Last week I went to see a woman called 'Amma' who many have been talking about. She goes around the world hugging people from dawn till dusk without toilet breaks and food/drink. I had to see what the fuss was about and to make a bit of loving mischief too.
You have to get a token if you want to be hugged. its free but there are thousands who go for hugs. She has a team of dozens of helpers who i think have hung out at her Ashram and they volunteer and sell stuff to support her work.
I got a sign made saying 'Free Massage' and stood in the hall and around 15 people came up to me and got a short massage before one of the organisers asked me if i had 'permission!' They asked if I had accreditation for giving massage and I said no. Eventually they said I was not allowed because the council required the names of anyone who was doing anything official 15 days prior.
I told them that I was into peaceful non compliance (they couldnt really hear what I was saying) and that I would meditate on the matter. I couldnt get clear so I phoned a friend (as you do) He said he had been to Amma and was disturbed by the control of her devotees. He suggested I get another sign reading 'Dont queue here' and stand somewhere in the hall. I decided instead to have some fun first. There were devotees (dressed in white mainly) running around the hall with white boards with messages like 'Volunteers needed for dish washing' or ' men needed to help in cloakroom' I 'borrowed' one of these boards and wrote 'Spiritual Woman needed for long term relationship' and went around the room holding it up and got lots of smiles and even a hug until one of the organisers approached me saying that I couldnt do it - I was wearing a hi vis jacket and it would 'confuse' people (Most of the people there looked pretty confused already!) I agreed to stop but then was approached by the local in house security woman who said that i had to take off the hi vis jacket or leave. My mother in law (not only a successful divorce lawyer but a self appointed psychologist) has diagnosed me with oppositional defiance disorder and it kicked in then. i told this woman that I was going to think about what to do. She said I couldnt do that and I angrily responded and said 'I am feeling angry' i will think about it' and went and sat down to decide what to do. The head f security then basically told me that I had to leave even though I had taken the jacket off. He said he had spoken to a swami and that they had told him to remove me. At this stage my disorder was kicking in even more so I ran towards where Amma was sitting knowing that the security would be rather reluctant to drag me out on front of everyone. So they sent one of the devotees who gently persuaded me to talk to the organisers which I did. They agreed that I could stay if i 'played by the rules' I managed to find one organiser by the name of Tony who 'got' what I was doing and admitted that the team here in the UK were just not ready for my sort of intervention. I felt this was an honest point.
Tony texted me later having seen the EOK vids saying that he loved them and reported that he had received 2 reports that 'someone had been going around with a sign asking for sex!!' He thought it was so amusing how people project their stuff onto life. Tony added 'If you were really getting offers of sex as a result of that sign I would have borrowed it myself and gone round with it !'
So I guess I need to accept that even the 'spiritual types,' myself included are where they are.