'Hugging Saint' coming to Bellevue event


World-renowned humanitarian and spiritual leader Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi (Amma) will launch her 11 city North American Tour May 23-26 at the Hyatt Regency Bellevue. Dubbed the “Hugging Saint” in the media, accorded celebrity status in Europe, revered as a national treasure in India, Amma’s life has been dedicated to alleviating the pain of the poor and those suffering physically and emotionally.

Since 1987, she has traveled the world and hugged more than 33 million people from all walks of life.

“In today’s world, people experience two types of poverty: the poverty caused by lack of food, clothing and shelter, and the poverty caused by lack of love and compassion," Amma said. "Of these two, the second type needs to be considered first because if we have love and compassion in our hearts, then we will wholeheartedly serve those who suffer from lack of food, clothing and shelter.”

Amma will offer three free public programs at the programs including guided meditations, devotional singing and spiritual talks. Attendees will have the opportunity to receive Amma’s darshan — a spiritual blessing in the form of a physical motherly embrace. The tour also includes a private paid retreat. Amma’s programs are staffed entirely by volunteers. Funds from the sale of food, books and gifts directly support Amma’s global network of charitable projects.

The free public programs will be at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. May 23 and 7 p.m. May 26.

More Information is available at

The Hyatt Regency Bellevue is located at 900 Bellevue Way N.E.

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