Portal Of Love


One door closes, another one opens as the soul flits from the metaphysical to the physical, backwards and forwards until it no longer has an agenda to fulfill. We have come to know this process of returning to the metaphysical as “death,” ( the name alone would suggest some sort of horrendous experience). However, this is our perception of death in accordance with our conditioning. Apart from what we have been told by other people, we have also been conditioned by TV and film with a constant barrage of thrillers and horror films depicting pain, suffering and death at its most abominable and horrific.

In truth, there is no such thing as death. There is only life, which is never ending and eternal. Not only that, the soul will not return to the metaphysical until it chooses to do so; until it has completed the task it came to the physical to perform. Far from being something horrendous, death is a very important part of life and represents a vital part of the soul’s experience as it continues its journey of evolution.

Death is, in fact, a “Portal of Love” that lights the way as we enter the next stage of our journey.

With Love.

If You See The Buddha Kill Him – Part Two

Following on from my post from May 22nd, here are a couple of very apt quotes I came across in the book The Zen Teachings of Bodidharma authored by Red Pine and published by North Point Press ISBN 978-0-86547-399-7. They really resonated with me so I thought I would share them.

At the appearance of spirits, demons or divine beings, conceive neither respect nor fear. Your mind is basically empty. All appearances are illusions.

Eyes that aren’t attached to form are the gates of Zen.



If You See The Buddha Kill Him

If You See The Buddha Kill Him is probably the most famous quote from the great Zen master and man of myth and legend, Bodhidharma. Taken literally, one would expect that it would be a very tongue-in-cheek thing to say. especially as the great Siddhartha Gautama (better known as The Buddha) had already long since left this life by the time these words were said to have been uttered. However, when we look deeper into this statement from the perspective of what Bodhidharma actually meant, we find something very profound indeed. For me, in my very  humble opinion, the meaning is twofold, and I shall share both views in this post.

Firstly, if you see someone coming towards you and he/she looks and acts like a Buddha (an enlightened one), then you can bet your life that it is not a Buddha. Buddhas walk among us unnoticed because awakened souls tend to be very unassuming and do not stand out from the crowd, not in the sense that the phrase “standing out from the crowd” is usually meant. Buddhas don’t need to stand out from the crowd from a “display” point of view because they reflect the light of consciousness wherever they go and mostly, only those who are spiritual seekers would recognise a Buddha-like act or gesture. A good example of this is the sage Ramana Maharshi. When the Maharshi first awakened, after a short space of time he made his way to the village of Tiruvannamalai, which sits at the foot of the holy mountain of Arunachala. He never left the area again until he gave up his body on the 14th of April 1950. He pretty much owned only the loin cloth on his back, nothing else, yet people from all over the world were attracted to his ashram, including the likes of Carl Jung and Somerset Maughan, simply because he reflected the light of consciousness.

So, the meaning of “If You See The Buddha Kill Him” from the above perspective, is don’t follow people who claim to be spiritual teachers, gurus and sages because if they were teachers, gurus and sages they wouldn’t have to make the claim.

Secondly, the meaning has to do with how people who are spiritual seekers quite often get attached to seeing clairvoyant visions, not realising that developing these types of attachments to psychic powers etc. will only hinder the quest for enlightenment. Clairvoyant visions (such as a vision of The Buddha during meditation) are not unlike our view of the world in day-to-day life. They are temporal forms that appear and disappear. That which appears and disappears is an illusion. The forms themselves are only real in that they are made, or comprised if you like, of consciousness. Consciousness is the eternally flowing river that never stays the same, hence form appears and disappears There is also the subject/object thing (the seer and that which is seen) going on here, which is duality and therefore also an illusion.

So, this is the meaning of “If You See The Buddha Kill Him”  from the above perspective. Do not get attached to or desire to develop psychic powers because this practice will only hinder your spiritual journey. Those who attain Buddhahood automatically develop such powers, but they see them for what they are and don’t worry about them. The attainment of Buddhahood or enlightenment is simply the realisation that you always were, are now, and always will be A Buddha, that once you attain Buddhahood the Buddha disappears.

