Spuds!


The humble potato. As you can see, this one is in mid-peel…

I recently found a cyber-friend of mine on another well-known social media site (you know who you are!), and on viewing her page, I came across the most wonderful post.  I liked it so much, and it provoked so much thought within me, that I wanted to share it with you here.  I am not quoting word for word, but I think you will get the gist; it concerns peeling potatoes; or as I like to call them, “spuds”.  It goes something like this..

Religion based spirituality – Peeling potatoes, thinking about God.

Zen spirituality – Peeling potatoes.

At first glance you would think that the religious person is a goody-two-shoes; thinking about God whilst engaged in a fairly mundane task.  However, unless you have an understanding of Zen and are able to look deeper into what is being said, there is a good chance that this is the only conclusion you will draw.

In the first example, the person’s mind is active; and is therefore giving life to the non-existent ego, or false self.

In the second example, the person is simply Being and is therefore at one with “All That Is”.

It has occurred to me that Zen is the direct experience of our own Divinity.

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Left Or Right? Does It Matter?


Those of you who followed my story of personal evolution, will know that I come from a working-class background; and indeed, you may have deduced that I am proud of my roots and would not swap my life for anything.  My politics have always been very left; simply because I have always detested bigotry and prejudice of any kind.  In the UK (I can’t speak for any other country) we still have a ridiculous class-system that should have been confined to the rubbish bin centuries ago.  Indeed, the gap between the “haves” and the “have-nots” seems to be growing wider by the second.  Also, unless you have been living in your own bubble this last few weeks, you will be aware that the UK had a visit from a certain POTUS recently, that caused a stir, to say the least.

These days I try very hard to look at things from the bigger spiritual perspective, although I must admit, that if I see something on social media that appeals greatly to the old me, I can’t resist the odd retweet or repost here and there.  So, what is the bigger spiritual perspective when it comes to the murky world of politics?

Well, I’m sure it may mean different things to different people, but what it means to me is this.  Everything in this illusory world only exists in relationship to its relative opposite; in fact, if it ain’t got a relative opposite it don’t exist!  To take that a step further, you can only experience or express something in this world if it has a relative opposite.  Without grief there would be no joy, without the bitter there would be no sweet; the list is endless.  So, the implications are that when you express something, a political view for example, you are actually helping to endorse its polar opposite.  The left can only exist because of the right, and vice-versa.

We must also remember that old chestnut, “as without, so within”.  So, when the circus comes to town, as it recently did in the UK, what we are seeing, and in our case what the majority of people ridiculed, was only a reflection of what is going on within ourselves at some level of our being.  Making that statement doesn’t mean that I agree with the person in question’s views.  But, what I am saying is that right and wrong are only relative in relationship to each other, and are concepts constructed by the mind about a certain thing.  It is also worth bearing in mind that nothing can happen unless the collective consciousness of our species wills it so.

So, what’s the answer?  Once again, this is just my personal point of view.  First of all, scroll up and read my opening paragraph again.  Did it seem quite negative in parts?  My use of the word “detest”, for example?  Even though I only wrote that paragraph from the perspective of my actual experiences in my own country, there was a hint of aggression in there; and the left are supposed to be the good guys! (There I go again).  I honestly believe that the answer to this conundrum is in my good friend, Zen.  Zen is a state of Being; or pure Consciousness.

There is no relativity in Consciousness, and Consciousness is our true nature; therefore there is ultimately no left or right, no right and wrong etc. So, whoever you are and wherever you find yourself at any given time, simply act from the perspective of Consciousness, to the best of your ability, and be an example; a shining light, to others.  That is all any of us can do really.  Once we understand that the world and all its shenanigans are simply the crazy construction of our own minds, we can go about helping to reduce its craziness.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record I want to finish by using an old Zen saying that I’ve used many times before.  “Be as a hollow bamboo”.  In other words, don’t “do”, don’t be left or right, right or wrong; just be as a hollow bamboo and allow the higher power to work through you.  Allow magic to work through you; indeed, allow yourself and the example you set to those around you to be magical.

Eyesight To The Blind Launches

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The Big Day Has Arrived!

Satori Publishing in association with Inspirational Storytellers presents…

Eyesight To The Blind launches; a journey from darkness into light. Here for the first time on my blog is the cover in all its glory. Also, to whet your appetite, I have posted the introduction that precedes Chapter One. I hope you find it of interest.

“I’m going to take you on a journey. It’s going to be a bit of a bumpy ride and quite painful at times, but it will be worth it. You will stumble and fall with me, but you will also laugh and soar too, as I let you into the beautifully dysfunctional world that is my life. I’m going to take your hand and lead you every step of the way, enabling you to experience every grimace, every moment of madness and every belly laugh, as I fumble my way from a place of complete unconsciousness and darkness to a place of Love. “How is he going to do that”? I can hear you screaming! Well, I’ll tell you.

