Distant Healing


Photo by Arina Krasnikova: Pexels

I’ve not mentioned this before, but I have had an illness since the Summer of last year, which peaked at the tail-end of December and throughout January. I am much better than I was, although I still have an ongoing niggle that restricts the way I go about my daily life. As well as the conventional treatment, I have also had a lot of distant healing sent to me from various sources. Those of you who either know me personally or who are familiar with my writing, will be aware of my experiences with the psychic surgeon, Stephen Turoff, back in the early 2000s. Well, back in May of this year I was getting so frustrated with my condition that I decided to explore the possibilities of receiving healing from Stephen once again. I elected to choose his distant healing service as his practice is quite a distance from where I live, and I thought that it would save me a journey. Below, is my account, observations and thoughts of the experience, which comprised of 32 consecutive days treatment. I hope you find it interesting.

Day One – 20/05/22
I didn’t receive the email advising that the healing process was to start today. However, it all got sorted in the end and I did as advised and found my quiet space after 7.00 pm. Nothing out of the ordinary during the first session. I felt the usual presence of spirit around me and also saw Stephen in my third eye. I felt very good afterwards. Mantras used: So-Hum, Yes-God, Thank You – God, Gayatri and Sai Gayatri.

Day Two – 21/05/22
Much stronger this evening. It worked out as with the previous day, that I went to lay in the peace at around 7:30 pm. I saw Stephen again and was enveloped in very strong energy. A couple of times I felt as though I was just going to drift away into nothingness. It made me wonder if I was a nano-millimeter away from experiencing Nirvikalpa Samadhi. Mantras used: So-Hum, Yes-God, Thank You – God, Gayatri, Sai Gayatri and Samasta Loka

Day Three – 22/05/22
Slightly later this evening. As soon as I began to relax I started to silently chant the “Yes God” mantra. Immediately, there was a sensation of heat in my stomach, which went on for quite a while. Two things learned from this evening’s session. 1) My ego is doing its utmost to disrupt the healing. Because I have started this journal, my mind kept trying to make me wander off by thinking about what I was going to write, instead of concentrating on the healing. 2) You can never try to guess how the session is going to go and what it will consist of. The energy didn’t seem so strong this evening, and when the heat had gone from my stomach I felt that the session was winding down. But just when I was contemplating coming out of it, the energy suddenly intensified and my body seemed to be locked in position. So, it’s as though I had two mini sessions in one this evening.
I only had a fleeting glimpse of Stephen this time, so I don’t know if it was just my mind putting it there. Mantras used: So-Hum, Yes-God, Thank You – God, Gayatri, Sai Gayatri and Samasta Loka.

Day Four – 23/05/22
Completely different again this evening. Went to lay down at a similar time. The energy took a little while to build up, but as it did so, I started to feel a very subtle warmth in my stomach; as opposed to the heat of day three’s session. I was thinking that today’s session was quite unspectacular, but it then occurred to me that I’d been quite spoilt and was now expecting too much. The energy may not have seemed as strong as the previous day, but it was still strong nonetheless, and appeared to ramp up just before the end. Used the same mantras as the two previous days.

My Observations So Far
I first became aware of Stephen when I went to buy a specific book, but the book “Psychic Surgeon” jumped out me. So, I left the shop with 2 books instead of one. It took me a while to get around to reading it, but once I did, it blew me away. During the period from 2002 to 2004, I made 3 or 4 visits to the Miami Hotel; having 2 operations myself and also taking a friend and my mother to have ops. Incidentally, in 2004 Stephen took away my friend’s throat cancer and she is still going strong today.
At that time it was £20 for a face to face visit and £10 for distant healing, so I balked a bit when I saw that the cost was now £50. Once I was over the initial shock and weighed everything up, the price became immaterial. Already, I have had an incredible experience and I am not even 1/6th of the way through my treatment. When you work it out, the cost equates to around £1.56 per day, give or take a couple of pence. So, to have this for 32 consecutive days represents an absolute bargain in anyone’s language. Yes, it’s true that the treatment may not take away the problem that I want removing, but there is no way that anyone could go through this experience without having a positive outcome, whatever that outcome might be.

Day Five – 24/05/22
The longest session so far. I went to lay down a little earlier this evening; just after 7:00 pm. Used the same mantras as before. The energy was very strong, but didn’t seem to be concentrated on any particular area. I was simply enveloped within an incredibly strong energy. When the energy subsided, I looked at the clock and saw that it had been going for about 30 minutes. However, I was so knocked out by the experience that I continued to lay down. Then the healing seemed to start up again but as a completely different experience. It was as though I was being gently brought back after having had a “good zapping.” This continued for a while and when I eventually got up, the process had been going on for around 45 minutes.

Day Six – 25/05/22
I had to go out this evening, so I wasn’t able to lay down peacefully until after 10:00 pm. I was enveloped in energy quite quickly, and it was particularly strong around my head. I felt really tired and decided that I would just trust the healing process and settle down in bed for the night. I ended up only laying quietly for around 15 minutes, but I’m sure that this is immaterial to the process. Used the same mantras.

Day Seven – 26/05/22
Went to lay down just after 7:00 pm. I felt warmth again in my stomach as soon as the energy enveloped me. A bit of a strange one this evening. I kept losing concentration as I was silently chanting the mantras (same ones again) as though I was drifting into a slumber. I looked at the clock and saw that I’d been laying down for roughly 30 minutes. I lay back down again and must have gone into a bit of a doze. I got up at around 8:10 pm.

Day Eight – 27/05/22
I felt the heat again in my stomach. Not as subtle as the last couple of times, but also not as hot as the first time. Very strong energy around me once again and my mind constantly trying to disrupt my concentration. I have not mentioned before that I always feel slightly transfigured during these sessions. I didn’t think it was that important because this is something I feel regularly; hence I didn’t mention it. But, this evening it was much stronger. I felt like I wanted to doze again, which again interfered with my silent mantra chanting (same mantras). All good!

Day Nine – 28/05/22
Another very different session. I didn’t lay down until nearly 11:00 pm as I was attending an event in Bristol. This is the only session up to now that has not taken place in my own home. As I started to relax, the energy built up quite slowly and enveloped me again, becoming very strong. There was again a sensation of warmth in my stomach and I felt completely transfigured from my head down to my legs. Same mantras.

Day Ten – 29/05/22
I had to go out this evening so I didn’t lay down until just after 9:30 pm. The energy built up slowly and was very strong once again. I felt heat in my stomach area for a while during this session and also felt transfigured again. I have another feeling that is very difficult to put into words (the same for all of this journal really, as words cannot aptly describe what I am experiencing), but I will endeavour to try further down the line as things progress, if the feeling continues. I used the same mantras and am now exactly 1/3rd of the way through my treatment.

My Observations So Far
There has undoubtedly been an improvement physically, although maybe not to the extent that I would have liked. However, I have another 20 sessions to go. I do feel though, that there has been some sort of subtle transformation at a deeper level of my being, and I am quite excited to see what the eventual outcome will be.

Day Eleven – 30/05/22
Once again there was quite a slow build up of energy, but it became very strong and completely enveloped me. I felt some gentle activity going on in my stomach and I also felt transfigured again. Same mantras.

Day Twelve – 31/05/22
Things really went up a notch this evening; I just hope that I can find the words to accurately describe what I experienced. Firstly, the heat in my stomach was quite intense again. While I was experiencing this, I again felt gentle activity, as though someone was fiddling around in my stomach. When this experience tapered off the energy enveloping me became more intense and very strong. Then something incredible happened. There was a tangible shift, as though the energy had been raised up to another level. At the same time it became more subtle, but it was very noticeably at a higher level of vibration. It’s very difficult to explain, but it seemed to become bigger, and as a result I felt as though I was higher up than I was. What was also significant here, was that my ego was working overtime to try to distract me from the wonderful experience I was having. It didn’t stop throughout the session. Then another amazing thing happened. I was aware of an arm and hand moving in a clockwise direction, exactly in the way Sri Sathya Sai Baba used to do when he was manifesting vibhuti. After a while it changed to anti-clockwise. The crazy thing is that not only was the hand moving quite slowly, but I couldn’t see either the hand or the arm. It reminded me of when Baba used to come to me in dreams, I very often couldn’t see him, but it was unmistakably him. Had it not been for a really annoying itch on my right eyelid, I would not have been aware at all of my physical body. In the end, I couldn’t stand it any longer and had to scratch the itch. I settled back down thinking that was probably it, but the energy enveloped me again. This time it was much softer, as if it was saying to me, “I’m going to ease you down nice and slowly.” The whole experience lasted about 45 minutes. I again felt transfigured and I used the same mantras.

