Written and narrated by Joyce Vissell.

In 1970, Barry and I had the amazing opportunity to meet Leo Buscaglia. We were living in Nashville, Tennessee, where Barry was in his second year of medical school and I was a public health nurse. We were both twenty-three years old. A friend invited us to a party to meet a very important person in her life. This person turned out to be Leo Buscaglia. We had never heard of him before. 

Leo was perhaps twenty years older than us. Right away, we could tell there was something very special about this man. The love emanating from him was unlike anything we had ever experienced before. He seemed to know and love each person at the party and also he was hugging them all. We had never before been hugged by anyone other than each other and our parents. Not even our siblings. Believe it or not, in 1970, people in the United States did not hug, except within families. People shook hands in a greeting, but never hugged others.

Upon arriving at the gathering Leo came over to us and gave us a big hug in welcome. It was the most beautiful feeling; one we will never forget.

Hugs Spread Love

We moved later that year to Los Angeles and I had the privilege of being Leo's student for one full year at the University of Southern California, and also, we were his neighbors for two years. We got to know him well and his wonderful hugs were plentiful.

Leo left USC several years after he was my teacher, and he went on to write five books on love. He also lectured to very large audiences of over 10,000 on the importance of love and he included how he loves to hug people.

Leo's hugs caught on and, within a few years...

Continue Reading at InnerSelf.com (plus audio/mp3 version of article)

Written and read by Joyce Vissell

Music By Caffeine Creek Band, Pixabay

About the Author(s)

photo of: Joyce & Barry VissellJoyce & Barry Vissell, a nurse/therapist and psychiatrist couple since 1964, are counselors, near Santa Cruz CA, who are passionate about conscious relationship and personal-spiritual growth. They are the authors of 10 books, their latest being A Couple of Miracles: One Couple, More Than a Few Miracles.

Visit their website at SharedHeart.org for their free weekly 10–15-minute inspirational videos, inspiring past articles on many topics about relationship and living from the heart, or to book a counseling session on-line or in person.

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