About Author Richard F Holmes

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

Who Is It That Suffers?


I have mentioned in previous posts that I have chosen not to comment on the current situation regarding the pandemic, which has affected so many people around the world. I’ve always felt that there are enough armchair experts out there, without me chipping in as well.

But, with the amount of suffering that is going on, I feel inspired to write this post, not necessarily just about the current world-wide situation, but about suffering in general.

Like many, I have learned that going through difficult experiences has a habit of forcing us to look within ourselves for strength and inspiration, as opposed to looking to the external world; which quite often is the source of our troubles. It is also true to say that as a species, we evolve via our experiences, and being as our true nature is consciousness, this is only natural as consciousness is in a constant state of flux and evolution. I personally, feel very positive about what is happening in the world; I feel that the end product will be something quite amazing. Let us not forget that we have this wonderful thing called relativity and that the world moves in cycles. After every fall there is a rise and every painful experience ultimately leads to a pleasurable one, and vice versa.

Once again, I’m going to refer to the teachings of Ramana Maharshi to demonstrate the whole point of this article, as I feel his simple philosophy holds the key to whether we as humans live a life of peace or pain. The Maharshi would always address questions from devotees and visitors to his ashram in accordance with their ability to understand, so from this respect, it would be impossible to say that the following is the exact answer that would have been given to everyone who asked the question. But quite often, if anyone asked him why they suffer so much or why there is so much suffering in the world, he would say, “who is it that suffers?”

He would tell them to ask the question, “who am I?” The only answer being, “the One eternal Self.” He would remind them of this; their true nature, and say something like, “if you are and always have been the Self, which exists as it is with no knowledge of suffering, who then is it that suffers?” The answer to that question is that it is only the ego that suffers because of our habit of falsely identifying with the body as the reality.

No one is saying that it’s an easy ride; far from it. But having the understanding that we are ultimately just “the witness” to what is happening and not a participant helps a great deal. Finally, I refer you to my previous blog post “Be Still.” I find that simply being still is a very effective way of getting through each day. There is most definitely something happening, but we need to look within ourselves to find out what that is. I find that it is only during moments of stillness that the Self reveals its secrets.

Be Still


One thing that has become apparent to me in this crazy life, is that when it comes to the “realisation of the Self”, time and space are irrelevant. What I mean is, that it matters not where you are in the world or what time of day it is, the Self is always just as it is. You can only awaken exactly where you are and nowhere else. Of course, it is always nice to go on pilgrimages and to visit holy sites or places of beauty in order to induce feelings of peace and oneness with the “all that is.” But ultimately, it makes no difference whatsoever.

I remember my own personal experience when I received the inner call to visit the ashram of Sri Sathya Sai Baba back in 2009. There I was, at “The Abode of the Highest Peace”, yet at every opportunity I would go to the internet cafe to check emails or see how my football team was doing. Ramana Maharshi used to say, that there is no point in going to the Himalayas to sit in a cave, when all you do when you are there is think of home. He would also say, that we sit at home thinking that it will induce realisation of the Self if we go to the Himalayas, but once we get there we spend all our time wondering what’s going on back home. It doesn’t matter where we are in the world, if we are not ready and the mind is over-active then it will prevent us from from experiencing our true state, which is pure Being.

My own personal environment is a constant reminder to me that I have some way to go before realising that I am already realised (by that, I mean having the constant direct experience that I am already that which I am seeking). The little town where I live gives me constant reminders of my own petty judgements and prejudices, which will have to be dealt with before I get any lofty spiritual ambitions.

I have come to the conclusion that the only really effective form of spiritual practise, is to “be still.” Even recognised and traditional spiritual practises, such as yoga and meditation, only induce a temporary awakened state. The practitioner must at some stage return to the world. Simply being still, seems to be the best way to connect with the inner silence; the infinite cave of wisdom, which is effectively “the Self.” Giving up all ideas of doing and achieving also allows the higher power to work through us.