Day Thirteen – 01/06/22
Another incredible session. Things started very slowly and there was no concentration of heat in my stomach nor the sensation of someone fiddling around in there. The energy was quite subtle, but nonetheless very strong, and as it built up I became completely transfigured once again and unable to move (not that I wanted to move). I just lay there, chanting the same mantras silently in my head and enjoying what went from an incredible experience to something that no words on earth can describe properly. This was the most complete transfiguration yet, as though someone was nestled nicely inside my physical form. I’m not sure of the exact order of the next two things, so I will just relate them. At some point, my third eye expanded with a very pale green light. Because I have been experiencing things going on in my third eye for over 20 years, I didn’t think it was worth mentioning anything I had seen, such as lights etc., during these sessions. However, the energy involved with this experience was very different to what I’ve been used to in the past. This would tie in with last night’s events when I felt a tangible shift in vibration. At some stage, whoever had transfigured me started to move my lower arms. Not a great deal, it was as though the soul was trying me out for size, like going to the shop and trying on a suit. Then after a while, my lips (especially my top lip) seemed to get thinner and started to move. Whoever it was, was not my regular companion. The truly amazing thing is that I may well have instigated these sessions because I require physical healing, but I seem to be more concerned with the spiritual transformation that is taking place. I obviously do want my physical problem to clear up so that I can live a normal life again. But, everything else that is going on is just so incredibly exciting. A mildly amusing thing is that I have even started to speculate as to what the outcome will be, but I know full well from past experience, that where the Divine is concerned, whatever you think it is… it isn’t…

Day Fourteen – 02/06/22
A very slow start again, but the energy (although quite subtle) became stronger and as usual, I couldn’t move. I felt transfigured again, although not as powerful as yesterday. My lips only very momentarily seemed to go thin and my lower left arm moved and my left hand opened and closed, and opened again. I used the same mantras, although I have been chanting the Sai Gayatri more consistently than the others. The reason for this is that when I think of God I don’t think of an entity, I think of the formless totality. But, when I think of God with a form, I think of Sai Baba; hence I chant the Sai Gayatri more than the other mantras.

Day Fifteen – 03/06/22
I only chanted the Sai Gayatri this evening and the session lasted for nearly an hour. Another interesting event indeed. Things started slowly again, and I decided that I would let the session run for a while before I did any mantra chanting (this is a first; I normally start chanting pretty much straight away). I immediately felt heat around my solar plexus and during the course of the session it gradually made its way down my stomach until it disappeared. Once again, I couldn’t move but the energy was very gentle. I was transfigured again, and early in the session my right arm placed itself across my chest. After a while it returned to my side and at various stages during the process there was further movements of both arms. It was generally uneventful (I know, I’m really spoiled and expecting bells and whistles every evening). I guessed that I had been laying down for more than half and hour, and was kind of expecting things to wind down. Like I said, things seemed pretty uneventful, I was enveloped in gentle energy, unable to move, and with periodic movements of the arm and only one instance of my lips seeming to go thinner; then it happened… It was incredibly gentle, but I felt as though I was inflating. What was happening was that my friend, whoever that may be, was making his/herself comfortable within my physical body. As before, my friend seemed to be trying me for size and very gently shook my head rapidly from side to side. I felt completely transfigured, but just to make sure it wasn’t me putting the movement in myself, I sent out a thought, “just so I know I didn’t imagine it, can you do that again.” Sure enough, my head shook rapidly but very gently from side to side. I’m going to miss all this when it’s over…
I almost forgot to mention, that at about the half-way stage, I saw a woman’s face in my third eye. She had dark hair and was smiling at me. She looked really familiar but I just can’t place who she is.

Day Sixteen – 04/06/22
I reverted back to chanting all the previous mantras, but I chanted the Sai Gayatri much more extensively than the others. I quickly felt heat in my lower stomach, which made its way up to my solar plexus. The heat was maintained the entire length of my stomach, as opposed to being limited to isolated areas as it moved upwards. The energy built up slowly again as I became transfigured and the heat in my stomach subsided; once again, I was unable to move. My “friend” seemed mainly concerned with my face this session and it was as though he/she was having a practice to open and close my mouth. There was also minimal arm movements.

Day Seventeen – 05/06/22
I immediately felt warmth in my stomach. Once again it was a slow build up of energy and I couldn’t move. At one point I had to almost force movement of my arm to take care of an annoying itch on my eyelid. Same mantras again. No arm movements this session, but again there was movement in my head and mouth.

More Observations
I am now past the half-way point. There has been slight physical improvement. I didn’t expect things to have been like this, although, I suppose I didn’t really know what to expect. With regard to the spiritual aspect of what has been going on, I can only describe it as being like some sort of graph showing the performance of stocks and shares. The sessions started off quite low key, then there was a spike, then things tapered off a bit, then there was another spike. I’m now going through another lower key period. I can only assume that wherever the sessions are meant to lead me, it has to be done in stages so as not to cause me to have any adverse effects.
For over 22 years I have experienced some incredible things. I estimate over 200 out of body experiences. I have experienced other realities whilst being on my astral journeys and interacted with other souls who are not on earth in the physical body. I have had so many amazing experiences that I now have trouble remembering them. Now, these sessions are adding to the list. As much as I love them, I do feel that I’m getting a bit attached to them, my ego is also constantly trying to interfere with my concentration. I’m well aware that as long as “I” am having these experiences and “I” am enjoying them, there will be no Samadhi for me anytime soon. However, I shall cherish and enjoy the remaining sessions and embrace with gratitude whatever outcome materialises.

Day Eighteen – 06/06/22
Today I cut out the Sai Gayatri and the Samasta Loka mantras, just chanting the other four. I felt a gentle warmth in my stomach and I was again transfigured to the extent that I couldn’t move. The energy was very powerful but gentle. I felt some movement within my face and lips but there was no opening and closing of the mouth or movement of the arms.

Day Nineteen – 07/06/22
I went back to using all of the mantras today. Gentle warmth in my stomach followed by the usual envelopment in energy and being unable to move. There was a degree of transfiguration this evening, which seemed to increase towards the end. When the transfiguration intensified I felt a tightness across my chest for the first time. It was gentle, not the kind of tightness across the chest you would associate with being ill.

Day Twenty – 08/06/22
Once again there was quite a slow build up before I was enveloped in very strong but gentle energy. My left arm placed itself, of its own accord, across my torso with my left palm flat over my solar plexus. I felt expansion within my third eye and there was an interchanging of light green and lilac pastel colours. I used all the usual mantras.

More Observations
Wow! Session number twenty has been and gone. How does all this imaginary time fly past so quickly? There has been a definite physical improvement, although I am not out of the woods yet. For the first time since just before Christmas, I have been sitting normally for longer periods today with either minor soreness and irritation or none at all. This is a huge step forward.

Day Twenty One – 09/06/22
I felt that the mantra chanting was becoming a bit mechanical, so I decided to not use any mantras this session. Instead, I regularly expressed gratitude. I immediately felt heat within my stomach area and the usual enveloping in powerful but gentle energy. There was once again transfiguration with some movement of the arms.

Day Twenty Two – 10/06/22
For the first time, I fell asleep during this session. I felt warmth in my stomach as the energy enfolded me and things seemed to intensify when I started to silently chant the Gayatri. I also chanted the Sai Gayatri and Samasta Loka, but no other mantras. My right arm moved across my chest and rested with my palm down; there was also a bit of movement with my left arm. The rest is a blur, as I fell asleep.

