Who Am I? Part Twenty Three


Stephen Turoff in the waiting room at his clinic in Chelmsford.

My life really started to take off, and I’m going to try in this post, to bring us up to the end of 2003, which is where this particular era ended. I just need to tie up a few loose ends along the way. I had always wondered why my long-term excesses with alcohol had never had an adverse effect on my body. But I’d also assumed that it was because I’d never been much into drinking really hard liquor and I’d also always maintained a very healthy appetite. During the Christmas period of 2000, while I was still off work, I “treated” myself to a small bottle of brandy. If I ever did drink brandy it was usually with ginger ale, and this occasion was no different. But what I did notice was that every time I took a drink it would cause a real burning sensation in my stomach, as though my stomach was on fire inside. This caused me a bit of alarm; now hold that thought…

It had taken me an absolute age to finish the Tara Ward book about discovering your psychic powers, but now that I had, I could start the book by Grant Soloman on the life of world-famous psychic surgeon, Stephen Turoff. The book was amazing, and not only did I learn about all the incredible healing miracles performed by Stephen, but I also learned that Stephen was a devotee of Sai Baba, so the book gave me further insight into the fuzzy-haired Indian God-man. Towards the end of the book, the author wrote about how he was sitting in his office in the UK one day and glanced up, only to see Sai Baba walk past the window. He knew that Swami was thousands of miles away in India, so this gave me further insight into Baba’s ability to be in several places at once. I started to seek out books on Swami so I could learn more, and at some point Swami started to appear in my dreams.

I was still living above the hairdressers at this point, and when I felt the burning sensation in my stomach, I decided that I was going to go to Stephen Turoff’s healing clinic in Chelmsford. My mum and my friend Sue came with me. We drove down in my car the day before our appointments were scheduled and stayed in a bed and breakfast place in Little Beddow, a short drive from Stephen’s clinic. It was quite an experience just sitting in the waiting room. The walls were adorned with photos of Sai Baba and various other holy men. Vibhuti had manifested itself in several places in the room. At one end was a kind of altar and in a corner was a small chair with one of Swami’s robes draped over it. Vibhuti had also formed on the robe. Before we were called in I had a very profound experience, which I wrote about in my book, The Amazing Journey. I went into an involuntary state of meditation, during which I heard what I can only describe as a “God Voice”, in my head. The voice was so incredibly sweet that words cannot describe it. Because of my heightened state of awareness at the time I cannot remember what was said. All I remember is that the voice sounded like that of a father speaking to a son that he loves dearly.

The experience in the clinic room was also incredible. Stephen actually had two small clinic rooms side by side, and he would simply move from one to the other performing spiritual operations. The operations usually only lasted a couple of minutes at the most, so it was like a production line; one in, one out and so on. We all went in together and I volunteered to go first. Stephen was a huge man; a gentle giant, and he’d once been a bouncer on the door at the Tottenham Royal, which was a dance hall in Tottenham, North London, not far from where I was born. I lay on the couch and Stephen asked me what the problem was. I told him, and he wasn’t very happy that I had not gone to see my GP for a diagnosis. However, he put his hands on my stomach and I chose not to watch. He seemed to fiddle around and then reach for something, then I felt as though one side of my stomach was being kneaded. It didn’t hurt but it felt very uncomfortable. He then seem to make a throwing action and there was a dull thud in the waste bin as though something had been thrown in it. That was that. He then went into the next room to perform another op, then he came back and worked on Sue. Then he disappeared again and then came back and worked on my mum.

When we were all done, there was one hilarious moment when this huge man had my tiny mother sitting on his lap. It was very funny and just the right way to finish the whole experience off. After we left the clinic room Sue said to me, “did you know that he’d taken a scalpel to you”?. I said, “yes, I had an idea that he’d done that”. She then said, “Were you aware that he’d removed something from you and thrown it in the bin”? I said, “yes, but I didn’t bother to check the bin to see what it was”. Sue said, “I was curious, so I had a look in the bin on the way out, and it was empty”! Incredible! I seem to remember that he took a scalpel to Sue as well but I can’t remember if he did to my mum. Unbelievably, there was no anaesthetic used, there was no blood, no pain (only a few moments discomfort), and no scars afterwards. The next time I meditated after that it was like no other meditation I’d had up to then. My chakras seemed to explode open and it was yet another step forward in becoming the new me.