Arrogance Or Ignorance?

I recently attended a death café in my local area. If you are not familiar with the concept of “Death Café” it is well worth looking up on Google. I attended my first one a year ago this month; they are extremely inspirational events. Very briefly, it works on the principle that death is a very taboo subject for the vast amount of people, rather like the elephant in the room; if you ignore it long enough it will go away. So, death café, is a safe and comfortable space where people can come together, usually with refreshments, and discuss their thoughts and feelings around death and dying. What I personally like about these events is that there is no agenda; all views are valid and they are not religious or bereavement support groups. Depending on the number of attendees, people split into groups and the discussions tend to be very interesting, usually lasting for about an hour.

One lady who was in my group raised something that really got me thinking. She was talking about the cycles of nature and saying that every time she saw the Spring blossom growing on the trees, she always wondered if it would be the last Spring blossom she ever saw, as we never know when our time is going to come.  

That got me thinking about our species in general. Us humans are made of the same stuff as the rest of nature, the universe and beyond. So, if nature moves in cycles before our very eyes, constantly replenishing itself, does it not stand to reason that it is the same for the human race. After all, it has been scientifically proven that you can neither create nor destroy energy, and all of life, all of creation is energy. Why on earth would people think that, “when you are dead you are dead” or that a demonic god is going to cast some of us into eternal paradise and some of us into the eternal fire. Is it arrogance, that we think we are so superior that we have our own laws of physics separate from the rest of creation. Somehow, the universe has given the human race its own set of natural laws in recognition of our “loveliness.” I don’t think so, I think that it is ignorance, the ignorance of who we really are. I think that we succumb to our conditioning from a very early age during each lifetime and that this contributes greatly to our forgetting who we really are. 

It’s all part of the fun I suppose; the fun of remembering. And… for the life of me, I cannot understand why this business of energy (in relation to humans) replenishing itself has never occurred to me before.

The Road To Nowhere

Ikkyu 1394 – 1481

I believe that I’ve covered this concept before. However, I don’t think that I’ve ever had a truer understanding of what it actually means until now. Stuff that I’ve been reading lately coupled with my own experiences have really brought home to me that there is no destination apart from the actual journey. Wherever we find ourselves in any particular moment is our destination; it is Divinely and perfectly exactly where we need to be in accordance with the soul’s agenda (desire), and the soul’s desire is the only thing that matters. It is also a reminder that we do not have to search for anything in this life; we are already that which we seek.

Life is an eternal series of cycles that gives consciousness the opportunity to express and know itself through the physical form. It is also the process via which the individual soul evolves into the remembrance of its true nature (consciousness).

I’m reminded also of the quote from ancient Japanese Zen master, Ikkyu:-

“Having no destination I am never lost.”

When The Avatar Comes Calling – Revisited

Due to the rather incredible out of body experience I had recently, it prompted me to recall some of my more spectacular astral adventures from days gone by. As a result, I decided to revisit this truly amazing experience I had with the Avatar, Sri Sathya Sai Baba way back on the 17th of July 2012. As was the norm back then, the experience started off as a dream, but I ended up wide awake, in astral form and eyeball to eyeball with Baba. In the main, I have kept the post exactly as it was but, because my writing style has changed since the original I have made some very slight amendments. I hope you enjoy it.

I had an amazing experience this morning that ended at approximately 06.40.  It was so amazing, in fact, that as I sit here typing a little over four hours later, I am still trying to get my head around the whole business.  I have had Sai dreams before, but I can honestly say that this experience was on a par with the time Sri Sathya Sai Baba plucked me from my physical body and carried me away on an astral journey back in December 2006.