Day Twenty Three – 11/06/22
I tried an experiment this evening. A few weeks back, I acquired the most beautiful CD of Tibetan temple bell music and I decided to play it at a low volume through headphones during the session. I didn’t use any mantras, but frequently sent out thoughts of gratitude. The results were interesting, but of course, there is no way of telling whether my experience would have been any different had I not used the CD. Almost immediately after laying down, my right arm moved across to my chest with my hand palm down. After a while, my left hand moved to my stomach and rested there palm down. I was transfigured by two different souls. Firstly, my new friend that I’ve only known since these healing sessions began drew close, then to my surprise, my regular companion of many years nipped in and transfigured me. My new friend then came in again and stayed for the duration. Throughout the session, which lasted the best part of an hour, the energy peaked and troughed. It was very powerful indeed, although very pleasant and gentle. It would intensify to levels of the highest that I’ve experienced since my healing started back on May 20, then it would drop off before rising again. At some point both of my arms moved back to my side, although my right palm did again move to my chest area. There was a lot of movement with my mouth too, as though once again, my friend was trying out my body for size; like trying on a suit.

Day Twenty Four – 12/06/22
I went back to silently chanting all of the usual mantras this session. I was enveloped in the energy, but nothing else of note occurred this evening. I seemed to have a doze and was laying down for the best part of an hour.

Day Twenty Five – 13/06/22
Silent chanting of all mantras. Enveloped in very powerful but gentle energy. Minimal transfiguration. After just over half and hour I turned onto my side. I stayed like that for a short while, but felt warmth in my stomach so turned back onto my back. My right arm then moved across my chest and my palm rested just below my left shoulder. I felt a lot of warmth coming from my palm.

Day Twenty Six – 14/06/22
A strange one today. I had been unwell for most of the day, with what I guessed to be very mild food poisoning. I spent the afternoon in bed and suddenly started to feel better. My high temperature started to drop and was almost back to normal as I went to lay down for the healing session. The energy was once again very powerful and I was transfigured. There was some movement of the arms and at one point both my palms moved to be face down on my chest, just below my shoulder. It felt very warm, but not quite warm enough to describe it as hot. All mantras silently chanted.

Day Twenty Seven – 15/06/22
My unwellness returned before I went to bed last night so I had to call in sick today. Very strong energy again and felt warmth in my stomach early into the session. Same mantras.

Day Twenty Eight – 16/06/22
I decided to give the temple bell CD another go this evening, so the session comprised the full hour running time. No mantras, minimal transfiguration and usual strong energy.

Day Twenty Nine – 17/06/22
Enveloped in strong energy again. Minimal transfiguration. Used all mantras.

Day Thirty – 18/06/22
Ditto above.

Day Thirty One – 19/06/22
I felt a gentle pressure in between my chest and solar plexus. There was a feeling of very subtle movement as though someone was fiddling around inside me. Very strong energy similar to what I experienced when things really ramped up during session 12 on 31/05. My right arm also moved outwards and for a short while it was as though someone was holding my hand. I seemed to be transfigured by two different souls (same ones as before). Just when I thought the session had come to an end and I was contemplating getting up, I felt a gentle warmth in my stomach so continued to lay for a while. No mantras this evening.

Day Thirty Two – 20/06/22
Final session. Strange feeling really. On one hand, it feels right that it ends now, and on the other hand, I’ll miss the routine. I just don’t know how 32 days have gone by so quickly. As far as the session itself goes, it was a bit of everything this evening.

Final Thoughts
The main problem that I wanted healing is still there. That’s OK; I knew there was no guarantee. There has however, been a shift of sorts. It’s very difficult to put into words, but it’s as though a transformation has taken place. I am also aware that this kind of healing doesn’t just cut off, the process continues until it fades out; a bit like the end of a song. I’ll just add some final observations, because there are a few things that have always been common place that I didn’t feel needed to be added to my accounts of the individual sessions and also a couple of other things worth mentioning.
Firstly, every session seemed to start with activity within my third eye; like pressure. This is something I have experienced every day for many, many years, so it did not seem worth mentioning. Also, I did a hell of a lot of snoring whilst still being awake during the sessions. The energy seemed to take me towards sleep, but apart from one occasion, just left me on the brink; hence the snoring. Another thing was that, during every session, my ego was going completely mental in an effort to fill my head with nonsensical stories. I had to keep reining it in.
A final couple of observations. Because I didn’t see Stephen again after the third session, I’m wondering if it was just my mind that created the image in the first place. These were my first dealings with Stephen for many years and I was quite excited about it. Of course, either way, whether I really did see him or not makes no difference to the energy and the outcome. Finally, over many years I have been blessed with an incalculable amount of incredible experiences; some of them took place during my visits to the Miami hotel. I can add to my “list” my experiences during sessions 12, 13 and 15. However, sometimes I feel as though my blessings work against me in a funny kind of paradoxical way. When I experience incredible phenomena, my ego just wants more and more of the same. Of course, this cannot be; this is not why I am here. I know that all phenomena are ultimately temporal and not the reality, but it doesn’t stop me from becoming attached and wanting more and more of the same.

All in all, a fantastic experience and worth every penny.

A Blast From The Past


Well, here I am, with my first post since November 20 last year. I must admit that I’ve struggled for inspiration and even considered abandoning this little project. But, once a writer, always a writer and surely, the world of wordery is a bottomless pit. I feel that I have come to the end of an era and eagerly await where the next fork in the path may take me. As I sat musing, well aware that I had not written anything for months, it occurred to me that this blog will be 11 years old this coming April. It also occurred to me how my writing has evolved with me as I have gone through several phases of change. So, purely out of nostalgia, and I suppose in celebration of getting the blog up and running and keeping it going for all these years, I thought I would repost my first ever blog article from 25/04/2011. It’s a piece entitled “God Goes Home” and I hope you like it.

PS I’ve also got an idea for another article, which I will post soon.

God Goes Home

Easter Sunday 24 April 2011 started off as a normal day.  I was in no hurry to get out of bed, eventually doing so at around 09:20. Whilst having my first cup of tea of the day I went about my morning routine of going online and posting my thought for the day on Facebook and checking other online stuff. I went into one of my email addresses and there was one solitary email, from my friend V in South Africa. It was very short and to the point; it said quite simply “Swami has left”. I was quite numb at first. My beloved Swami, Sri Sathya Sai Baba had left his physical body. There had been signs for some time that Baba was getting ready to go, and in recent weeks it became increasingly apparent that devotees were going to have to accept that this was the case.  It was still hard to believe though; you don’t expect Swami to go, simply because he has always been there.  For a number of hours I cried intermittently; not out of grief, for I know there is no such thing as death, but for the sheer love of Baba and the realisation that he gave so much to us, yet took nothing for himself. His love was, and still is, boundless and I am truly blessed to have been touched by Baba’s love on many, many occasions.

I count my blessings that I received the call to go to Baba’s ashram, Prashanthi Nilayam (abode of the highest peace), on two occasions in the 18 months preceding his physical departure.  It was during my second visit in February 2010 that I got my first hint that “Divine Mother Sai” may be preparing to leave.  I was chatting to an American guy who had an apartment in Puttaparthi, where the ashram is situated. He was saying how Swami’s physical health had been going rapidly downhill and that he had made an unprecedented gesture.  Baba had made an announcement formally inviting devotees from all over the world to attend the ashram during 2010, on a pilgrimage basis.  My friend told me that this had never been done before in all the years that Baba had been resident at Prashanthi (since the 1940’s).  My friend went on to say that he felt Baba was getting ready to leave his body and this was his parting gesture of love to devotees worldwide.  Because of the sheer volume of people the pilgrimage was organised with the utmost precision and only so many countries at a time could attend, for periods of ten days only.  Of course, this only applied to the organised pilgrimages; anyone can go to Prashanthi as long as they receive the inner calling  “not even 20,000 horses can bring you here if you are not called”  Baba

At the time I remember thinking that this was not to be taken seriously, and I politely humoured my American friend.  Little did I know how right he was.  Now as I sit here and muse about this strange day it hasn’t quite sunk in that Sri Sathya Sai Baba has left his physical body.  Probably because I’ve had so many inner experiences with Baba… and a physical body has never been essential to our relationship in the past… so why should it be now?  He always touched me with his love across time and space; so often my eyes welled up with tears of joy as he enveloped me in his loving light.  On one occasion he even blessed me with an astral experience by lifting me from my physical body and carrying me off into the ether.

