Add as bookmark

A Yogi called Helen - and the Unready Student

by Mike Webster (Deceased)(more info)

listed in yoga, originally published in issue 166 - January 2010

I was in my mid 20s when I met Helen. The meeting was unusual in that, as I was introduced to her by my Father  I realized that I had opened a shop door for her a few days earlier – Helen also remembered me as the 'nice young man' who opened the door for her. More surprises were to follow. 

It transpired that as a young woman she had been employed by my Grandparents as a nanny for my father, who was at that time a very small child in the family home on the Isle of Bute, Scotland.

Helen, I was to discover was considered by many people to be, 'a little odd', if not downright eccentric, as she would often be found diving into hedgerows to remove various herbs for culinary and medicinal purposes. She was also a maker of home made wines (and from natural ingredients as well) at a time when it was considered to be, 'not the thing one does' in Bexhill-on-Sea, England.

And then there was the Yoga and Meditation!

A lady in her 80s, Helen had a zest for life, and an energy which seemed to know no bounds. She lived life to the full, and was not shy about it; vitality shone from her eyes and in her movements.

Her secret to life, if she had one, lay, as far as she was concerned in the direction of her Yoga and Meditation, which she carried out on a daily basis, her herbs and her home made wine, which included the consumption of the yeasts that were left when the wine was finished.

From the start we were kindred spirits, and I discovered that Helen was a wealth of information on the subjects of Buddhism and Hinduism, which formed the basis of her life's search for understanding.

I listened with my whole being to what she had to say, soaking up every word, finding questions answered before they were asked, and I had a lot to ask.

Helen had been one of the early members of the 'Wheel of Yoga', and her life had changed as a result of meeting Swami Vivekenanda, a pupil and disciple of the great Hindu Saint, Ramakrishna, during one of his trips to Britain in the early part of the 20th Century.

She had faithfully followed the 'path', despite the usual ridicule and suspicion that accompanies those who, with sincere beliefs, take a different path to everyone else.

Helen remained untouched by all of this, and was always there to give in every way possible whatever was required of her. Everything from Helen was given in love; there was no price expected of anyone for what she did for them. The shallow amongst those who took what Helen gave of herself, failed to realize the greatness of this person who was no-ones fool, and still gave without hesitation, and in love.

I had become fascinated by the powers I knew she had, and, perhaps with the wrong idea in mind, I asked her for formal teaching, which I could continue practising when I wasn't seeing her; a guide to what I needed to get on with now.

Helen couched her refusal of my request in terms of, 'not being developed enough' herself, 'to take on a pupil', so to speak. My reply was that I had no guide for the path it seemed I was becoming destined to tread. I left Helen to think about it, hopefully to reconsider in my favour and in the meantime she lent me two books to read.

I returned to my home in Exmouth, Devon with the books, one of which was Heaven lies Within by Theos Bernard. This particular book had always remained by Helen's bed; I knew that it was important to her and I vowed to take care of it. I was barely in the door of my home when I opened the book, and a piece of paper fluttered from it. Written on it were the words:

Look Within; Thou Art Buddha
Realization of the truth of those words, and the overwhelming emotion that it released, took me completely by surprise, which was probably what it was meant to do. No preparation, no build up, I had been hit between the eyes with the truth!  The potency of those words remain with me even today.

Helen finally agreed to take me on as a pupil and in due course, my first lesson arrived. The lesson was on love and compassion, and Meditation as the means of achieving this. I had been expecting something different, such as special exercises; I had not even been given any Yoga to do.

In short, it was not what I had expected however, I did as I was instructed, and started to meditate whilst considering the lesson contained in the letter. The process was painfully slow; however Helen did not push me in any way but let me carry on at my own pace, answering questions when asked, and adding things to the teaching when appropriate.

The letters were kept in a safe place; it was only after Helen's death that I realized the true quality of her teaching. Helen was not on the telephone therefore the only means of communication was by letter.

As Helen was always punctual in replying, I found myself starting to panic when there was an overdue letter. Finally I received a letter from a relative of Helen's, which stated the worst. Helen had been found four days after falling and breaking her hip, and had died in hospital.

At the time that Helen needed someone, there was no one there for her and, when she was found, it was too late.

Wishing to have a memento of Helen I asked her family for the books she had let me borrow, believing that they would be of no interest to anyone else. I was told, much to my surprise, there were no such books amongst her belongings! I went to find the letters that Helen had carefully prepared and hand written for me. They had gone!  It was as though they had never existed.

I began to realize why Helen had hesitated to take me on as her pupil. It was not a question of her teaching, or my enthusiasm.

It is said, that when the pupil is ready, the teacher will appear. The teacher was there, but the pupil was far from ready and didn't realize it! Helen had given me what I had needed but I was not ready to take it on board, and had not realized the wonderful opportunity I had missed, until it was too late. I began to realise the great bond that had grown between us, and the wealth of teaching Helen had tried to impart to me.

With Helen gone, her books gone, and then the letters, which contained her lessons also gone, it seemed that everything was being taken away from me.

I started to realize that I had relied heavily on Helen and the written word in my struggle to understand the essence of everything, the source of my experiences, which had been beyond rational thought.

The final lesson was brought home to me. It was also the very first lesson Helen had given me – the secret of enlightenment contained on one small slip of paper, all that was left of our relationship except her everlasting love and compassion.

Ultimately it is up to you alone to make the realization that you are already one with the Universe.
Look Within; Thou Art Buddha!


  1. No Article Comments available

Post Your Comments:

About Mike Webster (Deceased)

Mike Webster – 1943 -2016 – passed away from cancer on January 24th 2016Mike had been involved in Complementary medicine for approximately 30 years, and was one of the most experienced Shiatsu teachers, practitioners, and practitioner assessors in the UK. He was a Certificated NLP Master Practitioner and the founder of Waveform Energetics, one of the worlds most advanced energy awareness, training and research organizations, with graduates and students from all walks of life in 10 different countries. Mike was also an operational Remote Viewer and RV Teacher.

In the early 1980s whilst farming on a small island in the Orkneys, Mike became apprenticed to a unique spiritual training group. The training he received completely changed the course of his life. Nine years after his return to Scotland Mike had a profound realization which became known as Waveform which he now teaches. Mike was a columnist for a Complementary Health Magazine and published articles on Shiatsu, health, energy, and the path of spirituality in a number of periodicals.

He was the author of A Simple Guide to Voyaging the Energetic Universe available from or directly Mike and his wife Stella lived beside Loch Lomond in Scotland and provided Waveform and Remote Viewing workshops which held annually in the UK . They can be contacted via

top of the page