About Bloggin With Rich

I was born in London in 1955 and have lived a very topsy turvey life. I left school at 15 with no qualifications, and had I not left voluntarily, I would have been asked to leave. I always felt that I didn't fit in anywhere, and as a result, by the time I reached the age of 17 I'd had 24 jobs. I joined the army in 1976 hoping that it would give me a purpose in life but instead I became even more disillusioned and turned to alcohol. I hated the army because I found it to be such a hypocritical organisation and as soon as I was eligible to do so, I bought myself out. Whilst in the military however, I did enjoy my experiences in Germany and in 1980 went back there to work, staying for six years. My heavy drinking continued during my time in Germany and by the time I returned to the UK in 1986 I was heading down into a deep depression. I managed to haul myself out of it in the mid-to-late 1990's but my life hit an all time low in 2000. In early 2001 I found my spiritual pathway and started to turn my life around. I now live in Gloucestershire in the UK and I'm a successful medium and healer. I'm also the author of ten spiritual publications and have produced five meditation and three chanting CDs. I'm a workshop facilitator in various spiritual topics and I also give profound interpretations of dreams. There are plans in 2014 for another book, provisionally entitled "An Idiots Guide To Spiritual Law" and a series of audio books in CD form. Connect with me on facebook https://www.facebook.com/authorrichardfholmes

Painting The Blues

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Cosmic Womb 22/05/20

As well as trying to get to grips with my cigar box guitar during this time of great change, I have dusted off my oil paints and given them another outing.  Since I started in 1997, virtually every painting I’ve done has been an experiment in trying to find the perfect technique to create the perfect end-product.  I’ve tried acrylics and gouache too, but they just don’t seem to do it in the same way that oils do; they simply don’t capture the vividness of the colours.

This painting I did today is probably the closest I’ve ever got to achieving my artistic goal.  As you would expect, the photo does not do it justice; there is so much incredible detail that has to be seen close-up.  However, I’m really pleased with it and thought I would share it with you all.

Stay safe and happy!

And Now For Something Completely Different

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I thought that I would share with you another one of my interests.  I’m a very lazy musician, I love guitars but 6 strings is too many!  I have acquired a custom built, 3 string cigar box guitar.  It was made by a real craftsman here in the UK.  I’m still getting to grips with it, as it is a bit smaller than I anticipated and I’m struggling a bit still, to stop the box moving as I’m playing.  But I’m getting there with it slowly.  I’m also currently waiting to have a crystal glass bottleneck slide custom made, but the virus situation has put a spanner in the works with that for the time being.  Below are some pics and a video; don’t forget your ear plugs!

Peace Descending


I was not even born when Ramana Maharshi left this earthly life and I didn’t even hear of him until roughly the last 10-12 years ago, but the impact he has had on my life has been amazing.  Of course, he was no mere mortal, but even so, his influence on me defies all logic.  Today, for example, I finished reading The Mind of Ramana Maharshi by Arthur Osbourne, for the fourth time.  The penultimate chapter covers the great sage’s mahasamadhi.  As I was reading it I felt very tearful; not out of grief, but because I was so touched by the graciousness shown to his devotees throughout his time in Tiruvannamalai.  The book managed to convey this to the reader very admirably.  Even in the last hours of his earthly life he was still giving darshan.

I have found that whenever I feel that the world is getting to me, and I feel myself getting sucked in by the tricks of the ego, a bit of Ramana Maharshi always brings me back.  I always get such a feeling of peace descend upon me when I read about his teachings and life.  For me, the main message that flows from the pages is that The Maharshi radiated such peace, and it is as though I am touched by that very same peace as I read; everything about him was just pure love.

There aren’t really any words to explain this kind of thing properly, and I’m sure some people reading this will have had the same experience with their own particular life influences and will understand what I mean; words.being completely unnecessary.

It’s Only Wine


Image by Unsplash

A rich landowner was very well loved by all those who worked for him on account that he was a very caring and compassionate man.  The man’s pride and joy and one real vice, was his wine cellar; of which he was immensely proud.  He had wines of all vintages from all over the world, reds, whites, dry and sweet, before dinner, with dinner, after dinner; you name it, he had a wine for the occasion.  Amongst all of his vast collection, there was one single bottle of an extremely rare vintage that he was waiting to share with the right person.  Many a time he was on the verge of sharing, but it never quite happened.

 

One day the governour of the state visited him but the man thought to himself, “I can’t open this vintage wine and share it with a mere governour.”  Soon after, he was visited by the Arch-Bishop, but “no” he thought, “this man just wouldn’t appreciate it.”  He then entertained a member of the royal family, and as they supped he also felt that this royal simply wasn’t senior enough to taste the rare vintage.  Even when his son got married, he was tempted then to crack open the bottle and toast the happy couple, but again had second thoughts, believing that none of the guests, or indeed his own son, were appreciative enough to taste the rare vintage.  Eventually, the man became old and died and the rare vintage remained undrunk.