From this point on I made a concerted effort to cut down on my drinking and I have not touched any spirits (no pun intended) since that Christmas in 2000. I think if I carry on up to the end of 2003 this post will be far too long, so I’m going to stop here; but while I feel like I’m on a roll I’m going to get straight on with the next part.

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Who Am I? Part Twenty


A photo of the old Swindon College; my saving grace during a difficult time. Alas, she is no more…

In this post I will endeavour to tie up the loose ends from this stage of my journey, and I’d also like to give you a gentle reminder that I am trying to write these articles from the standpoint of my understanding at the time of the events. So, I was now on the right track but I wasn’t quite out of the woods yet. I was still off work ill; and it would be roughly another three months before I went back. At the request of the HR department I went to see the company doctor. I had already, off my own back, attended counselling (which was a waste time) and a stress management course. I wanted to be seen to be pro-active; after all, I didn’t want to be off work, I just wanted to be in a job where I was treated fairly.

Due to a past experience whilst at Royal Mail in the early 1990s I went in to see the company doctor all guns blazing! I felt quite stupid when he assured me that he wanted the best outcome for both sides. We had a constructive chat; the outcome of which was that I believed that he genuinely wanted to help me get back into work, and he believed that I wanted the same. He wrote a letter to HR recommending that I be redeployed back to Swindon. Once again, I will add that the finer details are not relevant so long after the event, and it will waste blog space by explaining why redeployment would be the best fix for me.

Unfortunately, the HR department were completely and utterly insensitive to what I was going through and their treatment of me while I was off work almost amounted to torture. My mind was in a terrible state. In hindsight, I don’t believe they did this on purpose, it was just that they were oblivious to what I was actually experiencing. They were meant to be sending me weekly lists of vacancies in Swindon through the post. But most of the information they sent was for jobs in London and Reading. At the time my tortured mind believed they were doing it deliberately in an attempt to drive me crazy. It never occurred to me that someone in an office somewhere in Reading was simply sending me a general list of current vacancies. There was also the farce of me having to go in to the Customer Service Centre in Swindon, believing I was going to have an informal chat with an HR representative on how they were going to help me back into work. It turned out I was going in for a job interview that I knew nothing about. Needless to say, I didn’t get the job. So, they were making me go through the recruitment process to get me back into work! I eventually went back in March 2001, working on a temporary project. While I was doing that I continued applying for jobs and eventually bluffed my way back into full-time employment. Meanwhile….

My lovely flat above the hairdressers, that had served me so well, would soon be confined to the past. Lorraine, who had bought the whole premises soon after I moved in, decided to sell the hairdressing business, whilst maintaining ownership of the shop and flat. After buying the property and business, Lorraine had stopped working in the hairdressers. But, during my time as her tenant we maintained a fantastic relationship. Unfortunately, when I was ill and my paranoia was at its peak, my relationship with the salon in general did sour somewhat; again, the details are not relevant. So when Lorraine sold the business and the new hairdresser took over, naturally her priority was to build up her own business. This meant that she was there much more often than I was used to the other hairdressers being there. It didn’t matter when I was out at work, but when I was off sick and going round the bend it was a nightmare. I could hear everything downstairs. She would stay late on Saturday evenings, she would be in there on Sundays and she also opened on Mondays, which had always been a day when the shop was closed. I was going crazy and decided to look for somewhere else to live.