I suppose that, at some stage, even God has to go home…but I don’t expect it to change my relationship with him.

Jai Sai Ram

Debate


As I’ve gone through this life and gradually evolved, two things have occurred to me. Firstly, the actual mystery of life becomes less and less of a mystery. Secondly, and paradoxically, as the mystery of life reveals itself as the “simplicity” of life, I realise more and more how little I actually know; which brings me onto the title of this little post.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Debate! The above statement has brought home to me, like never before, the sheer fruitlessness of getting into debates about spirituality and religion. People have to grow and evolve at their own pace, and this quite often involves holding certain beliefs that may not ultimately be true, but are serving their purpose by way of a stepping-stone. I am also of the opinion, that if you get into a debate with another person about any subject whatsoever, the “winner” will not necessarily be the one who is closest to the truth, it will be the one who has the greater debating skills.

Swami, Sri Sathya Sai Baba always used to say, “never get into debates about spirituality and religion because they are sure to descend into arguments.”

I am now of the view that it is far better to remain as “the witness” and let others debate to their hearts’ content.

A Visitation


I had an experience recently that was a classic case of rolling back the years. I find it interesting that the experience has a different meaning for me today than if I’d had it 10 years ago. For the first time in ages Swami Sri Sathya Sai Baba appeared to me in a dream. As expected, it was like being in the presence of a doting mother and best friend. Swami let me touch his face, and we had this moment where we were just in each others’ presence before the egoic mind brought me back to the land of objective reality.

Swami always used to say that if he comes to us in a dream, it is not a dream but a visitation.  He also used to constantly remind us that he was not the body, and did not encourage devotees to follow him as a physical being, or look on his form as an object of worship.  Nonetheless, it was very difficult not to; especially if you had the grace (as I did) to witness Swami’s amazing smile first hand and experience his awesome presence.  A few years ago I would have relished a visitation from the loving “God man” and would have felt so lucky and privileged that he’d blessed me in such a way.  Even though my recent visitation was an unexpected and wonderful experience; received with equal relish, I interpret the meaning differently. Back then, if Swami the physical being would have been visiting me; I would not have seen his form as a symbol of the one eternal Self.  Yes it’s true, that I would have known this, but confronted with Swami’s beautiful form, all thoughts of the formless would have flown away.

With regard to my recent experience, I enjoyed immensely basking in the presence and having my personal darshan of Swami’s form. But today, I understand what it represents and my interpretation of the visitation is that “The Higher Power” used a method that I would be able to relate to, to let me know that my little individual, egoic self has not been forgotten about.  That for however long I have left in this body, and for whatever work I have left to perform, I am not alone; the loving bliss of eternal spirit will always be enfolding me.

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!

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!

 

Who Am I? Part Thirty One


Selena House Nursing Home in Swindon, which was closed down in 2012 due to malpractice.

This is probably the longest blog post ever! Take a coffee break if necessary, but read to the end, you won’t be disappointed!

I have just been reminded that the name of the nursing home where Mrs H stayed was Selena House; and that is where I’m going to begin this post. Within a month of moving into the home my mum became very ill and was admitted to hospital; GWH in Swindon; the same hospital where she had received such appalling treatment before. At some stage I had a telephone conversation with a consultant who told me that my mum had come to the end of her life and probably only had a couple of hours left. She went on to say that there was a chance my mum might last a couple of days, but in all likelihood she would be gone in a couple of hours. I explained to the consultant that there was no such thing as death and agreed with her that when Mrs H was considered “well” enough, she would be taken back to Selena House where she would be given TLC until she expired.

I was booked to do a clairvoyant demonstration in Bristol that afternoon, and that’s what I did. I was of the opinion that if the Divine wanted me to be with my mum when she left this life, then it would happen. It would make no odds if I went flying to Swindon like a bat out of hell to be at her side, or whether I didn’t. When I arrived at Selena House in the evening, five or six hours after my conversation with the consultant, my mum was asleep in the lounge. A member of staff woke her up and she then sat up and had a sandwich. She would go on to have two more birthdays.

Selena House after the fire.

In April 2009 I noticed that there were no longer any lucid moments at all. Mrs H had zero mobility, she was doubly incontinent and now what little mind she had, was gone completely. I’d had a lot of pleasure getting to know this “new” person who had once been my mother, but it now seemed that after several false alarms, she was at last getting ready to leave her body. During the early hours of the morning of May 11 2009, I got a call from the night staff at Selena House informing me that my mum was very poorly. As before, I knew that it would not change anything if I went bombing off to Swindon. I visited at my usual time of around mid-day. I went into my mum’s room and she was indeed at the point of no return. Her mouth was dry, her eyes had glazed over and she had the rattle in her throat. I wet her lips, and placing my hands on her, I asked the higher power to allow the energy of love to flow through me. Afterwards, I noticed that she had some colour in her face. I knew that at a soul level she was absolutely fine and would soon be free. I then left in the knowledge that I would never see Mrs H in physical form again. At 00.40 am the following morning, the duty nurse rang me and advised that Mrs H was about to expire, and less than a minute later she breathed her last. I was very relieved and happy that a wonderful soul was now free.

In 2012 Selena House was closed down by the authorities for malpractice, and some time after, the building was damaged by fire.

In a way, through my annoyance (I think anger is too strong a word) and frustration at family for their complete and utter lack of interest in my mum’s situation, I actually felt sorry for them. For the last four and a half years I’d had an enriching experience getting to know a new person and actually had some very joyous moments, whereas they had missed out. They didn’t miss out on their inheritance though! My mum had very little by today’s standards, and it had to be shared between me and my brother, the three grown-up kids from his first marriage and his two grand kids. At the time of writing it is over eight years since my mum’s funeral, and apart from bumping into my nephew in Swindon a couple of times, I’ve not seen any of them since.

In July 2009 I started to question more and more my work as a medium. In the space of less than a week there had been two incidents in Spiritualist churches I served that really made me think that I was wasting my time. Spiritualism had always given me the impression that it was stuck in the past, but I had evolved considerably since the days of sitting with Sue and John Geis in Gloucester, and no longer saw the point of constantly obsessing over messages. Many of the people I encountered seemed to have very little understanding of the spirit, and some of the behaviour was beyond me. However, while all this was going on, I received the inner call from Sri Sathya Sai Baba, and in October 2009 I was on my way to Prashanthi Nilayam.

No one can come here unless he is called. Not even 20,000 horses can bring you here if you are not called – Baba

My inheritance afforded me the luxury of being able to book a flight to Bangalore. As with my snow story from a previous post, to save me having to write loads, I’m going to copy and paste a chapter from my last publication, From Logic To Enlightenment. It’s a bit of a seat belt job, so hold on!

The story I’m going to share with you first appeared in my book, Astral Travelling, The Avatar and Me, which was published in 2010, and tells the story of my journey to the ashram of my guru, Sri Sathya Sai Baba in Southern India. That book is now out of print, but a second edition was published in early 2013 with a new title, The Amazing Journey, and an extra chapter. The account you are about to read is not a word-for-word repeat of what appeared in those two books, but rather a brand new article specially written for my blog. I decided to share it here because the person I am now is more evolved than the person who wrote the original, therefore the style of writing is slightly different. I hope you enjoy it!

Swami first came into my life in 2001 and things have never been the same since; well you wouldn’t expect them to be, would you? In 2003 I had it in my head that I was going to go to Baba’s ashram, Prashanthi Nilayam (Abode Of The Highest Peace), but Swami obviously had other ideas and my life went off in another direction. However, cue 2009 and I received the inner calling from the Avatar; and what followed was a truly amazing and somewhat surreal experience. But first here is the best definition of an Avatar that I’ve ever come across. It’s from Author Jonathan Roof’s book Pathways to God:

The word Avatar is derived from the Sanskrit word meaning “descent”. An Avatar is a descent of spirit into form. Although all people are spiritual beings encased in mortal bodies, the word Avatar describes the manifestation of God in human form. All people possess a divine inner reality, but few manifest it. The Avatar expresses divinity throughout his incarnation. His earthly career is a sign of his everlasting love for all people.