The root of all our pain and suffering is that most of us are not human beings (or humans being), we are humans doing!

Pure Wisdom


I’m about half-way through the book, Stillness Speaks, by Eckhart Tolle and I came across this truly beautiful piece of wisdom that I felt I just had to share with you. I hope it inspires you in the same way that it inspired me:

“Just as water can be solid, liquid or gaseous, consciousness can be seen to be “frozen” as physical matter, “liquid” as mind and thought, or formless as pure consciousness.”

“Pure consciousness is Life before it comes into manifestation, and that Life looks at the world of form through “your” eyes because consciousness is who you are.”

Eckhart Tolle

Just as a matter of interest, and following on from my previous post, Everything Serves A Purpose, I thought it would amuse you to know that it’s happened again. After me explaining that my out-of-body experiences had dried up, and sharing with you what happened the last time I made a similar statement, during the early hours of 16/11/20 I had… yes, you guessed correctly… an out-of-body experience…

You couldn’t make it up!

Everything Serves A Purpose

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For the benefit of those who have not been following my blog for very long, I will just recap on something that I once wrote about on a fairly regular basis, before I get to the point of this particular post.

There was a time when I seemed to have a lot of out-of-body experiences. I estimated, that over the years; starting in approximately 1999, I had somewhere in between 200 to 300 astral adventures. Some were spectacular and some were not worth writing about. A couple of years back I wrote about how they had become very few and far between, but no sooner had I made that statement, they started again with a flurry. In 2020 I have had only five; the last being back in May. They now seem to have dried up completely. Every now and then I asked myself the question, “why, what’s the point?” I came to the conclusion that it was so I would be able to share my experiences (where appropriate), and reassure people that, “this isn’t all there is.”

OK, so that was a condensed version of my astral travelling experiences…

It occured to me very recently, that my initial assumption, although true, was not the complete picture. I have now realised that my experiences, some of which, that as time went by became quite tedious, brought me confirmation of a very profound truth and that it has taken me all this time to realise it. What I mean is this: I had the sensation of leaving my body; I also had the sensation of returning to my body. Then there was the bit in between where I had the actual astral experience, whatever form that took. But, the important thing here is that I was conscious of all aspects of the experience. Meaning, that my body is most certainly not who I am. When I was out of my body, consciousness was very much “alive” and alert. So, my body is not essential to my being, but consciousness is who and what I am. Indeed, my body is completely inanimate unless consciousness is present.

It is all very, very simple and I can’t believe that it took so long for the penny to drop. If it’s the case for me, then it must be so for everybody else. Of course, if you want to be pedantic about it and split hairs, you could argue that I know it is my truth because I had the direct experience, and possibly it would be different for others. You could add that individuals will only come to the same conclusion as me if they have the same experience. But, all said and done, I think it’s a pretty good indicator that we are consciousness and not the body.

The Joy Of Being


I am currently reading the book, A New Earth – awakening to your life’s purpose, by the wonderful Eckhart Tolle. This is the third time I will have read it; it is just a truly amazing book. The following passage really resonated with me, so I thought I would share it with you. Hope you enjoy it.

“The joy of Being, which is the only true happiness, cannot come to you through any form, possession, achievement, person or event – through anything that happens. That joy cannot come to you – ever. It emanates from the formless dimension within you, from consciousness itself and thus is one with who you are.”

Eckhart Tolle

Choose Peace Before Fear


Photo by Ku00e9vin Dorg on Pexels.com

Here we are folks, as promised I’m back again with a very simple exercise to help you connect with the ever peaceful, inner you. Of course, I would love to be able to say that this exercise is my own, but it isn’t. To my knowledge, it originates from that most wonderful Vietnamese Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh.

First of all, get all ideas of “doing;” of having to achieve something, out of your mind. Do not start off from the standpoint that you are engaged in the act of doing. Do not even think to yourself, “I must clear my mind of all thoughts.” This is all about “allowing;” there is nothing to “do.” Thoughts will inevitably start flying through your head; this is fine, try not to judge this as being good or bad. Just accept that thoughts are there and let them pass through; even the thoughts that follow the thoughts etc, etc.