Strangely enough some details of the dream are very vague, especially the early stages.  But the main content remains very vivid in my mind.  Because of the vagaries of the early part of the dream I will start this account by relating what my heart is telling me occurred.  I was in a room that seemed quite small and I cannot remember the decor, but I must have been craving for Swami’s presence.  I vaguely remember calling out for him and then being raised up fairly high off the floor and finding myself facing a picture of him that was on one of the walls.  I became very excited about seeing Baba and even though the picture looked a bit un-Baba-like it was most definitely the God-man; with his orange robe and shock of black fuzzy hair.  His face was kind of different but his eyes were so real.  I do remember talking to him in a very enthusiastic way, when I look back now it was as though somewhere within me, at a very deep level, I knew he was coming.  but within seconds my experience was over.

Now this is the bit that I remember very clearly.  I was not happy with my experience being so short, but not in a negative way, and I started calling once again for Baba.  I must have been calling with such enthusiasm because all of a sudden Swami was there.  He was laying on a bed asleep and I appeared to be looking down at him.  I enthused “wake up Swami, wake up!”  He opened his eyes and within a split second we were standing face to face.  We were so close you could have barely got a cigarette paper in between us.  I did something next that under normal circumstances you would never do to an Avatar; I grabbed his right arm with my left hand as we faced each other (it was as solid as solid can be).  It was done in a nice way of course; I was so full of excitement.  I said “I’ve been missing you” and “speak to me Swami, speak to me”, but Baba just looked at me deadpan.  There was a great feeling of friendship between us that I could feel inside me, and I said to him “what’s up, cat got your tongue?”  I seem to remember saying “cat got your tongue” to him again and this time he gave that little Swami half-smile; like a cross between a smirk and an impish grin. 

Then he started speaking to me but I could only hear jumbled sounds coming out of his mouth that seemed distant and I was straining to try to understand him.  It was almost like the white noise you hear when you are trying to tune a radio in to your desired station, but right in the middle of the “noise” I made out the words “try not to worry so much.”  The look on his face was the look of a loving father, mother, sister, brother and friend all rolled into one.  He was as solid as solid can be and his form reminded me of how he looked back in the 1990’s.  There was signs that he was beginning to age but he had this fantastic youthfulness about him.  What was really apparent was that the whole experience was just so natural; a bit like making a cup of tea, it was almost as though it was expected that two friends would meet up and share a few moments of pure undiluted love.  He was so non-judgemental; accepting me exactly as I am in spite of all my little faults; and the love between us was beyond any words that you would find in a dictionary.  Then it was all over…

I suppose I should now say “and then I woke up”, but it wasn’t quite like that. It’s true to say that when the whole experience began it was most definitely a dream and I was certainly asleep.  But as Swami was interacting with me I was wide awake, I simply had my eyes closed; so the whole episode was played out on the inner plane.  When Baba had gone I just lay there in bed with my eyes closed; only opening them to look at the clock.  When I did look at the clock it said 06.45, so I am guessing that I was laying there for at least five minutes before looking.  What I found unusual was that I said to Swami “I have been missing you.”  That is not an expression I would normally use; I would normally say something like “I miss you”, “I missed you” or “you have been missed”.  I believe there are a number of deeper, hidden messages in here for me to unravel, and I may share them in a future post if it seems appropriate.

Finally, there was one particular detail about Baba’s physical form that I will not share because I believe it to be very personal between Swami and I.  But the reason for mentioning it is that Swami always works in ways that are very precise and literally everything with him has a meaning.  I believe he gave that tiny bit of detail as a gentle reminder for me not to get attached to the form.  I believe he came to me in that way because that is how I relate to him.  But at the same time he did not want to divert my attention too far away from the “formless”, so he gave me a little reminder that the physical body will deteriorate over time.

Oh what an experience!  How truly blessed I am!  Thank you so much Baba!

Jai Sai Ram.

