is a man, a devotee of God, and a legend who can guide us and help us learn more about ourselves. In turn, we can manifest new paths and find happiness without the need to rely on luck.

So, how can St. Patrick do all this for us?

purchase-the-personality-cards-oracle-tarot-deckWho is St. Patrick?

While St. Patrick has emerged a legend, he lived in the 5th century. One of the things that made him so unique was that he understood the nature of human beings and the Universe. He looked to the divine, yet he was practical in how he served inhabitants of the earth. Additionally, his work was so profound, he deeply impacted Irish, Catholic, Christian, and global cultures for centuries – any milleniums to come.

Modern historians often paint a simple, gentle picture of St. Patrick, as he walked among the Irish, but his life was difficult, full of challenging experiences and painful decisions. Just like you and me, St. Patrick had to come to know himself and choose his path one hurdle at a time. Once he tapped into his soul and found his divine strength and resolve, this wonderful saint drew from his will power to touch the lives of many individuals throughout time.

The myths of St. Patrick are among the most inspiring in all of human history. Many believe he used clovers as a way to teach a new belief system. Others say he was the first significant leader in history to reject the practice of slavery. It seems this dynamic soul affected the spiritual and political lives of many people.

If you’re looking for the facts of St. Patrick’s life, he was born in Great Britain and torn from his family at the age of 16. Broken hearted, lost, confused, destitute, and without a single companion, young Patrick was sold into slavery. This hardship was his first experience in Ireland, where he toiled as a herdsman and had no belongings to call his own. Instead of losing hope, St. Patrick turned to his faith, praying for guidance and relief.

Devout and loyal to the Divine, St. Patrick knew that God would help him. He never wavered.

One night, St. Patrick dreamed of a ship that would carry him from slavery and back to his family. He broke from the dreamscape and left his slave owner in the middle of the night. He ran with all his might.

After many hurdles and further hardship, but with heroic determination, St. Patrick found his way back to his homeland. This successful escape might have been the end of his story, but St. Patrick could not ignore what he experienced in Ireland.

He eventually dreamed about the Irish begging for his return.

While he could not banish the chains of slavery that held an entire population, St. Patrick set out to free the Irish people in another way. Once he made landfall, he immediately began evangelizing and converting the Irish to Christianity. While he was there, he suffered persecution and arrest, but these physical pains did not dampen his spirit.

With glowing love for the Irish and their freedom, St. Patrick fought to help them until his death.

The Powerful Icon of St. Patrick

The best account that we have today of St. Patrick’s life is the Confessio, his diary, in which he bared his soul. Thought to be written near to the time of his death, the Confessio shows the saint’s religious devotion and fervent love for the Irish. It also helps us to better understand his personality, struggles, and motivations. He was truly a remarkable human being!

When you step back and view St. Patrick from a distance, however, he is a powerful icon. Christianity upholds him as one of the most important and influential Christians to have lived. He is revered as a powerful force that converted Ireland from Pagan to mostly Christian. He is now the national apostle and patron saint of Ireland. And as luck would have it, Paganism survived the abuse it endured and is again flourishing today.

A large part of the symbolism, myth, and meditation on St. Patrick that exists today originated in the Catholic faith. St Patrick is often depicted with clovers, snakes, and a shepherd’s staff. This powerful imagery can help us to understand St. Patrick’s power and love of humanity. These icons can help us turn inward, expand ourselves, forgive everything, and become holy servants of humanity.

In many ways, Amma, The Hugging Saint is doing the same for all of the world, not just Hinduism. Check out Amma’s divine magic and global humanitarian mission HERE.