I have written every story, every phase, every chapter of my life in accordance with the mind-set and understanding that I had at the time. I have refrained from using bad language, but I have written in a language that is “me”. After all, you can take the boy out of North London, but you can never take North London out of the boy. The idea is that you evolve and grow with me through mutual experience; reader and writer together, hand in hand. We won’t quite be skipping along golden sands together, but it will be a lot of fun; trust me.

You will meet many characters along the way, which brings me to quite an important bit. If you are one of these characters and I have mentioned you by name; you are either dead or I think you are a legend. If I have changed your name, you are either not dead, I don’t think you are a legend, or I do think you are a legend but I’ve written about something that might embarrass you.

Even though I started to awaken in 2001, life remained, by and large, a comedy of errors until Zen found me in 2016; you don’t find Zen, it finds you. Life is still a bit of a comedy show, but I now have more clarity and understanding than at any other stage. I will take you through the darkness, I will give you an insight into what life on the road is like for a medium; I will also give you a glimpse into the world of astral travelling. However, the main message I want to get across to the reader is that you do not have to be one of life’s victims. So, I suggest plenty of fluids and a big bag of popcorn; enjoy the ride!

Buy in Amazon US http://ow.ly/jVjM30kDFNe

Buy in Amazon UK http://ow.ly/Cqp630kDGBP

Another Arrow To My Bow


I have some news dear friends! I’m going to branch out in a new direction. It’s been in the pipeline for some time, but due to unavoidable circumstances it has not been able to come to fruition until now. On Sunday February 18 I am being ordained as a Spiritualist minister. Ah! I know what you are thinking… You are thinking that, “He’s only just announced that he won’t be working as a medium anymore, and now he’s being ordained”! Well I can understand how this looks on the surface of things. However, this is something I’ve had in the pipeline for over three years, and even though I have to do around half and hour’s mediumship as part of my ordination, I have no intention of going back on the circuit. No, there are other reasons for me taking this step.

I have no intention of retiring. But I’m realistic enough to understand that I’m not getting any younger. So being ordained as a minister will enable me to carry out weddings, funerals and naming ceremonies. I will be offering spiritual (non-religious) and non-spiritual ceremonies, tailor-made for the client. Being a minister will allow me to continue working in a capacity that will add value to people’s lives; which for me is what it is all about.

For the ordination, apart from having to do the mediumship, I will have to make a declaration (which is a kind of pledge or promise), I will have to give an address and I will have to do three readings. Originally, I chose my readings from Conversations With God – Book One by Neale Donald Walsch (2 passages) and one passage from The Yoga Of Jesus by Paramahansa Yogananda. But having given it a bit of thought, I decided to write my own readings, which I am going to share with you here. I have tried to cover as many angles as possible without making it too complicated, so I hope the following will do the trick. Comments are appreciated!

Reading One

Nothing exists except Consciousness; Consciousness is all there is. All experience, all-knowing, takes place within Consciousness. Indeed, even our physical bodies, which are incorrectly believed to be a housing for the spirit, are contained within Consciousness.
There are many names for Consciousness; spirit, the Self, bliss, knowing, awareness, God; to name but a few. However, the truth is that Consciousness has neither name nor form, neither birth nor death; it transcends pleasure and pain, joy and grief and it is what we are. There is never a single moment that each and every one of us does not exist in eternal bliss as infinite Consciousness. In truth there is nothing to do and nowhere to go, all we ever need is to Be.
So, what then is the point of this physical life; what purpose does it serve. The answer is very simple; the physical life exists so that Consciousness may know itself in its own experience.
Consciousness simply existed as itself in all-knowing infinity. It had no way of experiencing this infinite knowledge, so, using the power of its will, it created the illusion of the three-dimensional physical world, which is subject to relativity, cause and effect and other natural laws. It modulated itself into billions of seemingly separate pockets of intensified energy, thus creating the illusion of the individual soul, existing independently of everything else. Consciousness created certain conditions that went hand in hand with this, which meant that the super-conscious mind was temporarily suppressed and apparently replaced by a finite mind, limited by logic.
Another name for the logical mind is the ego; the bane of the human race, which prevents the individual soul from realising its true nature. The ego causes the individual soul to identify with the body as the reality, thus rendering it oblivious to its underlying truth.