The day of his funeral came, and because he had been so kind and popular in life, all his employees and the peasants of the neighbourhood were invited to attend a great celebration of his life.  All the wine was brought out from the cellar, including the one, single bottle of the very rare vintage.  The man’s family shared the wine with everyone present.  However, the peasants and indeed the family, knew nothing of vintages and to them all that was poured into their cup was wine; plain and simple wine.

So it is in life too.  No matter what status we are given by others, or whatever status we award ourselves, it all eventually comes down to the same thing.  Death does not discriminate; it takes all of us eventually from our physical bodies.  I am a firm believer, especially now I am older, that status is very superficial and holds no importance, except that which may be contextual.  The greatest people I have ever known and been inspired by, have been those, that in the worldly sense of the word, had little or no status in life.  They were people who were simply kind, caring and compassionate.

In Zen, death is considered to be part of life, a stepping stone to the next experience.  I hope, my friend, that you drink and enjoy the wine of life that is your experience and I hope your chosen vintage is love…

Balloons

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Whatever you are doing at this moment, I hope you are keeping safe.  I have decided not to make a personal comment on the current situation because the world and his cat has either suddenly become an expert on all things medical, or they are giving their take and perspective on the spiritual reasons and implications for what’s happening.  Instead I am going to share, what I believe, are a couple of lovely things with you that I found on the internet.  Firstly, I found this on the facebook page of Swindon Spiritualist Centre and Healing Sanctuary (author unknown):

A teacher brought balloons to school and asked the children to blow them all up and then each write their names on their balloon.  They tossed all the balloons into the hall while the teacher mixed them from one end to the other.  The teacher then gave them 5 minutes to find the balloon with their name on it.  The children ran around, looking frantically but as the time ran out nobody had found their own balloon.  Then the teacher told them to take the balloon closest to them and give it to the person who’s name was on it.  In less than 2 minutes everyone had their own balloon.  Finally the teacher said:

“Balloons are like happiness. No one will find it looking for theirs only. Instead if everyone cares about each others they will find theirs as quickly as possible.”

Secondly, I came across this video from the wonderful Rupert Spira:

I really appreciate having you as my blog followers; thank you!

Enfolded In The Love Of Spirit


Photo by Aidan Roof from Pexels

Those of you who read my post Impermanence will know why it is quite rare for me to write about my work away from writing.  However, I felt compelled to share this post after I had what was quite a beautiful experience earlier this year.  If you’ve read the post I referred to above, you will be aware that I have two jobs with the same organisation; one that is a part-time contract based in our main building, and the other, which is on an ad-hoc basis working in the community.  So it happened, that whilst I was at my day job one Friday in February, I was asked if I would be able to work that evening; just three calls in the community.

Around half an hour before I was due to meet up with my colleague for the evening, I received information that we were to make an extra call.  We had taken on another patient on an emergency basis; I must confess that when I read the patient notes I did not feel that the person would be long for this world.  All of our calls were logistically well placed, so we didn’t have far to drive between each one.  The emergency call was the last one; logistically, it fitted perfectly in that order, but also, because it was a new patient, you never know what you are going in to, so it made sense to deal with the “devil” that we knew first.  The idea of a first visit is that you explain the service to the patient and any family members present (what they can expect, what we provide etc.), do what ever they need you to do at that time, then the following day the service “proper” starts.

It was dark and raining, and the property was in a village that neither me nor my colleague were familiar with.  The first thing that happened was that sat nav took us up a dark country lane where there were no houses.  We managed to find a turning place and drove back down to the village and parked up next to the phone box.  The idea was to call the house and use the phone box as a land mark from which to work from.  It was explained to us where the house was, but parking was at a premium along the narrow lanes, so we had to park some distance away from our destination.  When we eventually got to the house, we were met on the steps by a teenager who informed us that the patient had indeed died around an hour previously.

In these cases we always ask if there’s anything they want us to do.  Sometimes the family just want to be alone with their deceased relative.  Other times, we perform a task called “last offices” that means we give the deceased person a wash and clean them up if necessary.  It also involves putting fresh garments on them, if the family so desire, and combing the hair and positioning the body in a dignified way.

When we entered the house it was quite chaotic; there were many people milling around in various states of mourning, also several other comings and goings and to cap it all there was also two boisterous dogs.  In all the chaos we asked if they wanted us to do anything and it was decided that we would simply wash the hands and face, brush the hair and position the deceased in a dignified way.  Eventually, after a few minutes of people walking in and out of the room, we were left alone to carry out our work.

As we set about our task, I was suddenly aware of the most beautiful presence of spirit.  It came very close and enfolded me as I went about my work.  Regular readers will know that I advocate a non-dual existence, however, I also understand that while we are here in the world we will have the experience of duality.  This particular experience demonstrated to me that the apparent “poor soul” who departed this life, was guided home by a Love whose beauty is way beyond the comprehension of the human mind.  It was also interesting to note, that before we carried out last offices, a lady in the house (who I took to be the mother of the deceased) said to me, “I know she has gone to a better place.”