St. Patrick Symbolism

By the 7th century, St. Patrick’s legacy had grown  in numbers and spread throughout various parts of the world. Throughout history, St. Patrick’s image has been recreated, most commonly with his foot on a snake, as he held a wooden staff. These images are no coincidence. They emerged from true stories about his life. As you learn about these stories, consider meditating on the image of St. Patrick. This can help you center yourself and find strength within.

purchase-the-personality-cards-oracle-tarot-deckThe Shepherd’s Staff

The shepherd’s staff is a symbol used in Christian tradition to represent tender yet strict leadership. Just as a shepherd tends to his flock of sheep, a person depicted with a staff is seen as a gentle father-like figure, guiding his followers. St. Patrick was both literally and figuratively a shepherd in Ireland. He was an enslaved herdsmen at first, and then he chose to tend to the Irish people in their need as a loving shepherd of the people. 

Today, we can rely on St. Patrick as our shepherd during difficult times, using his loving magic as a guide in our own lives.

Are you in need of guidance?

Are our heart and mind wandering far from afield?

Can you find the inspiration and strength you need to bring you back to yourself?

Go within, seek the help of St. Patrick and the depth of your own divinity. 

 

The Snakes

St. Patrick is often famously depicted with a snake under his foot, which originated from the legend that he drove all the snakes out of Ireland. While snakes never existed on the Emerald Isle, this legend actually uses snakes as a symbol for evil. Just like in the Garden of Eden story, the snake is a representation of evil and temptation. As we reflect on St. Patrick’s ability to cast out temptations and evil forces, we should identify the toxic habits, passions, and forces in our own lives and find ways to cast them out.

Three-Leaf And Four-Leaf Clovers

Finally, St. Patrick and his famous St. Patrick’s Day holiday are often tied to  three and four-leaf clovers. While three is the number of the Christian Trinity – Father, Son, And Holy Ghost, Four symbolizes the perfect triune’s connection to eternity and the concept of manifestation on three-dimensional planes.

The numbers three and four are extremely powerful. They are used as powerful symbols and tools beyond St. Patrick. 

For the Irish, the three Gods Brigid, Ériu, and the Morrigan held serious significance. With the image of a three-leaf clover, he converted the triple Goddesses of the Irish to the three Divine Beings of the Catholic faith. This imagery was so powerful that it eventually turned the innocent little three-leaf clover into the national flower of Ireland.

The number three can give us structure and guidance, just as St. Patrick did for the Irish.

You are far more capable and expanded than we often realize.

 

St. Patrick Miracles

St. Patrick holds such powerful love and magic that many of his works are still revered today. He recounts in his Confessio raising 33 men from the dead (see that “3” again?), many of whom had been gone for years. There are also reports that a herd of swine mysteriously appeared after St. Patrick prayed for food and water provisions for desperate travelers.

Whether you believe these events occurred or not, there is a powerful lesson here. St. Patrick’s strength and devotion poured out of him and created an undeniable movement that changed the world.

Forge Ahead, No Luck Needed!

Let’s learn from St. Patrick! No matter our circumstances or pains in life, we must turn inward and seek guidance. By meditating on the personality and symbolism of St. Patrick, we can better understand ourselves.

Doing so, we can tackle our challenges from more inspired angles.

If we believe in the Providence Of The Divine and the Power Of Love, we can cast out snakes, evil, and toxins no matter how and when they appear.

Take up your staff and join divine saints like St. Patrick. Your divinity can carry you anywhere. Stay positive, remain prayerful, and seek the light in all things. 

You might enjoy my Free Resources pages, as they offer many prayers and rituals that can heal, illuminate, and change your life.

BLESSINGS TO YOU! STAY GRATEFUL!

 

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There is no “Other.” There is only you experiencing yourself.

Amma: The Loving, Hugging, Humanitarian Saint

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Amma, the remarkable, unmatched Hugging Saint. A personal photo (yup, that’s me!). Do not use.

As of the date of this article, Amma has hugged attendees to her programs over 40 million times. Her free events attract thousands upon thousands of people, often taking place in football stadiums. In the early days, when 50 or 60 people were in attendance, Amma was known as “Ammaji” or “Ammachi.”​

It was 1990 when I first met Amma. She was seated on a tattered, cushioned chair in the center of a small, basement room in The African-Methodist Episcopal Church in Central Square, Cambridge, MA.

