A visit to the Saint Charbel Monastery in Annaya, Lebanon

Charbel Makhlouf, also known as Saint Charbel in Annaya Lebanon is very famous amongst Maronite and Catholic Christians. Charbel is famous for his numerous miracles such as healing partial paralysis or eradicating cancer from patients.
It is customary for me and my family to visit Saint Charbel’s monastery once a year at least. In this blog post, I share with you some of the photos I took.


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Meeting Amma, Mata Amritanandamayi Devi (2013)

Introduction

On 05/24/2013, Amma (also known as Mata Amritanandamayi Devi) was visiting Bellevue, Washington as part of her north America tour.

It was the first time for me to go and see her. Many of my acquaintances talk about her, be it acquaintances from France, Belgium or those from where I currently live (in the Seattle area).

They say she has lots of energy and that she can help me in my spiritual path. A quote attributed to her is worthwhile mentioning:

Amma’s hugs and kisses should not be considered ordinary. When Amma embraces or kisses someone, it is a process of purification and inner healing. Amma is transmitting a part of Her pure, vital energy into Her children. It also allows them to experience true, unconditional Love. When Amma holds someone it can help to awaken the dormant spiritual energy within them, which will eventually take them to the ultimate goal of Self-realization. — Amma

She hugs people for free, however during her visit, a 3-days retreat (that costs $290) is offered.

During the retreat, spiritual lectures are given, a proprietary meditation technique called “IAM – Integrated Amrita Meditation Technique®” is offered for free among the other things that are part of the retreat.

I mainly went to the retreat in order to learn the IAM meditation technique and also to get to experience this infamous hug and see how it bestows unconditional love.

The rest of the article will describe my experience from my point of view. Please know that I am not bashing or defaming Amma in any way. This blog post is to share my observations and thoughts with others. Continue reading