I managed to get a really cheap direct flight from Heathrow to Bangalore and my Sai brother, Satyan, arranged a taxi for me at the other end. My other friend had said that I could stay at her flat in Swindon the night before my departure as it was much easier for me to travel from Swindon than where I live in Tetbury. So all was going to go swimmingly well, wasn’t it? Well wasn’t it? I think you know what is coming next. Yes, correct! My idea of a plan in no way resembled the plan of Sri Sathya Sai Baba. So, my dear readers sit back, relax, fasten your seat belts and enjoy the ride…

I’d had to sleep on the floor in the living room of my friend’s tiny flat, which wasn’t a problem at all, but I suppose, coupled with the excitement of the journey, I had no more than two hours sleep. I had a wonderful flight; it was my first long haul and I was very pleasantly surprised how enjoyable it was, but I had no sleep on the plane either, for no particular reason; it just didn’t seem to happen. So by the time I landed in Bangalore I’d had about 2 hours sleep in the last 48, but no big deal; after all, everything was going to go swimmingly, wasn’t it?

I exited the airport at around midnight local time, and I soon realized (to my horror) that in amongst the throng of people waiting at the exit for passengers, and who were holding up signs with the passengers’ names on, there was no one holding up a sign with my name. My fears were soon confirmed when in a fairly short space of time I was the only person left waiting at the exit. “Billy-No-Mates Westerner” standing out like a sore thumb, thousands of miles from home! Sure enough I soon attracted attention; from airport security, because no loitering is allowed due to the constant terrorist threats in India, and from local “wide-boy” taxi staff on the lookout for gullible Westerners to overcharge for the journey to Baba’s ashram in Puttaparthi. I think I fitted that bill admirably, I couldn’t have been a better candidate; even if I’d had “mug” tattooed on my forehead! To cut a long story short, I had the mobile number for the taxi driver and the security staff phoned him on my behalf. It turned out that my dear friend Satyan had given him the wrong flight details so he wasn’t expecting me until the next day. He told the security staff that he was “on his way”, but it soon transpired that in India the phrase, “I’m on my way”, means something completely different from what it does in England. I should say before we go any further, that my account of events is quite drastically truncated; there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to add all the minute detail of everything that happened to me. But, nonetheless, I’m sure you will have a good idea by the time this chapter is finished.

I was told by security that I needed to wait on some benches by a kiosk that was to my left of the airport exit, and the taxi driver would meet me there. Well time ticked by, daylight broke and I was beginning to wonder if my taxi would ever turn up. It got to the point where I got fed up waiting and decided to find my own taxi. Wrong move! Cue Swami and one of his famous leelas (Divine play). I was immediately accosted by intrepid folk who wanted me to take one of their taxis. Accosting quickly turned to harassment, and with my lack of sleep I soon became hot and bothered; to the extent that I nearly took up their offer until I saw the car they wanted me to travel in. My change of mind made their harassment more intense and I struggled back in the direction of the benches with my heavy bag. Just as I was approaching (taxi folk in hot pursuit) I saw a man waving at me; he was also clutching a piece of paper to his chest. As I got closer I breathed a sigh of relief when I noticed the words “Mr Richard” written on the aforementioned piece of paper. My taxi had arrived. I’d exited the airport at midnight; it was now 07:00 am!

It soon became very clear that the whole business had been engineered by Swami. Had there been no mix-up I would have travelled to Prashanthi in darkness; and thus would have missed all the wondrous sights that now unfolded before my eyes, like a play; being acted out scene by scene in accordance with a script that had been written with meticulous precision. It was my first trip to this amazing land and in the three and a half hours or so it took for us to arrive at the ashram I must have witnessed virtually every single aspect of Indian culture.

I saw Red Kites flying gracefully above; I witnessed the colour and the bustle of the small towns and villages we passed through, bullock carts sharing the roads with the cars and trucks. Unfortunately, not everything I saw was welcoming to the eye, such as the poverty; I’ve never seen anything like it in my life. However, the most distressing sight that I saw was when we passed through one small town and I saw a group of women in the back of a smallish open-backed truck. At first glance they reminded me of cattle that had been herded onto the back of the vehicle. There was a man standing on the running board at the back berating one of the women, and as we drove past he struck her. I couldn’t believe my eyes; but the look of pain on the woman’s face confirmed that I wasn’t dreaming.

After stopping for refreshment in the town of Chikkaballapur we arrived at the ashram gates at 10:30 am. Taxis are not normally allowed in but the driver explained to the seva dals (stewards) on the gate that I had never been to Prashanthi before, so he was permitted to drive me up to the accommodation office. My head was in a spin, due to a combination of having had no sleep, for what seemed like a lifetime, and the incredible sights I’d seen en-route from the airport. The sun was beating down now too and for the first time I was experiencing the incredibly fierce Indian heat. I’d worn jeans for the journey and spilt coffee down them on the plane; needless to say, as well as feeling as though I was being cooked in the thick denim, the odour from the coffee stains wasn’t exactly pleasant on the nose either.

The taxi driver directed me to the appropriate block and then off he went on his way. A rather stern and extremely efficient seva dal booked me in, and before I could blink, a coolie grabbed my bag and proceeded to lead me to my “hotel”. When I arrived at block DD2 I could not believe my eyes. It was dormitory accommodation at its most basic! Now don’t get me wrong, I didn’t think for one minute that it was beneath me, it’s just that I thought I’d left dormitories behind when I left the army all those years ago. The beds were the single metal-framed type and the mattresses had been used by countless devotees over the months and years; the communal facilities were down at the far end.

A rather kindly seva dal must have sensed I was feeling disorientated and confused and he helped me find a decent mattress. Another devotee gave me a spare mosquito net, so all I needed was a shower and some suitable clothing. It was such a relief to get my smelly jeans off and get in the shower. I changed into a pair of lounge pants I’d brought with me and some flip-flops and decided to go and familiarize myself with the ashram and purchase some appropriate clothing. The only problem was that the lounge pants were too big for me and they had no pockets and by the time I got to the shop I realized that it was only open at certain times and I’d missed out; I would have to carry on as I was until the next day.

I couldn’t believe how busy the ashram was; I was getting jostled everywhere I went. It seemed that every corner I turned I was getting pushed and shoved; it was like being in the crowd at a football match. I found this quite intimidating, especially with the lack of sleep; yes, it was turning out to be quite an experience. All of a sudden I was thousands of miles from home and my life seemed to have been turned completely on its head; my comfort zone had been exchanged for searing heat, pushing and shoving, no sleep, confusion, more heat, more pushing and shoving; and I was now feeling even more disorientated and vulnerable. What I also found disturbing was the massive police and military presence on the ashram. After all, was this not The Abode of The Highest Peace? What was with all the machine guns and rifles? I was getting more confused by the minute.

At some stage I wandered past the South Indian canteen, and thinking that it was about time I ate something, I purchased some food coupons from the nearby kiosk and ventured in. I couldn’t believe how cheap the food was; just very simple vegetarian food and it tasted wonderful. I then wandered out again to face another buffeting from the hordes. By this time, I’d realized that my Western flip-flops were not suitable for trudging about in all day and I was now limping from all the blisters on the bottom of my feet. One good thing was that I had established where darshan (within the sight of a Divine being) was to take place and at the appropriate time I hobbled over to the Sai Kulwant Hall in the hope that I might make some sense of all the confusion.

At this early stage I had not been educated in the practice of laying a cushion down after morning darshan in order to reserve a place in the line for evening darshan; all that was to come. Instead I hobbled up to the entrance and was amazed to find that I had to undergo a body search before being allowed in. Now I REALLY was struggling to take it all in. There were already thousands of people seated in the hall and I made my way to a spot that gave me a good view of the mandir (temple). This bit was quite strange because on one hand I felt like a little boy lost, my feet were killing me from the blisters, and being a big softy Westerner, I didn’t get on with having to sit for ages on a hard concrete floor either; to say I was uncomfortable was an understatement. But on the other hand, the Vedic chanting was beautiful; I’d never heard it before, and then all of a sudden it happened. I felt a pulling sensation from within my chest as though someone was actually reaching inside me and pulling on my heart. Then my eyes welled up with tears of joy. I remember thinking to myself, “it must be Swami; Swami must be coming”.