The moment I walked into the room, I was so profoundly struck by Amma’s light and presence that I fell to my knees and bowed to her. I spent the rest of the day sobbing in absolute bliss, happily crouched in a corner. In addition to a few Swamis and helpers, there were less than ten other people in the room.​

While indulging my tears, Amma caught my eye and invited me to her chair. I was so nervous, I could barely speak. I walked toward her, awkward and self-conscious as if it were my first time walking. I bowed and she immediately took my hand, then gently bent me across her lap.

Amma then gently rubbed my body from head to toe while I cried. She massaged my scalp and forehead and patted my spine. Amma even squeezed my ears and tussled my hair. It felt as though I were embraced by the most loving bundle of light.

After 20 minutes of her healing touch, Amma lifted my head with her soft hands and pressed her cheek and lips against my ear. She lovingly whispered Sanskrit mantras to me as I absorbed every morsel of her love.

“Pure Love Transcends The Body. It Is Between Hearts. It Has Nothing To Do With Bodies.”
— Amma (Amma.org)

During this timeframe of my life, I was the host of a popular children’s TV show with fantasies of fame running through my head. After meeting Amma, my heart expanded and I changed my approach to my career and every other aspect of my life.​ Amidst all of my faults and challenges, Amma helped me blossom in ways that I could never have imagined.

During the years to come, Amma would ask me to open her retreats and events with spiritual comedy shows. It was lovely to sit near Amma’s chair and deliver playful lectures and videos about the hilarious things that happen within spiritual communities.

“I don’t see if it is a man or a woman. I don’t see anyone different from my own self. A continuous stream of love flows from me to all of creation. This is my inborn nature. The duty of a doctor is to treat patients. In the same way, my duty is to console those who are suffering.”

— Amma (Amma.org)

Amma’s Birth And Family

Amma, an enlightened master, was born as Sudhamani (bright, precious gem) Idamannel on September 27th, 1953, in Kerala, India. Devotees call her Amma, although she is also known as Mātā Amritānandamayī Devī, an incarnation and embodiment of The Divine Mother. Amma’s ashram, Amritapuri, is in Kerala, India.

Amma was born into a family of fishermen with six siblings, most of whom did not understand her or treat her with kindness. Amma’s commitment to her divine path is what eventually inspired every member of her family to embrace her as the Divine Mother.

Witnesses of her birth say that Amma was born without tears and with a sweet smile on her face. She was reported to have been born with bluish skin, reminiscent of stories Krishna. Even though her skin soon turned to brown, many believe Amma to be an incarnation of Krishna. From age 5 onward, Amma spent most of her time in devotional prayer.

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Known as “The Hugging Saint,” Amma tours the world continually, holding free programs in multiple cities on every continent. In the hotels she inhabits, Amma rejects all comfort and sleeps on the floor (requesting that all beds and pillows be removed). She barely eats, yet will hug thousands of attendees, often for longer than 24 hours at one sitting. Amma’s darshan, or blessing, comes in the form of hugs and gentle, loving whispers during the embrace.

Amma offers mantras to those who request them, and she makes herself available to people who have life-or-death questions.

“I am not interested in making believers by showing miracles; I am here to help you find the real truth, and to find liberation of the Self (Soul) through the realization of your eternal nature.”
— Amma (Amma.org)

Amma’s Mission: Hospitals, Housing, Tsunami Relief & More

Amma’s international missions, Mata Amritanandamayi Math (MAM) and Mata Amritanandamayi Mission Trust, help millions of people around the world.

In addition to spiritual education, these organizations have a long, successful record of helping the poor and uplifting humanity. She has garnered hundreds of millions of dollars in donations for disaster relief, healthcare for the poor, the environment, global hunger, and education for financially strained students.

The primary missions of Amma’s organizations are to promote activities of selfless service. The idea is based on her teachings around karma yoga, which encourages everyone to help those who are less fortunate as a prayer.

Thousands of people around the world volunteer for Amma’s organizations. This includes monastics, students, and householders (married and/or with children), who come from a long list of religions, races, creeds and ideologies.

