When I was in the day hospital after 6 weeks in locked psychiatric unit, Amma was visiting this country and I didn't get the deal with it but it seems she believes that if people are suffering from past life sins the least she can do is give them a hug. As if a hug is going to magically take away suffering. She hails from India the land of myth and magic.
It was such a bizarre experience, made even more bizarre by witnessing people get a high off of it like they'd genuinely had a mystical experience.
I used to be totally woo-woo. I showed up ready to get high and have my life healed and changed.
The people who managed the line leading up to Amma were emotionally rough and gave no fucks, no compassion. In fact none of the people who volunteered for her around the venue seemed loving, compassionate, or supportive. I later researched Amma and there is a lot of competition and jockeying for position in her retinues and ashrams. Basically a cult of guru personality. Mother Meera's folks are the same way, and it also happened in Gandhi's ashram.
Then the hug.
I knelt in front of her, and she pushed my head into her chest and hugged me and rocked, while the whole time she chattered away in her native language at the person standing next to her. I did not matter at all. My body was just an object, but "I" was not part of the experience for her, "I" didn't enter into it at all. It was physically awkward, not at all comfortable, and it didn't help that I'd worn stud earrings and the post of the earring on the side where my face was mashed into her chest was painfully poking into my head behind my ear. I felt no energy emanating from her, let alone into me, and I was highly sensitive to that kind of stuff, I myself was a practicing energy healer.
After the hug, each person is led to sit in rows of chairs on one side of the stage to soak in the experience and all the love, and once all the seats are filled, the group leaves row by row and more seats are filled. Some people are crying, some are blissed out, I was rubbing the sore spot behind my ear and wondering what the fuck I just went through. I saw someone afterward who I'd hung out with at various points during the day and she was blissed out, while I was still rubbing behind my ear and stunned at the emotional gruffness of the entire experience.