During this period I had started a couple of courses at Swindon College (but not at the same time). Unfortunately, due to my state of mind I left both courses before the end. However, for a period I was still technically a student at Swindon College, so as long as my student ID was valid I continued to use the facilities. This was a Godsend while I was off work as it gave me a reason to go out in the air every day. I would walk into town to the college and use the computer facilities. It was during one of my visits that I saw a sign on one of the notice boards, “room to let”. It would be a step backwards for me as it was obviously a bedsit, however, I was desperate to get out of the flat in Gorse Hill. Enter Steve…

I made a note of the telephone number and rang it that evening. Steve answered and said that he was no longer wanting to rent out the room and that I had obviously seen an old card. But, in the next breath he said I could come and have a look. He was such a pedantic person that I nicknamed him, “Sad Steve”, but he was harmless really and the rent was so unbelievably cheap that it was almost as though HE was paying me to live there. I had only been there a matter of days when he took in another tenant; a Slovakian girl named Dana. In Steve’s head, because he had taken in another tenant, he felt obliged to reduce my rent even further! In his world he wanted a certain amount of money for the two rooms each month, and simply split the cost between us. I seem to remember Dana’s room being slightly smaller than mine, so she was paying even less than me. In the space of what seemed like no time at all, Steve went from, “I’m no longer looking to rent out a room”, to having two tenants.

He was a man of record keeping, lists and filing cabinets. He only worked a short drive away, but he was up every morning at around 05.30 or even earlier, and would always be at work at least one hour before he was due to start. It was a very strange hotchpotch of people in the house, but we managed to bumble along. Dana and I both knew that we couldn’t stay there too long. Steve got us to sign a contract in which it stated that we were not allowed visitors after 9:00 pm. We both thought that he was an incredibly strange man, but we both felt sorry for him and the rent was ridiculously cheap, so we put up with his peculiar ways. However, it didn’t stop me feeling ashamed and embarrassed that at the age of 45 I was living in a bedsit in a strange man’s house and I wasn’t allowed visitors after 9:00 pm. I was the first to go, but that’s a story for the next post.

In March 2001 I started back at work and also moved out of the flat, and by now my spiritual development was making good progress; in November of that year I would stand up as a medium for the first time. But now it’s confession time! In Part Nineteen I said was going to elaborate on my strange experiences in the night “in the next post”. Well I’m not going to. Instead I’m going to dedicate a whole separate post to it, having decided that it would have made this post far too long. I’m estimating that there will be another seven parts to my journey. One on my “strange experiences in the night”, one on my experiences with Sai Baba, another four to bring us up to present day, and finally, a summary post. Hope this hasn’t been too long-winded for those of you who have stuck with it from the start! See you soon!

ALIVE AND WELL – LAUNCHES TODAY


fb-thumbnail-gold-sq Today sees the launch of our first Inspirational Storytellers publication, Alive And Well – and living in a heart near you, published by IS Publishing with 100% royalties being donated to the “end hunger” charity The Extra Guest. I’ll raise a cup of green tea to that!

Alive And Well

Synopsis

Kali Yuga Avatar, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba may have left his mortal body on 24 April, Easter Sunday, 2011, but he lives on, not only in the hearts of us all, but in his teachings as well. This book is a cross-section of Baba’s wonderful spiritual wisdom condensed into 5 chapters – Sathya (truth), Prema (love), Shanti (peace), Dharma (right conduct) and Ahimsa (nonviolence). It is suitable for both long-standing devotees and those who are just discovering “The Ocean of Bliss” that is our beloved Swami. In line with Baba’s mission, 100% royalty payments from sales of this book are being donated to the “end hunger” charity The Extra Guest. http://theextraguest.com

The Extra Guest is a not-for-profit organisation with no governmental or political affiliations that seeks to fund world-wide ‘end-hunger’ projects and help those in poverty to create a sustainable future. The charity also aims to raise awareness of humanity as one family, encourage an ethos of sharing and promote the practice of ‘ethical dining’. The Extra Guest responds to Emergency Aid Appeals around the world and currently supports Sustainable Living projects in:

Liberia – Rice farming project
Bangladesh – Coping with Poverty and Natural Disasters
Faridabad, India – SOS Family Strengthening Programmes
Local UK Food Banks.

Buy in the USA http://ow.ly/npUB6

Buy in the UK http://ow.ly/npVIY

Five Star Review – The Amazing Journey


I was very humbled to find this wonderful review of my book on Amazon and just had to share it with you.