When you attend Amma’s events, you’ll hear about her mission, “Embracing the World.” All of Amma’s charitable organizations work under this premise and title.

Ranked as the #1 private India university, Amma’s Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, is an accredited university that offers degrees in Arts & Sciences, Chemistry, Biotech, Business, Education, Engineering, Nursing, Medicine, Ayurveda, and more. Students can also learn meditation, Sanskrit and yoga.

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Here are a few highlights from a long list of Amma’s unique, humanitarian accomplishments:

  • Awarded over 100,000 scholarships to help disadvantaged people and the many families stricken with farmer suicide
  • MAM’s university, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, a 5-campus system, teaches nanotechnology, biotechnology, robotics, and satellite-enabled software solutions. Amma says that their goal is “To harness the power of modern technology to provide the effect of targeted aid to communities and individuals in crisis.”
  • Built four charitable hospitals that serve the poor and disadvantaged
  • Established the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre (AIMS) and several HIV/AIDS care centers. The AIMS hospitals and related programs have 1,300 beds, a medical college with 400-beds, and a 210-bed Intensive Care Facility. They’ve served over 5.5 million patients since 1998.
  • Amma’s MAM funds and manages over 47 grammar schools with an education that integrates spiritual and universal values
  • MAM is part of the “United Nations Billion Tree Campaign” and has actively planted over 1 million trees around the world
  • Amma’s SREE program and her over 5000 self-help groups serve over 100,000 women to improve their lives and support their families
  • Built over 200,000 homes for the poor
  • Raised and gave over $50 million to earthquake, tsunami and hurricane relief
  • Awarded over 60,000 microloans to help families improve their living conditions, careers, health, and businesses
  • Established nine tailoring schools and furnished them with over 2000 sewing machines
  • Educated over 500 students in pursuit of their driver’s licenses to become bus, truck and taxi drivers
  • Educated hundreds of young people in a variety of trades, including mobile phone and TV/VCR repair, plumbing, fashion design, and bag manufacturing/production
  • Her Amrita Nidhi financial-aid program is giving out pensions to over 100,000 widows, and physically and mentally disadvantaged individuals
  • Build four elderly-care homes, equipped with community prayer, ceremony and function halls
  • Amma’s AYUDH helps young people integrate spiritual and universal values into their lives, as she teaches them ways they can help the elderly, homeless and disadvantaged
  • Built two homes that continually help hundreds of children with food, housing, and education

There are many other services, functions, and organizations that Amma and her MAM manage or fund across the globe. Her mission represents one of the most profound humanitarian efforts in history.

Amma’s Miracles

Amma began performing miracles very early in life, including licking the sores of lepers which healed them of their debilitating disease. While she does not place emphasis on these miracles, there are many confirmed stories circulating throughout India.

During her early life and beyond, Amma was known to be extraordinarily generous and compassionate with the lower classes in society, her most impoverished neighbors, and all of the nearby animals. She would regularly forsake her own hunger and give her food to hungry cows and goats. To many, Amma was the miracle that saved their livestock and families.

Amma would also give her family’s belongings to those in need. Even as a young girl, Amma would spontaneously hug others with the hope of comforting them.​

“If we penetrate deeply into all aspects and all areas of life, we will find that hidden behind everything is love. We will discover that love is the force, the power, and inspiration behind every word and every action. This applies to all people, irrespective of race, caste, creed, sect, religion, or of what work people do.”
— Amma (Amma.org)

Amma Quotes

  • “Children, love can accomplish anything and everything. Love can cure diseases. Love can heal wounded hearts and transform human minds. Through love, one can overcome all obstacles. Love can help us renounce all physical, mental and intellectual tensions and thereby bring peace and happiness.”
  • “True worship of God is rendering help to those who are suffering.”
  • “Different people will think different things – that is the nature of the world. People have the right to have faith or not to have faith.”
  • “For me, everything in creation is God, there is nothing but God. Every single object is a wonder for me.”
  • “Only when human beings are able to perceive and acknowledge the Self in each other can there be real peace.”
  • “All I am concerned with is what positive I can do.”
  • “Compassion is Consciousness expressed through your actions and words. Compassion is the art of non-hurting. Compassion cannot hurt. Compassion cannot hurt anyone because compassion is Consciousness manifested. Consciousness cannot hurt anyone. Just as the sky cannot hurt anyone and space cannot hurt anyone, the manifestation of Consciousness, compassion, cannot hurt anyone. One who has compassion can only be compassionate.”