Reading Two

The cause of most of the pain and misery suffered by human beings whilst experiencing a physical existence, is the lack of understanding of what constitutes the ego and how it tricks us into believing we are something that we are not. The easiest way to explain it is as follows:
At any given time here in the physical we are experiencing one of three states of being. The waking state, the dream state and deep sleep state. It is during deep sleep state that we return to source in order to replenish our energies. Upon awakening from deep sleep state, the first thing that happens, quite often even before we open our eyes, is that thoughts start to rise up in the mind. However, it is necessary to elaborate on this in order that we may gain a complete understanding of the process.
Firstly, what is known as the “I” thought, or ego, rises up. This is the thought that says, “I am this body”, “I am this mind”, “I have got limitations”, “I am going to die”. And it is from the “I” thought that all other thoughts rise up. The ego wants us to focus on objects in the world, because it wants us to believe that the world is the source of lasting happiness. The five senses also play their part, in that they pick up information externally and feed it back to the mind. The information is then reviewed. It is this review by the mind, of information received from the senses, that determines whether we experience happiness, sadness or indifference. What the ego does not tell us is that the world is subject to relativity, so any happiness that we find in the world cannot last; indeed, we realise in time that the source of our greatest joy is also the source of our greatest pain.
When we succumb to the tricks of the ego, we get sucked in and taken on a roller coaster ride; often a ride of pain and suffering. Having said all this, it is not wrong, neither is it a mistake to lose sight of who we are.

Reading Three

The great adventure of life is the experience of awakening and realising the truth of our being. We may go through many trials and tribulations en route, but this is exactly how it is meant to be. Life as we know it is nothing more than an elaborate game, played out in a theatre, a theatre of dreams; literally! Everything in the entire universe and beyond is never not in Divine and perfect order; and the play of life too is acted out in a state of absolute perfection. So how does it work?
Well, there has already been mention of the three-dimensional nature of the world; and this is how it has to be in order for experience to be whole and complete. Here are two examples. Firstly, the example of forgiveness. There is the one doing the forgiving, the one being forgiven and the actual process of forgiveness. Secondly, the example of joy. There is the subject (i.e. the joyous person), there is the object or the cause of joy (possibly receiving some good news) and there is the process of joyousness. Everywhere you look in the world you will see the three-dimensional nature of subject/object/process.
Paradoxically, it is by having these three-dimensional experiences that we eventually awaken to our true nature of Consciousness. Until we do, we look at the world from a dualistic perspective; dualism is the illusion that objects and people exist separately and independently of each other. The Indian sage, Ramana Maharshi was once asked the question by a devotee, “should I care for the needs of others”, to which he replied, “there are no others”. Of course it goes without saying that our true nature is also that of Love, and we should always be ready to give a helping hand where it is needed. The Maharshi simply answered the question from the perspective of absolute truth. In Consciousness there is no dualistic or three-dimensional nature and therefore, there are no others; there is only One.
What we can see in the world is Consciousness projecting itself into form, but all form is transient and will eventually sink back into its source. When we look out of the window and we see a tree, the tree does not exist as a tree; it actually exists as vibration. What we see as the tree is nothing more than our mind’s interpretation of that vibration.
Consciousness is that in which all experience appears, all experience is known and out of which all experience is made. When we eventually awaken, we realise that there was nothing to awaken from, that all the time we were awake; we just couldn’t see it. Rather like the sun being obscured by clouds. When the clouds eventually move away we say that the sun has come back, but it didn’t go anywhere, we simply couldn’t see it. We are Divine, we have always been Divine and we will always be Divine.
There is a Zen saying that is thousands of years old. “Be as a hollow bamboo”. That is all we need, to allow ourselves to simply Be (as a hollow bamboo), in order that the higher power may work through us. When we give up all ideas of having to “Do”, and simply allow ourselves to Be, then magic happens and life becomes Heaven on earth!

© Richard F Holmes 2018

Do Nothing To Achieve Nothing


It is said that at the final stage of Self-realisation the ego merges into the Self and disappears. However, this would imply that the ego actually exists in the first place. The ultimate reality is that nothing exists except consciousness in its blissful infinite state of pure being; therefore the separate self (ego) only exists from the standpoint of duality, which is an illusion.

The concept of a single, infinite and indivisible whole is not easy for everyone to grasp, so it is perfectly acceptable to approach spiritual practice from a dualistic perspective. However, all of our spiritual practices; meditation, yoga, chanting and the study of spiritual texts, to name but a few, are nothing more than stepping-stones to finding what is already there. I have come to the conclusion that the simplest way to spiritual evolution is to do nothing in order to achieve nothing.

There is a Zen saying that says, “allow yourself to be as a hollow bamboo”, or words to that effect. What it means is to simply allow that higher power, which is your true nature, to operate through you. It is only the ego, the small “I” that needs to “do”. It knows that it ultimately does not exist and is on borrowed time, so it will do all it can to trick us into believing that we are the separate self. The individual soul was formed out of the nothing of the silent and blissful wilderness of Self, but there is never a time when it is not the Self. The trick, for want of a better word, is to understand that it is the individual soul as an ego/body/mind that is the illusion, the individual soul as Self is very real.

So allow yourself to be as a hollow bamboo and let your true nature work through you(do nothing), in order to experience your true nature of nothingness (achieve nothing). Rupert Spira explains this beautifully as, “being aware of being aware”.