A Day Like No Other

This is a day that is like no other. This is a moment in which you can make great things happen.

This is a world full of challenge and opportunity. This is a life that’s overflowing with possibilities.

This is your chance to make a real, positive difference. This is the time that is yours to fully live.

This is reality, and it is filled with promise. This is when you can begin to make your most treasured dreams real.

This is the place where your choices have brought you. This is your first step toward the best you can imagine.

This moment, this world, this life that you’re in can be whatever you decide to make of it. This is your reminder to make it great.

— Ralph Marston

Video Message Of The Week #5

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Magnolias – A Heart Warming Story

I spent the week before my daughter’s June wedding running last-minute trips to the caterer, florist, tuxedo shop, and the church about forty miles away.  As happy as I was that Patsy was marrying a good Christian young man, I felt laden with responsibilities as I watched my budget dwindle.  So many details, so many bills, and so little time.  My son Jack was away at college, but he said he would be there to walk his younger sister down the aisle, taking the place of his dad who had died a few years before. He teased Patsy, saying he’d wanted to give her away since she was about three years old!  To save money, I gathered blossoms from
several friends who had large magnolia trees. Their luscious, creamy-white
blooms and slick green leaves would make beautiful arrangements against the rich dark wood inside the church.

After the rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding, we banked the podium area and choir loft with magnolias. As we left just before midnight, I felt tired but satisfied this would be the best wedding any bride had ever had! The music, the ceremony, the reception – and especially the flowers – would be remembered for years.

The big day arrived – the busiest day of my life – and while her bridesmaids helped Patsy to dress, her fiancé Tim walked with me to the sanctuary to do a final check. When we opened the door and felt a rush of hot air, I almost fainted; and then I saw them – all the beautiful white flowers were black. Funeral black. An electrical storm during the night had knocked out the air conditioning system, and on that hot summer day, the flowers had wilted and died.  I panicked, knowing I didn’t have time to drive back to our hometown, gather more flowers, and return in time for the wedding.  Tim turned to me.
‘Edna, can you get more flowers?  I’ll throw away these dead ones and put fresh flowers in these arrangements.’  I mumbled, ‘Sure,’ as he be-bopped down the
hall to put on his cuff links.

Alone in the large sanctuary, I looked up at the dark wooden beams in the arched ceiling. ‘Lord,’ I prayed, ‘please help me. I don’t know anyone in this town. Help me find someone willing to give me flowers – in a hurry!’  I scurried out praying for four things: the blessing of white magnolias, courage to find them in an unfamiliar yard, safety from any dog that may bite my leg, and a nice person who would not get out a shotgun when I asked to cut his tree to shreds.  As I left the church, I saw magnolia trees in the distance. I approached a house…  No
dog in sight. I knocked on the door and an older man answered. So far so good.
No shotgun. When I stated my plea the man beamed, ‘I’d be happy to!’

He climbed a stepladder and cut large boughs and handed them down to me. Minutes later, as I lifted the last armload into my car trunk, I said, ‘Sir, you’ve made the mother of a bride happy today.  No, Ma’am,’ he said. ‘You don’t understand what’s happening here.’  ‘What?’ I asked.  ‘You see, my wife of sixty-seven years died on Monday. On Tuesday I received friends at the funeral home, and on Wednesday… He paused. I saw tears welling up in his eyes. ‘On Wednesday I buried her.’ He looked away. ‘On Thursday most of my out-of-town relatives went back home, and on Friday – yesterday – my children left.’  I nodded.  ‘This morning,’ he continued, ‘I was sitting in my den crying out loud.
I miss her so much. For the last sixteen years, as her health got worse, she
needed me. But now nobody needs me. This morning I cried, ‘Who needs an
eighty-six-year-old worn-out man? Nobody!’ I began to cry louder. ‘Nobody needs me!’ About that time, you knocked, and said, ‘Sir, I need you.’