Amritapuri: Amma’s Home Ashram

Amma began hugging people at her home in her early teens, and more regularly as spiritual disciples took residence on her family’s property. Amma says that when people would share their troubles with her, she would listen, share advice and then hug them.

This loving ritual eventually became part of Amma’s blessing which new seekers can experience when they visit Amma. By lovingly embracing others, Amma is absorbing a measure of pain in the world, which heals hearts and helps humanity.​

Amma’s home ashram, Amritapuri, is in Kerala, India, which is also Amma’s primary residence. There are only a few weeks throughout the year when Amma is not touring the world and therefore resides at Amritapuri. Her original tiny temple is still in perfect working order and often used for Pujas and Homas, ceremonies of light and love.​​

When visiting the ashram, you’ll find inexpensive accommodations akin to a youth hostel, delicious and affordable vegetarian meals, free spiritual education, and free programs where attendees are invited to receive Amma’s special darshan in the form of a hug.​​

Mornings at Amritapuri begin long before dawn, when men and women chant in separate halls. If you walk near Amma’s main temple, you can find the sweet spot between the two halls, where you’ll be drenched in waterfalls of chants occurring on either side of you. It’s a profound experience. Visitors are always welcome to attend as fellow-chanters.

Spiritual ceremonies in the forms of Pujas and Homas are performed daily, and can be of benefit to individuals, families, friends, and loved ones. If you have a personal prayer, need or desire for help, healing or cleansing, Amma’s Pujas and Homas can be ordered through her website.

Amma’s Awards And Honors

It seems that every year Amma and her organizations are recognized for their tireless efforts to serve humanity. Here is the most current list of their remarkable achievements:

  • 1993: Named “President of the Hindu Faith,” at The Parliament of the World’s Religions 100th Anniversary
  • 1993: Hindu of the Year, by Hinduism Today
  • 1995: Address at The Interfaith Celebrations, 50th anniversary of the UN
  • 1998: Care & Share International Humanitarian of the Year Award
  • 2000: Keynote speaker at the Millennium World Peace Summit, UN General Assembly
  • 2002: Karma Yogi of the Year, by Yoga Journal
  • 2002: Gandhi-King Award for Non-Violence
  • 2005: Mahavir Mahatma Award
  • 2005: Centenary Legendary Award of the International Rotarians
  • 2006: James Parks Morton Interfaith Award
  • 2006: The Philosopher Saint Sri Jnaneswara World Peace Prize
  • 2007: Le Prix Cinéma Vérité
  • 2008: Mahavir Mahatma Award
  • 2008: Keynote at the Summit of the Global Peace Initiative of Women
  • 2010: Honorary Doctorate, The State University of New York
  • 2012: Amma in the Top 100 Most Spiritually Influential, Living People
  • 2013: 1st Annual Award, Vishwaretna Purskar (Gem of the World Award), by Hindu Parliament
  • 2013: Proclamation by the State of Michigan, declaring Amma to be a true citizen of the world for her worldwide charitable works
  • 2014: One of the 50 most powerful women religious leaders, by Huffington Post
  • 2014: Kavithilakam Pandit Karuppan Award
  • 2014: Participated with the first coalition of Anglican, Catholic, Orthodox, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist leaders (including Amma) to sign a shared commitment against modern-day slavery and human trafficking under the direction of The Global Freedom Network
  • 2015: Keynote at The United Nations Academic Impact Conference
  • 2015: Medal of Honor, by Ms. Evie Evangelou, Fashion 4 Development
  • 2015: Special Envoy for the Protection of the Planet in the Summit of Conscience for the Climate in Paris, by French President Francois Hollande
  • 2015: Golden Goody Award (Oscar for Social Good) for Amma’s Worldwide Humanitarian Charities