A few moments later, sure enough, I saw his tiny frame appear in the distance as he was wheeled into the hall. This was my first ever sight of the Avatar and I had the most incredible feeling of love come over me; a feeling that I’d never experienced before. I was quite a distance away from Baba, but I could see him clearly and he even seemed to position himself on the mandir in such a way that I had clear sight of him. I knew that he knew I was there and I knew that he did this especially for me. I just wished that I could have made sense of all the other stuff. Anyway, I was sitting on that concrete floor for what seemed like eons when…

All of a sudden there was a CLANG, CLANG, CLANG, CLANG, a bell started to sound; it was unbelievably loud, similar to a church bell, but just continuous clanging. I couldn’t believe what was happening. I didn’t even know the bell was there, but somehow I’d managed to sit virtually on top of it. On glancing around I realized that the bell was housed in a concrete structure so I hadn’t seen it when I sat down. Having had no sleep and having also been sitting on the stone floor for some time, the bell going off just made me want to scream. But it was a sound I grew to love as the days went by as I learned that it signalled the singing of my favourite devotional song, which was always sung at the end of darshan. When darshan was over I struggled to my feet and hobbled towards the exit. As I did so, one of the many resident pigeons in Sai Kulwant Hall emptied the contents of its bowels all over my arm. “Just about sums up my day”, I thought, as I limped on my way.

The other devotees in my vicinity in DD2 were very helpful; they understood what I was experiencing, but there was a lesson to be learned here. I had been thinking that the ashram should have been called “The Abode Of The Biggest Hassle You Ever Experienced In Your Life”, and not “The Abode Of The Highest Peace”. However, in the bed next to me was an oriental man. He never spoke to anybody, although if you spoke to him he would answer but would not engage in conversation. I couldn’t help but observe his behaviour. All he did was read his spiritual texts, meditate and sleep. He would kneel on the floor and use his bed as a table and read his book of scripture, whatever book it was. He always seemed at peace regardless. That first night in the dormitory was a nightmare for me; I still never slept a wink, so how did HE do it?

My oriental friend had a pre-bedtime meditation and immediately fell asleep. It was as though I was being told that my “Abode Of The Highest Peace” was wherever I made it; and my friend certainly was at peace. I realized afterwards that Swami had engineered the whole thing and that I was being shown that it is possible to find peace wherever you are, if you are spiritually awakened enough to transcend the “nonsense” of the material world. At the time I could not understand how that man managed to find so much peace; the noise in the dormitory at night was unbelievable. There was people coughing and snoring, and getting up to use the facilities. The door into the communal toilets was on a spring, and every time someone got up to use the amenities you heard an almighty BANG as the spring door slammed shut. I tossed and turned all night, my mind dancing around all over the place and playing all kinds of tricks on me. I was beginning to wonder if I would ever sleep again as the first devotees started to get up at around 03:30. The oriental man was one of them. He awoke and immediately had a meditation before getting on with his day. I did not think that I could sink any lower, but Swami had other ideas.

I continued to lay there wondering if I would ever get to sleep again and gradually the other devotees in the beds near to me started to get up. We chatted and I mentioned that I still hadn’t slept; I was also starting to feel guilty that I had travelled thousands of miles to the ashram of “God in human form”, yet I’d not engaged in any meditation or reading of spiritual texts. My new friends pointed out to me that I would not be able to function without sleep and they encouraged me to remain in bed. By now it was 07:00 am and they were all going out into their day. I decided to take the advice, and to my pleasant surprise, I actually managed to drop off to sleep. I awoke again around 11:00 am and went for a shower; I decided that I needed to solve the problem of my clothing and have another go at familiarizing myself with the ashram. Yes, most definitely the previous day had been nothing short of a surreal nightmare. But having said that, in amongst all the confusion and fear I’d had an incredible inner experience with my loving God-man, Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

I ventured out into the ashram and immediately I was met with a continuation of the previous day. The heat, the pushing and shoving and the blisters; I was in despair. I felt more and more fearful and vulnerable as the morning turned to afternoon; I was completely lost, unable to make head or tail of what was happening to me. There are little kiosks dotted about the ashram at various locations where you can get a coffee; tiny cardboard cups for 6 Rupees. Whenever I stood in the queue I would have someone come and blatantly stand in front of me, or simply shove me out of the way before standing in front of me. It just helped to pile on the agony. At some point I felt at rock-bottom, and I got myself one of the little cups of coffee, sat down on a wall and started to cry. I felt like I had been reduced to zero; like I had no life of my own. I felt as though I was being worked by a puppet master. Many of you reading this may be familiar with the old Thunderbirds TV programme, where you could actually see the strings on the puppets; well I really did feel that I was a puppet that was being controlled by strings. I felt as though I was in the grip of a power so mighty, that I had no control whatsoever of my movements. I’d tried to settle myself in to ashram life but at every turn of the corner I was met with a brick wall.

As I sat on the wall crying, my life, metaphorically, flashed before me. I felt so insignificant, so tiny and so worthless; like I had less significance than a single grain of sand in the Sahara Desert. Everything I’d ever done; all my spiritual work of the previous seven years, in fact my whole life, felt worthless and completely and utterly meaningless. I just did not have a clue what I was going to do. At some point I got up and started wandering around again.

I don’t remember when exactly, but after hobbling around for a while I stumbled across the Western canteen by “accident”. I realized that I’d hardly eaten anything since the meal in the South Indian canteen the previous day. I felt ready for some food and thought it might perk me up, but I had no idea as I walked up the pathway that Swami was about to pick me up and dust me down. As I neared the entrance I could see that there was some writing etched into the stone wall just to the right of the doorway. Out of curiosity I stopped to read what it said and it was then that I realized that all my nightmares had been nothing more than Swami’s play. He’d led me along that pathway in order to bring me to this moment. As I perused the writing I just couldn’t believe what I was reading. All of a sudden the penny dropped. I had doubted Swami because I’d allowed my mind and my ego to rule me; now as I read I could see that my beloved Baba had no choice but to use “tough love” in order to help his child. What I was reading was Baba’s Surrender Prayer. If you are not familiar with it allow me to enlighten you.

Sai Baba’s Surrender Prayer

Why get agitated? Let Me take care of all your business. I shall be the one who will think about them. I am waiting for nothing else than your surrender to Me, and then you do not have to worry anymore about anything. Say farewell to all fears and discouragement. You demonstrate that you do not trust Me. On the contrary, you must rely blindly on Me. To surrender means: To turn your thoughts away from troubles, to turn them away from difficulties you encounter and from all your problems. Leave everything into My hands saying “Lord, Thy will be done, you think of it”. That is to say: “Lord I thank you for you have taken everything in your hands, and you will resolve this for my highest good”.

Remember that thinking of the consequences of a thing is contrary to surrender. That is to say, when you worry that a situation has not had the desired outcome, you thus demonstrate that you do not believe in My love for you. You will prove that you do not consider your life to be under My control and that nothing escapes Me. Never think: How is this to end? What is going to happen? If you give in to this temptation, you demonstrate that you do not trust Me. Do you want Me to deal with it…yes or no? Then you must stop being anxious about it! I shall guide you only if you completely surrender to Me and when I must lead you into a different path than the one you expect; I carry you in my arms.

What seriously upsets you is your reasoning, your worrying, your obsession, your will to provide for yourselves at any price. I can do so many things when the being, as much in his material necessities as in his spiritual ones, turns to Me saying: “You think of it”, then he closes his eyes and rests quietly. You will receive a lot but only when your prayer will rely fully upon Me. You pray to Me when in pain so that I intervene, but in the way you desire it. You do not rely on Me, but you want Me to adjust to your requests.

Don’t believe like sick ones who ask a treatment of the doctor, all the time suggesting it to him. Do not do that: But rather, even in sad circumstances, say: “Lord I praise and thank you for this problem, for this necessity. I pray you to arrange things as you please for this terrestrial and temporal life; you know very well what is best for me. Sometimes you feel that disasters increase instead of diminish.