I stood with my mouth open.  He asked, ‘Are you an angel? The way the light shone around your head into my dark living room.’  I assured him
I was no angel.  He smiled. ‘Do you know what I was thinking when I handed you those magnolias?’  ‘No.’  ‘I decided I’m needed. My flowers are needed. Why, I might have a flower ministry!  I could give them to everyone! Some caskets at the funeral home have no flowers. People need flowers at times like that and I have lots of them.  They’re all over the backyard! I can give them to hospitals, churches – all sorts of places.

You know what I’m going to do?  I’m going to serve the Lord until the day He
calls me home!’  I drove back to the church, filled with wonder. On Patsy’s wedding day, if anyone had asked me to encourage someone who was hurting, I would have said, ‘Forget it! It’s my only daughter’s wedding, for goodness’ sake! There is no way I can minister to anyone today.’  But God found a way.
Through dead flowers.  ‘Life is not the way it’s supposed to be. It’s the way it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference.’

May God’s blessings be upon you.

Edna Ellison

Sai Humour

I am going to share with you a couple of incidents that prove that Sri Sathya Sai Baba really does know everything about us, including every single thought we have before we even think it.  Notice also that I say ”does know” and not ”did know”, because even though Swami is no longer with us in physical form his Omnipresence is as strong as ever.

The first incident is one I have spoken of many times before and also mentioned in my book, Astral Travelling, The Avatar and Me; the reason I continue to mention this particular incident is because I find it so highly amusing.  It concerns an American devotee, who knowing that Swami does not encourage the consumption of alcohol, succumbed to the badgering of his work colleagues and allowed himself to be persuaded to go for a ”few beers” after work on a number of occasions.  He was blessed to receive the call to travel to Baba’s ashram, Prashanthi Nilayam, and even more blessed to be called in for a private group interview along with a number of other devotees.  But as he entered the interview room, little did the American realise that he was moments away from the embarrassment of his life.  As everyone sat in Swami’s presence, in great anticipation; out of the blue and in front of the entire group, Baba suddenly pointed at him and exclaimed ”look at him, Heineken here, Heineken there!”

The second incident has only recently come to my attention but it is equally humerous.  In his book, From Where Did You Come, Charles P DiFazio relates this wonderful story about two American ladies, Lynne and Linda, who out of their craving for nicotine, also fell foul of one of Swami’s pranks.  The ladies had attended darshan at Baba’s ashram in the mountain retreat of Kodaikanal.  Swami liked the cooler climate at Kodai and would visit when he wanted a break from the fierce heat of Puttaparthi.  After darshan the two ladies were gasping for a cigarette, and as smoking is strictly forbidden on the ashram, they went into the village and purchased a packet of cigarettes from a kiosk.  They were standing on the street puffing away when all of a sudden a great excitement filled the air.  They realised that this could only mean one thing; Swami’s car was coming.  They quickly stubbed out their cigarettes and joined the throngs lining the streets waiting for Swami to drive past.

A short time elapsed and a bus carrying Baba’s students slowly drove past; following immediately behind was Baba.  As the car went past, Swami leant out of the window, and with an impish grin on his face, put his middle and forefingers to his mouth and simulated a puffing action.

There are literally thousands of such incidents that have occurred over the years, and as I write I feel compelled to share just one more example of how Baba used humour with great effect in order to demonstrate spiritual lessons.

In the days when Puttarparthi was still a tiny hamlet and Baba was but a mere child he would teach all the other kids in the village devotional songs, and lead them in the singing.  The kids loved Baba; especially so, because from a very early age he would materialize books, pencils and sweets for them out of thin air.

Little Sathya knew that one of the prominent figures in the village was corrupt.  So he taught the other children a song that exposed the man’s crooked activities.  he told the children to follow the man around every where he went and taunt him with this song.  This they did with great delight.  In the end the man couldn’t take anymore so he went to Baba, who was but a child himself, and pleaded with him for the taunting to stop.  Baba made the man promise to change his ways; and only then did he instruct the other kids to leave him alone.

Wonderful!  The beauty is that there is a bottomless pit of stories such as these.

