Menstuff® has compiled the following information on Hugs. Free Hugs Sometimes, a hug is all that 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 day. 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 accross the city, we're told that 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. Watch this:

The Endorsement: The Hug

A hug can really make a difference in a man's day.

What's beautiful about being assaulted is that there is no ambiguity to the experience. Even as it happens, it seems to be a story narrated in absolutes. Three guys jumped me on the staircase of a sh**box hotel in Falls Church, Virginia. They tore into me, punching me in the throat, hitting me square in the back with a full bottle of beer, and ripping open a giant container of duck soup I was carrying, soaking us all. After that, we were fighting, slipping around, each of us with big buckwheat noodles in our hair. I got in my shots, but I also took a beating for the first time in 25 years.

The next morning, the landscape looked empty and sinister. I decided that I hated this country: the strip malls, the traffic, the overcrowding, the parking lots, the people. The certainty of my hate felt like an elixir. I checked out. I went to work. I hissed my hatred to myself.

That night I checked into a new, more upscale hotel in a nearby suburb. The hallway was full of shoe racks. I didn't get it. Exhausted, sore, still more than a little pissed off, I trundled my rolling bag past rows of ratty Tevas, moccasins, loafers. On the elevator, I asked a pretty woman, What's the deal? "The shoes belong to people here to see a Hindu saint," she said. "Amma. She's a hugging saint." She looked me up and down, then held out a ticket. "You should see her," she said. "You look like you could use this more than I could."

I'd take a look, I said, but there was no way I was getting a hug from anyone. F**k hugging.

I went down to the convention center, and I got my first look at Amma, a 52-year-old Indian woman who sat on a raised stage at the end of a long hall. There were hundreds of people waiting to see her. I got in the line behind six Indian schoolgirls doing chemistry homework. In front of them were a 40-year-old white woman in a wheelchair, an Indian restaurant owner from Alabama who wanted his menus blessed, and a black guy who claimed he'd been a walk-on with the Redskins. It was as if I were being visited by the ghosts of people who hadn't died yet. And they looked inexplicably happy.

Then, after two hours, I was on the stage, on my knees, directly in front of Amma. One of her assistants whispered to me, "Are you the man who was mugged?" And before I could answer, they pushed me forward. The woman grabbed me. She held on. Her arms were heavy on my back. This was a hug. No tricks, no claims, no advice. Just a hug. As soon as I had this thought -- This is only a hug -- Amma pressed a candy into my palm and let go.

What's beautiful about being blessed is the ambiguity of the experience. I can't add it up in certainties. I'm done with that. They told me later that Amma felt I had been led there. I told them it was more like stumbling in blindly. They said there was no difference. I will tell you this: When I stood, after that hug, I had tears in my eyes. But I could see.

Where in the world is Amma? Hindu's "hugging saint" travels the globe to deliver her warm embrace and to raise money for causes like disaster relief. In November, she'll touch Americans in California (Nov. 19 to 24 at the Mata Amritanandamayi Center, 10200 Crow Canyon Road, Castro Valley) and Michigan (Nov. 26 to 30 at the Hyatt, 600 Town Center Drive, Dearborn). Or hug her on the Web at

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