A Letter To My 10 Year-Old Self

I’ve had the absolute pleasure recently, through work, to be involved in several creative writing sessions. In the last session I attended the group was tasked with writing a letter of guidance to our 10 year-old self. We had to imagine that we were 90 year-olds and the letter also had to have a Spring theme, to coincide with the new life that is now springing up all around us. Well, I’m not sure if my letter met the Spring theme entirely, but there was a bit of a hint in there at least. I decided to share my letter via this blog because I found it to be the most beautiful exercise and I was quite struck by the way the words just seemed to flow from within me. Try it yourself, you might be pleasantly surprised.

Wow mate! What a kid you are! I know you don’t understand yet why things are the way they are, but you are doing just great. Remember, everything that you experience in life shapes you into the person you will evolve in to. Try not to worry about all the hurtful stuff, one day you will realise how lucky you are to have the insight that is developing within you, even as I write. Look to Mother Nature because she has much to teach you. For example, the beautiful blossom on the trees that line your road, and the adjacent roads, is there for all to enjoy.

Mother Nature doesn’t discriminate; her trees give fruit and shelter to all, regardless of status; both king and beggar alike can eat of the fruit and seek shelter in the shade.

You have noticed at a very young age the prejudice and inequality that exist in the world. But, look to Mother Nature; she will guide you. Just be yourself and be as the blossom – spread your love indiscriminately.

Smile and be happy.

Instant Creation And So Much More

Those of you that know me or who have been subscribed to my blog for some time, will be aware that I have had in excess of 200 astral adventures in the form of out-of-body experiences. You may also be aware that these experiences have been very scarce in the last few years, and you may be additionally aware that I’ve never really known the reason why my soul has chosen to experience these phenomena. Maybe the key to this conundrum is not to analyse, but simply to go with the flow and accept whatever the eternal moment of Now brings to the table. But, just for the sake of it… I’ve always felt that the reason I have these experiences is so that I can share them with people. To help people understand that there is more to life than the “daily drudge” of life on earth. Now… I know what you’re thinking… “why is he blogging about astral travelling if he doesn’t have the experiences anymore?” Well… it’s like this, good people of the Blogiverse, during the early hours of the morning of 30 December 2022, I had quite an amazing experience; and I’m going to share the whole lot with you right here. Hang on to your hats!

It started off as a dream; just like in the “old days,” and I’m going to share the details of the dream with you as well because of something very significant occurring just before I woke up. I was on what felt like a “lads holiday” with someone that I knew from years back; the location was hardly what you would call exotic. It was one of those dreams where the person you are with doesn’t look like the person in question, but all the same, you know it is that person. He appeared to be involved in drug dealing, which I wasn’t comfortable with, but it was OK. We walked past two girls and my “friend” got involved with a drug deal with one of them. It was like the worst kept secret in the universe being played out right in front of my eyes; “let’s do a drug deal but don’t tell Richard.” At one point we seemed to be in a bar when he said something to me about, “when you get home to Birmingham.” I have no idea what this means as I neither come from, nor do I live in Birmingham. Then we were stood by water, which was blue, like swimming pool water, but not clear; in fact it looked as though it could have been extremely deep. For some reason, I decided to jump from the ground on which I was standing to the ground separated by this opaque, blue water. Surely not? I would never make it across. But jump I did.

Now, this is the significant bit. As I jumped, I just seemed to glide above the surface of the water, eventually landing gently on solid ground. Realising that this is one of the gifts I associate with being out of my body, I woke up. Immediately on waking up, a scene appeared in my third eye. It was a strange, grey night time scene, with odd shaped black silhouettes populating the skyline. As I lay there observing this scene, I remember thinking to myself, “If there are no stars in the sky, then create some.” Incredibly, the sky was immediately filled with thousands of beautifully twinkling stars. I was amazed; Instant Creation. This could only mean one thing; I was out of my body. As I lay there sending out thoughts of immense gratitude for the experience, I was aware of being carried off on a journey. Just like the old days I thought…

