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September 2007
Rev. Celeste Shakti Hill

Hugs are a very special aspect to human affection. Hugs convey a close human and spiritual experience that transcends gender, politics, age and nationality. Hugging can be found around the world. We even send hugs over the internet. It is said that we need at least one hug a day to thrive. It is not even peculiar to human beings alone as, there are many species of animals that engage in similar exchanges of warmth.
Share a hug, or two, or three, today!!

Free Hugs Campaign: Sometimes, a hug is all what we need.
Free hugs is a real life controversial story of Juan Mann, A man whose sole mission was to reach out and hug a stranger to brighten up their lives. In this age of social disconnectivity and lack of human contact, the effects of the Free Hugs campaign became phenomenal.
As this symbol of human hope spread across the city, police and officials ordered the Free Hugs campaign BANNED. What we then witness is the true spirit of humanity come together in what can only be described as awe inspiring. As Juan Mann said, “Everyone has problems and for sure mine haven't compared. But to see someone who was once frowning, smile even for a moment is worth it every time.”
Check out the video that started the movement, now even seen on Oprah -

Amma: The 'hugging saint'
On an ordinary summer day, in a hotel ballroom, thousands of seekers, sufferers and beatifically smiling followers find wordless joy and solace in the embrace of "the hugging saint."
They need no money, no knowledge of any holy text or ritual practice, no special strength or beauty or spiritual fine-tuning.
They need only come to tiny Amma — the endearing nickname for Mata Amritanandamayi ("Mother of immortal bliss").
Her arms are open to all: infants and elderly, wiry collegians, hippies gone gray, dudes in Dockers or saffron robes, Christians and Jews, Hindus and Buddhists, children and the childlike — anyone longing to be enveloped in perfumed softness.
No questions asked. One lesson offered: Open your heart to the world.
They leave glowing, tears on their cheeks, perhaps with a gift from her, a rose petal or an apple in hand or a smudge of sandalwood powder on the photo of a loved one, extending Amma's blessings to that distant soul as well.
The modest mystic and philanthropist from Kerala, India, a daughter of a lower-caste fisherman, says she has been driven since early childhood to "make an offering of myself" to the poor, the abandoned, the sick and sick at heart. By age 21, she had refused marriage and begun her public philanthropic ministries.
Now 52, she has been to the podium of the United Nations, the Parliament of World Religions and countless interfaith gatherings, where she's praised for knowing no boundaries with her spiritual message or earthly assistance.
She hugs to spread the idea of motherly love and compassion "felt not only towards one's own children, but all people, animals and plants, rocks and rivers — a love extended to all of nature, all beings." Taken from a story by Cathy Lynn Grossman, USA TODAY
For more on Amma –

Rescuing Hug
This is a picture from an article called, "The Rescuing Hug." The article details the first week of life of a set of twins. Apparently, each were in their respective incubators, and one was not expected to live. A hospital nurse fought against the hospital rules and placed the babies in one incubator. When they were placed together, the healthier of the two threw an arm over her sister in an endearing embrace. The smaller baby's heart rate stabilized and her temperature rose to normal.
They both survived, and are thriving! In fact, now that the two girls are home, they still sleep together, and still snuggle. The hospital changed their policy after they saw the effect of putting the two girls together, and now they bed multiples together.

Everybody needs a hug. It changes your metabolism.
~Leo Buscaglia
You can't wrap love in a box, but you can wrap a person in a hug.



Sacred You!
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