When The Curtain Comes Down

Everyone has to make his exit some day;

that movement should not be a moment of angish;

one should depart gracefully,

With a smile and a bow.


Where Are You God

Where are you God?

Where is your blissful heart?

Where are you God?

When do you play your part?

When you love all men as one

That’s when my grace

In you does come

Adapted Hymn

Video Message Of The Week #4

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Life – The Illusion

Life, and creation in general is a pretty amazing thing.  How many of us remember to acknowledge that whatever we are gazing upon is never as it actually seems within this world of matter.  I for one am constantly forgetting, and allowing my mind to trick me into believing that what I can see is actually what’s real and happening.  In truth our planet is an absolutely amazing place; a living breathing entity in a constant state of flux.  Nothing is ever actually as it seems, and even the underlying reality is constantly in motion; indeed, this is why we do not stay “young and beautiful” (in the earthly sense), because our physical bodies, being comprised of particles of matter, are on their own private journey which will eventually see them existing in a different form.

We speak of the emptiness of space; but what we actually have is particles of emptiness, from which all forms emerge, and it is back into the emptiness where all forms must eventually re-merge.  Imagine this then, we talk about “over here” and “over there” with the bit in between being space.  But the space must consist of something because if “that which is neither here nor there” did not exist, then we would not have over here and over there.  Let us elaborate more on this illusion.  Is it not incredible that none of us have ever actually seen a tree?  We have never seen ourselves, our parents, our cars, our houses; in fact you cannot actually see the computer screen in front of you now.  All that any of us has ever seen here within this earthly life is LIGHT and nothing else.  It’s truly amazing that particles of light bounce off objects and send information to our brains via our eyes.  The images that we think we are looking at exist within our brains and no where else.

There is also no such thing as a solid object.  If you were to take a piece of hard metal, for example, such as Tungsten or Iron and place it under an electron microscope, what you would see would not be a solid object.  You would see particles, in perfect symmetry, separated by air molecules and in constant motion; the only reason objects seem solid, or otherwise, is because everything within this dimension has a frequency of vibration.  It is therefore the vibratory frequency of an object that is responsible for its density and apparent solidity.

Now we come to the physical body itself.  How many of us realise that its not only our Divine essence that is eternal, but also our physical bodies do not die either.  Although the physical form reverts back to inanimate matter when the spirit leaves, it doesn’t simply “die”; it actually changes form and continues to exist.  Like everything else our bodies are comprised of matter particles; matter being a concentrated form of energy.  Energy can neither be created nor destroyed; it is eternal and exists in its own right.  So, when the spirit leaves and a body is buried, it simply decomposes over time, merges with Mother Earth and continues to exist.  When a body is cremated, the cremation process causes the body to evolve into heat energy, which in turn is absorbed back into the total energy mass.

Yes, this life is absolutely incredible; the trouble is that we have a habit of going around with blinkers on most of the time and miss all the wonder.  But to finish on a positive note.  I know that I am very fortunate to have been able to incarnate into flesh at this very special time and the purpose of my journey is to remove my blinkers and achieve enlightenment; so it’s a case of “job in progress”.

Living Proof That The Spirit Has No Boundaries

In 1995 I was in a very dark place; I’d been suffering from depression for years but had no idea.  I was also in a dead-end and brain numbingly boring job, working for the Royal Mail in Swindon, Wiltshire.  I desperately wanted to break free of my humdrum existence and decided to pursue something completely different and creative.  I had always been a big fan of rock and blues music and like many, played a mean ham-fisted guitar.  My guitars were my pride and joy and I decided I was going to become a full-time student at New College in Swindon on their BTEC ”Popular Music” course.  It was a huge decision; it meant giving up full time employment and struggling by on casual jobs, such as washing pots and bar work; but I decided that I really needed the adventure.  A while before the course was due to start, the college informed me they were not running the popular music course, but offered me “BTEC Performing Arts” as an alternative.  I’m glad I decided to take them up on their offer because in no time at all after the onset of the course, I realised that I was not a very good guitarist after all, in fact I was just short of mediocre.  I was 40 years old and attending a sixth form college, and there were kids of 16 playing guitar like Jimi Hendrix.  But out of the darkness there came a light.  I may have been a rubbish musician, but I found a flair for acting that I didn’t know I had; and little did I know at the time that it would be my experience on stage, both as a member of a theatre company and as a solo performer, that would prepare me for my work as a medium in the future.  Anyway, I digress; this story is not meant to be about me, but I did need to paint a picture for you.