We travelled through the darkness at speed, until we came to land in what I can only describe as a military-style command post. The strange thing was, that it seemed to have been erected in a built-up area, as opposed to a forest or jungle. I was standing at one end, hands behind my back, underneath the camouflaged net with just a couple of other souls standing at the other. Then more souls entered; they were a mixture of military staff and civilians that I presumed worked for the military. Then what appeared to be a very high ranking officer (a general or such like) entered. I remember thinking to myself, “I might be in trouble here, I probably should have saluted.”. But, nobody else saluted either, and as I continued to stand with my hands behind my back, I suddenly felt my shoulders become very broad. Maybe that was an indicator that I too possibly held some sort of rank. But also, the fact that nobody saluted could be a reminder, that in spirit, rank and status are non-existent. The so-called rank could have simply been an indicator of the job that soul performed. The atmosphere was very calm and relaxed, but before anything further could develop, I felt that familiar pull as though I was heading back to my body.

After a very short journey, I assumed I was back in bed but that assumption was very short lived as I soon realised that I was embarking on another journey. When we stopped travelling I decided that I would reach out in the darkness to whoever it was that had so very kindly given me the experience. I reached out my hand in gratitude and the darkness cleared to show that I was in what looked like a small bed-sitting room. My companion was a young black girl that I would put at about 22 years old in “human speak.” I thanked her profusely for giving me this amazing experience. She said, several times, “it’s OK, I know you.” She then referred to me by a name that I didn’t recognise. I said, “it’s Richard.” I felt very close to this soul and I remember putting my arm around her waist. She then proceeded to change form at least twice. What I took from this sequence of events is a reminder not to get attached to names and forms because ultimately, they do not exist. An older black woman then came to the door, but did not enter the room. Through the open door, I could see that it appeared to be a house of bed-sits; there was souls just hanging out on the staircase above; one young white girl was just sitting on the stairs with her face against the bannisters looking down at us. The scene then changed to a kitchen.

I was in the kitchen with a young black girl, but not sure if it was the same one who had changed form again or whether it was someone different. A man with a rather large waistline made a very brief appearance before disappearing again and I was vaguely aware of other souls, although only a few, looking in to see what was happening. I couldn’t help thinking that I was keeping my friend from her work and then I felt myself moving and in no time at all I was back in my body, laying there in bed wondering what this crazy life is all about.

I really don’t know why I should have this amazing experience after so long, but I’m not complaining. There is one thing worth mentioning though before I bring this marathon post to an end…the importance of expressing gratitude. During and after the experience I expressed gratitude on several occasions. Not only to my companion, but also to God. Not, I might add, to the religious version of God, but to this God.

But whether you call me Jehovah, Yaweh, God, Allah or Charlie, I am still who I am, what I am, where I am, and I will not stop loving you because you got my name wrong, for heaven’s sake.

So you can stop quarrelling over what to call me.

From: Friendship With God – Neale Donald Walsch

So, thanks Charlie, you’re a star!!



A Slight Amendment

Once again, I find myself being inspired to write a blog post after reading the work of Neale Donald Walsch. This time the book that inspired me was: Friendship With God. The particular passage that stoked the flames of inspiration within me, spoke of how we have been conditioned into perceiving God as a parent; a parent who can get quite shirty with us if we don’t love “him” in the way he demands. It went on to say, that if we could simply accept God as a friend and seek to develop that friendship, our lives would be much more in line with our soul purpose. Of course, those are my own words that describe a vastly truncated version of what I actually read, but I hope you get the gist of what I’m trying to convey here. What nailed it for me to write this post was the piece that suggested we could start The Lord’s Prayer with, “Our Friend” instead of “Our Father.” So, feeling suitably inspired, I decided to take it upon myself to amend The Lord’s Prayer and I hope you feel as I do, that this is a far more realistic version.

The Friend’s Prayer

Our Friend, who art everywhere,

Hallowed be thy nameless and formless Self,

Our kingdom is One kingdom,

Our will drives us on,

Everywhere; not just within the constraints of man-made religion,

You give us every day, everything we need, and

You accept us exactly as we are without judgement,

For ours is the kingdom,

The power to Love, gloriously,

For ever and ever,

Our Friend