To begin with, find your comfortable space; it doesn’t necessarily have to be indoors, it could be out in nature. Breathing through your nose, just take a few breaths, as many as you need, just to centre yourself and to get yourself starting to relax. Next, say these words silently in your mind as you breath in, “breathing in, I know I am breathing in.” As you breath out, also say these words silently in your mind, “breathing out, I know I am breathing out.” You do this for three breaths.

Next, on the in-breath you say the word “in” silently in your mind, and on the out-breath, you say the word “out” silently in your mind. You can also do this for three breaths, but equally you can carry this stage on as long as you want. At some stage, when you relax sufficiently, the words will disappear of their own accord anyway. The idea of the exercise is simply to become aware of your breath. The longer the exercise goes on, the more you become aware of simply being aware. This awareness is your true nature; “the peace that passes all understanding.”

I hope you get something from this; stay safe, stay peaceful.

 

For Better Or For Worse


Photo courtesy of Pixabay

The world truly does seem to be in chaos, but here is something to consider; another slant on things.  Without wishing to bring politics into my blog, I think it is only the most naive of people who do not see by now that the role of the media is to cause fear and mayhem amongst the masses; thus, fanning the flames of division.

But, the truth is that negativity is very loud (“hate screeches”, as Sri Sathya Sai Baba used to say), and peace is very soft and subtle.  The egoic mind is easily led, and television news bulletins and sensationalist newspaper headlines effortlessly draw in the masses, like sheep, for their daily dose of brainwashing.

But, take the fragrance of a rose, for instance.  There are no words to describe its beauty; it remains silent, yet says so much.  What I’m trying to say here is that there is so much positivity to be taken from the amazing world in which we live.  There is so much that the beauty of Mother Nature can teach us, if we are prepared to look.  The thing is, beauty doesn’t screech; it simply exists as it is, in subtle splendour.

We can also look for our own subtle splendour, that is our essential Being; who we really are.  This is the peace that passes all understanding that can only be found within ourselves.  Things always seem to be descending into chaos, because hate and fear are always shouting.  But, in reality, we are only a witness to that chaos; the eternal witness, to be more precise.  The world may sometimes appear to be getting better AND worse at the same time, but remember, for better or worse, the world is in a constant state of flux because it is ultimately an illusion; it is consciousness in motion.  The underlying, changeless, absolute truth ( who we really are) is always simply as it is, and is always accessible to us if we will just look beyond the madness.

In my next post I’m going to share with you a very simple exercise that will help you to focus on your inner subtle splendour, and shut out the screeching that wants to spin you a yarn and cause you to lose yourself in the world.  Hang in there people, I’ll be back in a few days!

 

Transition


I’ve been writing this blog for over nine years now, and I’ve never before left it so long in between posts.  I’ve chosen not to write about the current situation because I feel that there are already plenty of pundits out there offering an opinion.

What I will say, however, and I’m sure there are many experiencing a similar thing, is that we do seem to be going through some kind of transition.  The truth is, that the reason there have been no posts from me lately, is that I simply don’t know what to write about at the moment.  There has definitely been a shift of some sort; and who I was as a writer doesn’t seem to exist anymore.  I have taken my only two remaining books out of circulation, so for the first time since I started publishing my own books, I have nothing available for purchase.

We know that life is cyclic, so I suppose it’s true to say that I’m waiting for the next upsurge in inspiration.  I wouldn’t call this writer’s block, as I don’t think that’s something that applies to writers such as myself.  Also, I cannot say what form the next wave of my writing journey will take.  One thing that I am sure of though, is that I will always be writing in one way, shape or form; even if there will on occasion be a longer gap than usual between projects.

Thank you for sticking with me and I hope you are all staying safe.  Below are pics of my latest painting and my musical “family.”  Take care lovely subscribers and I’ll be in touch again soon!

 

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!