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This review is from: The Amazing Journey (Paperback)
Life has hurdles, is sometimes painful and also demoralising. And it’s how we choose to move forward whilst being wounded by these emotions and issues that grows us, or destroys us. Richard Holmes book ‘The Amazing Journey’ was instantly captive and though I found myself at odds with some beliefs (human nature sometimes blinds us…) his words sank deep into my subconscious, making me realise just how much of a ‘closed book’ I had become. Richard is a special person who has opened his heart to others and though he regularly admits to his failings and the negativity that challenges him; with Spirituality inside his being it seems he is led upon a continuous journey. And it was ‘The Amazing Journey’ that carried me along with him…

In reviewing this book I found myself challenged also; as I don’t feel that I have read a book but that I have listened to the Authors gentle, sometimes pained and sometimes humorous voice and been guided to Prasanthi, India to see ‘A Little Indian Man with Fuzzy Hair’. You cannot fail to be in absolute awe of one who gives so freely and evidently touches all who turn to him with such a powerful all-encompassing love.

Richard was dragged to the depths of exhaustion both mentally and physically and each time he felt he could no longer bear it, he would be embraced by a sign from the fuzzy haired little Indian man, Sai Baba. Thus serving to reinvigorate his mind and body with such a feeling of warmth, that Richard would find himself smiling wildly or even laughing. It was here that I battled with such belief, surely we all sink to such levels and we either pick ourselves up and carry on, or give up on life? And maybe we see the signs that we want too when we reach such levels? But read on because to get to one’s destination you have to travel the whole way and the balance Richard talks about; of ‘pain to feel love’ will suddenly make sense. For years I had felt the pain of each hurdle and had risen up and carried on but felt no love. The reason I had not felt the love is explained quite simply in Sai Baba’s Surrender Prayer (Pg 132) ‘Never think: How is this going to end? What is going to happen? If you give into this temptation, you demonstrate that you do not trust Me?” And its in these words that I realised that my own lack of trust in others had led me to an existence that was often painful yet offered little rewards; little love.

There were occasions when during his weakest moments Richard would find himself at the mercy of many an unlikely character whom upon sensing his distress would go out of their way to assist him and it is here we are sent a valuable message that we should all adhere to; ‘Never judge a book by its cover!’ And in the case of it being Richards book, you don’t need to be spiritually focused to wise up and to realise that in continuing to close the doors to others and safe-guarding your own interests, you limit yourself to feeling the loneliness of pain and experiencing little joy…

To sum up: Do yourself a favour go on a literal journey with Richard Holmes…

See it on Amazon here http://ow.ly/jGzbP

A Right Cockney Barrel Of Monkeys!


I love that expression, “a right cockney barrel of monkeys”.  For the uninitiated it refers to a can of worms or something complex and baffling.  I heard it for the first time on the Fast Show when they were doing a spoof of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.

I thought it would make a good title for a blog post as I’m going to write about a dream/experience I had a few mornings ago that left me scratching my head.

Quite often my dreams take me back to periods in my life that were quite significant for me in terms of learning and life experience etc.  So quite often I am dreaming away when I suddenly realize I’m either back in the army, working for NAAFI or working for the Royal Mail.  Each time I know I’m there but the surroundings are completely alien; but I suppose that’s dreams for you!  Anyway, the other morning I had a really strange one.  I was back working for NAAFI, but for some reason, I was living in a military style dormitory.  I had been away somewhere and when I came back someone had taken my bed space.  But not only that, the dormitory had grown and had become a huge web of dormitories all lumped together.  Also, the individual dormitories had grown bigger and had loads and loads of beds all shoved up against each other.

My bed space had been taken by a very tall Indian man.  He was so tall he must have been twice my size, and I was looking up at him asking him if he knew where my things where.  He acted as if he didn’t want to acknowledge me; just looking at me and looking away again with a kind of subtle contempt.  I remember saying something like “hey, I don’t want the bed back, I just want to know where my things are”.  It was at this point that things got interesting.  I woke up but continued to lay in bed with my eyes closed.