Around about Christmas time in 1995 two young students at New College (whom I didn’t know) decided they were going to race their cars up Queens Drive in Swindon on their way home.  One of them tried to overtake on the inside lane and lost control of his vehicle.  He mounted the grass verge and continued onto the pavement.  Another young student, walking home, took the full impact of the car and was rammed into a wall.  The wall was demolished and the young man left his body there and then.  I didn’t know the young man; indeed I only heard about the incident from the other students in my group and ascertained that his name was Mark.

Even though I didn’t know Mark, and if he were to stand before me now I would not know that it was him, I was really struck by how deeply his passing affected the kids in my group.  Seeing how touched they were, in turn, touched me.  So much so that in January 1996 I was prompted from within to write a poem that I simply called ”Mark”.  I came into college one day and read the poem out and showed it around.  Many were touched by it and news of the poem reached Mark’s parents who, via the grapevine, requested a copy.  back then computers were very much alien to me and I had written the poem by hand.  I was very pleased that news of my work had reached Mark’s parents and even more pleased that they requested a copy; so it was with great joy that I hand-wrote them another.  The poem was not a piece of literary genius; in fact it was a very, very simple piece of writing.  But its power was in its simplicity.  Now to the whole point of this article.

It is difficult for many to understand that the entire human race is one whole inter-connected family.  Human logic does tend to equate with the physical form and the boundaries and limitations imposed by our much tormented minds.  But to me this incident proves that time, space and physical presence are of no consequence to the Divine Spirit that is our deepest and highest truth.  I never knew Mark at all, but I was touched deeply within my heart; his parents never knew me (and still don’t) but they were touched deeply in their hearts.  It wasn’t our physical forms that had an impact on our respective lives; it was our very souls reaching out to each other across time and space.  There is also a great symbolism within this incident that my troubled mind at the time could never have recognised.  There is an example in here of The Holy Trinity* ; how creation and life in general is a series of cycles heavily influenced by the number 3.  Out of love Mark’s parents (God The Father) begat Mark (God The Son) who out of his love (spirit) touched (begat) me (God The Holy Spirit).  From within I wrote (begat) the poem that touched Mark’s parents, and so the cycle (the trinity) was complete.  I have reproduced the poem below for what I hope is your enjoyment, and I strongly believe that the poem itself is living proof that the human spirit is not limited by a tormented mind either, as mine was at the time.

* The Holy Trinity is and always has been symbolic; it was never meant to refer to an old man with a beard (God) who had a son (Jesus) and somewhere or other there is a spirit flying around.  The ultimate example of The Holy Trinity is: God The Father (the Ocean of Love that exists beyond vibratory creation), God The Son (God manifested as flesh here on earth, or the human race) and God The Holy Spirit (The Christ Concsiousness).  Atainment by humans of ”Christ Consciousness (self) realisation” allows the individual soul to return to the ocean of love from whence it came, thus completing the cycle (trinity).


Gather your thoughts as you read these words

A friend has departed, the emotions are stirred

As he winds his way up to Heaven above

We think of him and extend our love

He’s happy now we surely know

But it broke our hearts to see him go

A far away land a pasture green

The most beautiful place you’ve ever seen

We shall meet you again when our time is done

In that beautiful place with the never setting sun

The flame of your memory Burns deep in our soul

And shall burn eternal ‘till the hills cease to roll

So think of us Mark from your beautiful place

And send us a postcard of your smiling face

Richard Holmes – January 1996