Amma’s Titles, Roles And Positions

While Amma is hugging people, you’ll often see her Swamis hand her a variety of cell phones. I often wondered why – until I realized that Amma is the CEO of a variety of missions.​

Here are Amma’s primary roles and positions in organizations that serve millions of people across the globe:

  • Founder and Chairperson, Mata Amṛtānandamayī Math
  • Founder, Embracing the World
  • Chancellor, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham University
  • Founder, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS Hospital)
  • Parliament of the World’s Religions, International Advisory committee member
  • President, Swami Vivekananda’s 150th birth anniversary celebration committee
  • Member, Elijah Interfaith Institute Board of World Religious Leaders

Other Divine Mothers

Mother Meera is also known as an embodiment of The Divine Mother. Born in 1960, Mother Meera can be found touring the world giving visitors her loving blessing. This free transmission of Light, Love, and Grace is Mother’s gift to the world. Mother Meera once said, “The whole purpose of my work is in the calling down of the Paramatman Light and in helping people. For this I came – to open your hearts to the Light.” You can visit MotherMeera.org to learn more.

Sri KarunaMayi has spent her life immersed in prayer and is known for her embodiment of Divine Motherly Love, which she readily shares with all of creation, including people, animals, and plants. Karunamayi has said, “Where there is selfishness, love will not manifest, and where there is love, there is no room for selfishness.” You can learn more at her website here.

Both of these embodiments of divine love regularly tour the world, shedding their eternal light on all walks of life.

Attacks And Allegations​

While there have been a few physical attacks and negative statements toward Amma, none have materialized relevant corroboration or material evidence. In the one or two public cases, every accuser recanted their stories and apologized directly to Amma and her organizations.​

Despite occasional harsh treatment toward her, Amma repeatedly says that she forgives and loves all of them. Concerning one disgruntled devotee, Amma said, “Even now, Amma is only filled with love for that daughter. I am praying that virtue and goodness come. Time will shine forth the truth.”

“All those who are born will die one day. I am going ahead keeping this reality in mind. I will carry on. I will continue to give darshan to the devotees coming here to meet me.”
— Amma (Amma.org)

Books & Documentaries About Amma

There are hundreds of books written by Amma and her disciples, which can be found on her website at amma.org. Here are the television programs and documentaries that feature Amma and her remarkable work:

  • River Of Love, 1999
  • BBC’s Weird Weekends, “Indian Gurus,” 2000
  • Darshan: The Embrace, 2005
  • In God’s Name, 2007
  • Science of Compassion: A Documentary on Amma, Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, 2016

“There is always a lack of love. It has always been Amma’s wish that her life should become love and compassion itself. My sole mission is to love and serve one and all.”
— Amma (Amma.org)

Living With A Master

When traveling to or residing at Amma’s ashrams, everyone works as volunteers in service to the poor and disadvantaged. A volunteer might stay for a few weeks or up to several years, and possibly longer. Some people come to Amma’s ashrams to enter into periods of prayer and meditation.

Many of Amma’s devotees spend half their time working in their home cities and then travel in spurts to volunteer for Amma’s organizations, all of which serve humanity. Some devotees have portable businesses that allow them to work when needed, travel with Amma at her programs around the world, and volunteer regularly to help others.​

It’s exhilarating to be around Amma, and it’s always of benefit to serve others through her karma yogi programs. As always, Amma encourages her followers and visitors to continually seek ways to serve others, no matter where they live.​

Amma continually tours the world and can be found traveling throughout the United States and Canada from May through early August every year. Amma’s unique bookstore and vegan cafe travel are always a lovely and nourishing part of her programs. Admission is always free, although it’s recommended that you arrive early.