All of a sudden (as happens from time to time in these situations) my brow chakra became illuminated and I could see a larger than life character right there within my third eye.  The best description I could give is that he reminded me of a throw back from a sixties soft-rock band, such as CSN&Y, who reform 100 years later and look old up on stage.  They still have long flowing hair but it’s all grey.  He looked as though he was driving a truck whilst singing or chatting away to himself.  What was strange was that his body language suggested that he was indeed behind the wheel of a truck, but I could see no steering wheel and no cab.  Suddenly I felt something being placed in my hand; and this left me in a bit of a predicament.  It felt oval-shaped, like a bar of soap, but if my feelings were correct and I was having an astral experience, I didn’t want to try to move or open my eyes because I knew I would simply be back in my body and it would be all over.  But, on the other hand, because of the way I was lying, and where my hand was situated, I wasn’t able to use my inner vision either in order to see exactly what it was.  It was quite amazing really; there I was laying in bed holding something oval-shaped that had simply been placed in my hand.  By now my friend had disappeared from my brow chakra and before you could say “right cockney barrel of monkeys” it was all over.

The object didn’t actually feel like soap but that is what sprang to mind because of the shape.  Having said that there is something else that is oval-shaped and is spiritually very significant; a lingham!  Linghams are significant because they are symbolic of the eternal indwelling spirit that has no beginning and no end; hence the oval shape.  When Sai Baba was still in his body he would materialize Linga on Maha Shivaratri; a very auspicious and important day in the Hindu calendar.  They would form in his stomach from the metals naturally present within his body and he would bring them up and out of his mouth.  Some of the Linga were very large in comparison to his tiny frame.  He would also sometimes materialize them from thin air (see video below).

I suppose I will never truly know what it was that was placed in my hand.  I would like to think it was a lingham.  But then again the whole episode could have been nothing more than a right cockney barrel of monkeys!


When The Avatar Comes Calling Part Two


It’s now five days since loving Swami, Sri Sathya Sai Baba, paid me a visit and I’ve had plenty of time to reflect and try to understand the purpose of it all.  Reflecting now over, I would like to share my thoughts with you.

There was three things in my wondrous Sai dream that stood out for me and conveyed a personal message.  Firstly, why would Swami initially be laying down on a bed asleep?  I’m sure that most devotees know that Baba never slept, so why would he show himself as being asleep?  Having contemplated this the following interpretation came to me.  Sai always used to tell us that he was in our hearts and there was no need to travel to him.  Also, this entire experience took place on an inner level, so it was Baba’s way of showing me that he IS most certainly within me.  But what about the sleep thing?  Well, it’s also kind of common knowledge that the planet is going through a huge shift at the moment; a shift that is instigating an awakening of the human race.  It’s also true that God resides in us all, not just a select few.  So the fact that Swami showed himself asleep and then awake within me is symbolic of my own personal awakening at this time; an awakening to a greater understanding.

Secondly, I said to Swami “I have been missing you” which is not an expression that I would normally use.  However, I HAVE actually been missing him, but not in the way that you would normally associate with a phrase like that.  My recent post “Why Does Anger Exist?” (see link below) explains that I have been struggling with my energy levels for some time now.  Well, unfortunately, this has interfered with my spiritual practice and I have strayed slightly from the path.  So, in that sense, I had most certainly been missing Sai.  In my frustration I had been missing his teachings in the sense of not taking them in.

https://richardfholmes.org/2012/07/17/why-does-anger-exist/

Finally, there was the business of Swami speaking and me not being able to understand the sounds that were coming from his mouth (apart from that one sentence “try not to worry so much”).  I described these sounds as being like jumbled noises coming from a radio.  Having also contemplated on this I feel that Baba was indeed giving me invaluable spiritual guidance, but he was communicating with me on a much deeper level than I was able to comprehend.  The whole experience could be likened to an astral type experience, hence I was able to hear sounds although not with any clarity.  I am convinced that his guidance penetrated much deeper within me, in order than I may call on it in the future.  On a purely physical level I doubt that I would have been able to hear anything at all.

Sai Love to All!