I guess we all need heroines and heroes to act as role models for us. When I was growing up, it wasn’t pop stars or actors for me – it was the Buddha and Chinese sages, and later Carl Jung. I’ve been interested in such figures ever since, and even after more than half a century of reading in this field (Good heavens – that long!), I am still delighted and excited when I discover a new one.
Yesterday I was invited to speak at Bosham House, a retreat centre in Sussex founded by a spiritual teacher I’d never heard of – Henry Hamblin – the ‘Saint of Sussex.’ It looks beautiful – it’s near Chichester in West Sussex and has three retreat lodges where you can take a break for spiritual refreshment. The lodges have their own website here.
Hamblin seems a wonderful character. He wrote a series of lessons on spiritual development, and then when he received further illumination, dug a hole in the garden and burnt them all. He then wrote a new improved version, ‘The Way of the Practical Mystic’, which you can buy from the Hamblin Trust’s bookshop here.
To give you a sense of what Hamblin was like, here’s a film of Swami Ramdas and Mother Krishnabai from the Anandashram in Kerala, meeting Henry Hamblin during Swami Ramdas’ world tour in 1954. The commentary is given by Swami Satchidananda.