My Religious Upbringing
I was born in 1954, the first child of my parents, who later had five more children, four of whom were still alive into adulthood. My parents seldom went out together: my father worked and my mother took care of us all and the home. When I was six, seven or eight, my Dad used to take me to church with him on a Friday night, probably to give my mother a bit of a rest, but it was also a major step in my discovery of spirituality.
I went alone with Dad for a while and later my next brother came with us. We did not know where we were and we were not told that it was a church. While the congregation sang hymns and my father’s mother co-ordinated the service from the rostrum, my brother and I played games under the table at the back of the hall.
When the singing and talking was done, some people, my Dad and his mother included, would heal people with their hands. We took this for granted and did not realize that other kids did not go through the same experience.
I remember very clearly having a headache after we sang ‘Standing By The River’. I was about 12 and a woman came over to me without my saying anything. She said: ‘You have a headache”. Dad came over and reassured me. The woman placed two fingers on either temple and a minute later my headache was gone.
That was my first experience of spiritual healing, although I knew that my family were healers. I just had not realised what healers did. Healing had not appeared obvious to me before that time.
Still, I did not take spirituality, or anything spiritual, seriously for a couple of years, although my Mum’s aunty used to take me to a Catholic Church if I stayed with her; the scouts took me to Methodist and Baptist Churches and the school was Church of Wales (Church of England).
I saw my father doing yoga and I still have his Teach Yourself Yoga book. I saw books on Tibetan Buddhism on my mother’s bookshelf and I read them all avidly. I loved to visit my father’s mother, who had set up the church and I was never ever frightened when she began talking to people that I could not see.
I knew about auras and karma and although I could only see my own electrical charge (not aura), I thoroughly believed in karma and still do. Nothing else makes sense to me.
I used to talk to my friends about it when I was a teenager, but my father asked me not to when he heard of it from his friends. ‘Don’t cast your pearls before swine,’ he would say, ‘they are not ready to understand’.
I was always taught that ‘when the pupil is ready, the teacher will appear’ and I believe this euphemism for what it is. I ‘see’ things for the first time each week and relish the experience. My mother and my father gave me a fantastic religious upbringing and insight into spirituality. They led by example and never forced their spirituality upon us children.