Do not get agitated. Close your eyes and tell me with faith: “Thy will be done. You think of it”, and when you speak thus, I accomplish a miracle when necessary. I only think of it when you trust me totally. I always think of you, but I can only help you completely when you fully rely on me.

As you can imagine I was blown away by that. I stand by what I’ve said already, that we are in control of our lives, no matter what. However, the Creative Force that willed the whole game into existence has the power to override the rules any time it wants and turn our lives upside down in the blink of an eye. Baba made sure that I was in no doubt as to who was pulling the strings. I really didn’t have any control of what was happening to me; and that was a frightening feeling I can tell you. But now the sun had risen in my heart and I was off inside the canteen for some food. All of a sudden I had my appetite back and I had a feast fit for a king. It was a bit more expensive than the South Indian canteen but still very cheap indeed. When I’d finished eating I went outside and sat on the long concrete bench that was built into the wall by the entrance door.

There was an Indian man sitting next to me, and I couldn’t help noticing that he was wearing western style shoes with socks. It may seem like a stupid thing to notice, but up until then, every male Indian I’d seen was either bare footed or wearing flip-flops. All of a sudden he spoke to me; he said his name was Sunil and he came from Bangalore. He explained that he was not particularly spiritual and did not stay on the ashram. He just loved coming to Prashanthi, so he visited once or twice a year and stayed in accommodation in the village. We had a really good chat; he was a very nice man and seemed to understand what I’d experienced. Most importantly, he managed to put my mind at rest with regard to the military presence and the sub-machine guns etc. He explained that a very high-ranking government minister had been visiting the ashram in order to seek Baba’s guidance; hence there was extra security because of the threat of terrorism. It was such a relief to hear that and I realized straight away that the encounter was just another scene in Swami’s play, but Sunil REALLY was a Godsend. He asked if I’d been into the village at all, and when I said I hadn’t, he offered to show me around. I was really grateful for this. Alas, all good things must come to an end, eventually he had to get on with his day and we parted company. That was the one and only time I saw him, but from then on everything fell into place.

Evening darshan had been another incredible experience, with Swami pulling on my heart again just before he came out and my eyes welling up with tears of joy. I did miss the shop again, but it didn’t matter and I eventually sorted out my clothing on day three. After darshan, I went back to the Western canteen for my evening meal. Whilst in there I encountered a Croatian man named Goran who was looking for a room-mate. So the next day I was able to transfer from the dormitory into room C19 in one of the blocks. My second and final night in DD2 was another sleepless one, but I didn’t care. I got on really well with Goran and from day three onwards my sleep pattern returned to normal. I met many amazing people during my time at Prashanthi and of all the things I learned there are two that stand out. Firstly, our “abode of the highest peace” is anywhere we choose to make it, and…

Swami most certainly does move in mysterious ways.

Jai Sai Ram

 

Who Am I? Part Twenty Nine


The Orchards Residential Care Home, Wroughton. Where Mrs H received great care.

We were now approaching the end of 2005 and there had been yet more adjustments to my living situation. For various reasons Sue had to sell her house, so she moved into her son, Shaun’s, house, and he went to live with his girlfriend. Also, a friend of Shaun’s needed a favour regarding somewhere to live, so Sue asked me if I would move into the spare room in Shaun’s house while Shaun’s friend moved into Justin’s flat. In the meantime, a couple known to myself and Sue, who lived in the town of Cirencester, approximately 11 miles from Swindon were looking to let out a flat. It was a very strange situation, but the upshot of it was that they did not want any rent; the person going in there simply had to pay their own bills. They had offered it to Sue, having empathized with her situation, but tempted as she was, Sue didn’t want to be 11 miles away from all her family and grand kids etc. I very cheekily suggested that she should drop a few hints to them in my direction; to which Sue replied, “I’ve already thought of that”.

The situation was strange indeed. The house in Cirencester had been converted to accommodate a “granny flat” on the upper level. The lower level was essentially still a house, albeit without an upstairs. The granny flat had been occupied by the lady of the house’s mother, who had died. The elderly lady had lived a long life and the end had been somewhat inevitable, however, the daughter had found it impossible to get over her mother’s death and continued to be affected by it. As a result, the elderly lady’s possessions had never been cleared out; all the furniture and ornaments etc. were exactly how they had been when the flat was occupied. All this didn’t bother me, and thanks to Sue, I was duly offered the flat. Apart from having to pay the bills, the only other condition was that I couldn’t shift any of the old lady’s things around; everything had to remain the same. I moved in on the day before Christmas Eve 2005, and in the early hours of Christmas Eve the flat was duly christened by my first out-of-body experience whilst in occupancy.

At first this was an incredible help to me. For around four months I felt as though I had some stability; and I’d not felt that for years. I got on well with the owners and I even ran a development group in the flat every Thursday night. However, things that seem too good to be true generally are…

I’d met the owners through one of the spiritualist churches that I served and they’d invited me around to do some private readings. It transpired that they had readings roughly every 10 days; it must have cost them a fortune! The reason being that the lady of the house’s psychological well-being was not very stable. She was unable to accept that her mother had died, so in an effort to appease her, the husband was constantly booking mediums in the hope that they would bring the mother through. I eventually realised that the mediums who told them what they wanted to hear were invited into what I called “the inner sanctum”. This meant that they would be periodically invited round for a meal and to carry out readings. If a medium was booked and didn’t tell them what they wanted to hear, they were never invited again. I think that when they let me have the flat they thought they were going to get “messages on tap” from the departed mother. Unfortunately, I don’t work like that.

Apart from in the early days, I have always been a very disciplined medium. I do not go around with spirit jabbering in my ears all day. The only time I’m tuned in is when I’m working. When I get called to time, my mediumship cuts out and stays cut out until the next time I am required to work in a professional capacity.

Everything was going swimmingly well until around early April 2006. I thought I was imagining things at first, but as a few weeks went by, I realised that the lady of the house was no longer speaking to me. I knew that something was just over the horizon, and sure enough, before we were half-way through May I was told that they wanted their flat back. At first it was very amicable, I was told that there was no rush and to take my time. But as the weeks went by it was made obvious to me that I was over-staying my welcome. Eventually, I signed up to the housing association in Cirencester, and in what seemed like no time at all, I had a flat in a converted Baptist Church in a village called Avening, roughly 10 miles away. I was in this flat for almost two years; it was a period that again represented a rather strange time in my life.

I completed my move from Cirencester in August 2006. At first everything was fine, apart from the lack of windows and natural light in the flat, it wasn’t bad, and I was thankful for a roof over my head. But at the tail end of 2006 the nice neighbours upstairs moved out, and a not so nice neighbour moved in. It then became apparent, mainly due to the old church having a grave yard on the grounds, that there was a problem with entities. Sue and John Geis sorted out the entity problem for me; there was one very comical moment when I was in the grave yard trying to act inconspicuously, before placing  a programmed quartz crystal into a strategic position in the ground.

2007 was a mixed year. I wasn’t happy at all living in Avening, but on the plus side I was able to get a job as a support worker, within walking distance of my flat. This supplemented my income, and I was also covering a lot of miles with my spiritual work. My out-of-body experiences had been fairly consistent since the onset in the late 1990s, and Sri Sathya Sai Baba continued to reach out to me across time and space. Another thing that happened was that at some stage it became apparent that Mrs H’s physical health was deteriorating, and The Orchards would soon no longer be able to provide suitable care. I needed to get my mum moved into a nursing home, and after a bit of hassle, I managed to get her a place in a home just off the Oxford Road in Swindon. The home itself wasn’t very nice and it seemed that the owners were only interested in making money, but the staff seemed to be really good, which to me was the main thing.

So, my mum was in her new residence and I was getting busier; I also got fed up with the support worker job in Avening, and I got another support worker job with another company that got me out and about more. 2007 transitioned into 2008 and I would soon be on the move yet again….

