All year long a large group of devotees meet every Saturday at the Amma Center of New Mexcio in Santa Fe. They meet at a structure built on Amma’s instructions on the site where she conducted a program for 18 years in a white tent in the pinon studded granite foothills above Santa Fe. Every Sunday morning a faithful group of devotees meet at the Santa Fe ashram to make 108 delicious burrito lunches to take to the homeless and hungry in downtown Santa Fe, who have no other meal supplied that day. Throughout the year , the satsang holds various spiritual and fundraising events culminating in a “Bollywood” dance event that raises funds for the local Amma Center charities such as the Burritto Project, providing back to school clothing for poor children and a reading and literacy outreach, among others.
All year long the devotees wait for the annual Amma public programs and retreat, hosted by the Amma Center, which require 6 months of preparation and a mammoth outpouring of dedicated seva for days immediately before, during and after the program. This is a precious time to focus and recharge spiritually in Amma’s physical presence and to meet new and old friends from around the world. In the last weeks before the program, time seems to strangely speed up and the long wait is suddenly over in the blink of an eye.
Near the Rio Grande River and in the heart of Native American Pueblo country, the venue at Buffalo Thunder is spacious and picturesque. For two days before the program the volunteers set up the venue, removing truckloads of necessary items from storage and driving them through the hot June highways to the hotel. Then there were hundreds of chairs and tables to be set up, the national tour truck to be unloaded, stage and backdrop prepared, until finally the large ballrooms were transformed and ready for Amma and her devotees.
Finally after all the preparation and anticipation, Amma swept into the hotel welcomed by a handful of early risers on the morning of June 18th. She had just driven 17 hours cross country after leaving directly at the end of the Los Angeles program, which had gone all night until 10 the next morning. The sun was just rising over the sandy tan hills, spotted with boulders, sagebrush, chamisa and juniper. Birds joined the celebration, chirping softly. Just as the soft light spilled into the bowl of the morning sky, the devotees’ hearts overflowed with love and gratitude that the long wait was over and Amma had come again. But as Amma often mentions, the real sunrise takes place in the heart when all differences are eliminated and supreme consciousness arises. That is what she is waiting for.
Santa Fe, NM USA