 

Who Am I? Part Twenty Two


You may recall that I shared with you the story surrounding the book, “Discover Your Psychic Powers”, by Tara Ward? Well, what I didn’t say was that when I went to buy it, another book jumped out at me, “Psychic Surgeon”, by Grant Soloman. In fact, this book jumped out at me before I even clapped eyes on the Tara Ward book, so I ended up buying both of them. Hold that thought because I’ll be returning to this in the next post…

Sitting in the development circle run by John Geis was the best thing that happened to me since I found Wood Green Karate Club back in 1974.I became disciplined in daily meditation and I seemed to be going in the right direction. I was now back at work too and I’d moved out of the flat in Gorse Hill. All-in-all life had got much better; there was still the little matter of my drinking but I will also be coming to that in the next post. John’s group sat in the living room, while his wife Sue’s group sat in the healing room. Afterwards the two groups would gather in the healing room and chat over tea and biscuits. The healing room was a wonderful room; it had such a beautiful energy that it was impossible not to feel at peace when you were in there. Around the walls there were various paintings and pictures of holy men and spirit guides etc. We had Christ, the Dalai Lama and also a small picture of an Indian man with hair like Jimi Hendrix. He had one or both of his arms (I can’t remember exactly) raised as if in blessing. I noticed the picture but didn’t pay too much attention to it; I suppose mainly because I didn’t have a clue who it was and I wasn’t inspired to ask about the man’s identity.

many months later, Sue’s group had undergone some changes and she had a new set of people sitting with her. One of these people was a man called John. One night, before group started, myself, John Geis and the other John were standing chatting in the healing room. Somehow, the conversation got around to the Indian man with fuzzy hair in the picture. I said casually, “who’s that, one of them guru blokes”. John Geis looked at me in disgust and said, “that’s God”! I didn’t understand what he meant and I didn’t realise it at the time, but in that moment, Sri Sathya Sai Baba introduced himself to me and it was the start of a great love affair. It was always impossible to describe with words just who or what Baba actually was; he always used to say, “You can never comprehend who I am, so don’t try”. He has been described as a holy man, a saint, God in human form, an Avatar* and much, much more. But for me, the simplest explanation, and what I truly believe in accordance with my actual experiences of Baba, is that he was a ray of light direct from source, in its absolute purest form, that took human birth in a physical body.

The difference between Baba and Christ, for example, is that Baba was a full Avatar, which means that he took birth with all the powers that he displayed (and many more that he didn’t display), and he was performing miracles at the age of three. Whereas Christ, although a highly evolved soul, had to go through an awakening process to realise the truth of his being. I’m not going to go too deeply into all my experiences with Baba, or Swami as I called him, because there simply aren’t enough hours in the day, and I’ve already written so much about him in several of my books. Instead, I’m just going to give a bit of an outline and let the reader carry out further research as they wish.

Sai Baba was born in Puttaparthi, a remote village in southern India, on November 23, 1926, and given the family name of Satya Narayana Raju. From a very young age he was materialising books and pencils for his playmates out of thin air, quoting ancient scriptures word for word and composing wonderful music and poetry. He was beaten and even subjected to torture by his family who thought he was possessed by evil spirits. But at the age of 14, after many, many miracles and being hailed as guru by the villagers, Satya Narayana announced his Divinity and his mission for mankind, and was henceforth known as Sai Baba. As word of this incredible God-Man spread, Puttaparthi started to attract visitors from all over India and eventually the whole world. An ashram was built, which after a while simply couldn’t cope with the throngs of visitors from the four corners of the globe. The ashram, known as Prashanthi Nilayam (Abode of The Highest Peace) eventually expanded into a township in its own right, with shops, a post office, a bank, a police station and various other outlets. The darshan* hall alone holds 20,000 people, and every year millions of people pass through Prashanthi hoping for healing and guidance.

I was fortunate enough to visit Prashanthi on two occasions. However, by the time Baba gave me the inner call in 2009, and again in 2010, the ashram was just so busy, that especially during festival times, it made Vatican Square on new Pope day look like an empty room. As you would expect, there was also an element of negative press associated with swami; indeed some horrendous things were written about him over the years that were very upsetting for devotees. But swami just ignored all the negative stuff and quietly went about his mission. The negative press generally came from people who either had no experience of Baba, or who had experience of him but became bitter when he did not give them his undivided attention. The closest I ever managed to get to him was about 4-5 feet. By this time his physical form was very frail and he was in a wheelchair. However, I’ve written this about him so many times in the past and I’m going to write it again. He was an incredibly beautiful being. It was obvious to me that he was not of this world; he had a really dead-pan look on his face, but when he smiled it made your heart melt. He radiated pure love and I am eternally grateful that the Avatar took me under his wing.

For me his two greatest miracles are his fresh drinking water project and his series of Super Speciality Hospitals. Swami’s fresh drinking water project, which is ongoing, started in 1994 and its aim was to supply remote villages in India with potable water. It was the largest project of its kind ever undertaken by mankind, but thanks to Baba over 800 (and counting) villages have been supplied with a fresh supply of drinking water. Also, Swami has built several Super Speciality Hospitals where the poor and needy can get specialist heart and eye treatments completely free of charge. An architect that had undertaken work for the British Royal Family said that the planning alone for such a bold venture would take five years and the building many more years. Yet the plans for the first hospital, erected on the outskirts of Puttaparthi, took just five months, and seven months later no less than three heart procedures were carried out on the day the hospital opened.

I wrote about Baba more extensively in my book, The Amazing Journey, so I’m going to bring this post to a close now. However, Swami will pop up again before I complete my story. Below you will find links to a couple of old blog posts relating to Baba, a you tube video of his famous vibhuti (sacred ash) miracle and to my page on this blog devoted to The Amazing Journey

*Avatar – The descent of God into a physical body. Even though all of us are a descent of God into a physical body, an Avatar is the descent of God in its purest form into a physical body.

*Darshan – Within the sight of a Divine being.

Blog Post It’s All A Matter Of Perspective

Blog Post God Goes Home

The Amazing Journey

The Secret Garden Of The Soul


Here is an extract from my latest project From Logic To Enlightenment, which is going to be a kindle-only booklet of spiritual inspiration, with 100% royalties being donated to Cotswold Care Hospice. I’m hoping to publish by the middle of November at the latest.

What we are all seeking is closer to us than our very skin, but most of us are still ignorant of this most basic of spiritual truths. The secret garden of the soul is within us. Yes, contained within us is a boundless ocean of love and bliss with unlimited possibilities. As we go through this life and become more and more aware of who we really are, we are able to access our “God-Self” more readily. Some people achieve this via spiritual practices such as meditation, but it is also possible to reach God by the action of selfless service. Swami, Sri Sathya Sai Baba once said that the easiest way to serve God is to serve your fellow human beings; because God is resident within the hearts of all beings, therefore to serve humankind is to serve God. When you serve the Divine you are taking steps towards Self-Realisation, because with every step you take towards God, God will take ten steps towards you.

We are here in this realm of matter simply to have physical experiences. The body is nothing more than a vehicle that gets us from A to B. It is impossible to die. Even the physical body does not die; it simply changes form and continues to exist. Anyone who does not believe this should understand, and I recap, that all is energy. There is nothing that is not energy. You can neither create nor destroy energy; it is eternal. When the life-force leaves at so-called death, the body reverts back to inanimate matter. If you bury a physical body, over time it will break down or decompose, and merge once again with the earth. If you cremate a physical form, the cremation process causes the body to evolve into heat energy, which in turn is absorbed back into the total energy mass. So, the body does not die; in fact death is mythical and only exists in the mind.

DivineeeThe soul is indeed a secret garden of unlimited possibilities. But before we go any further, I want to ask a question; are the soul and the spirit one and the same thing? My personal view on this is that like everything else in this realm of the relative, the answer is paradoxical. In other words, yes they are and no they are not. Like the perfect Divine dichotomy, both answers are true. The way I see it is like this, at our deepest and purest level of being we are pure consciousness, which is the soul. At the first level of creation, where Divine thoughts start to materialize as form, we are spirit (energy). However, everything without exception is energy; there is nothing in any realm of existence, anywhere, which is not energy.  Therefore we can say that the soul and the spirit are not the same thing because one is pure consciousness and the other is energy, but on the other hand they are the same because consciousness is energy in its most subtle form. You could argue that it doesn’t really matter, but I threw it into the mix as a kind of food-for-thought exercise to kick-start this little series of thought provoking articles.