Looking back now, my path to “A Course in Miracles” probably all started in 1969 when I accepted Jesus my own Lord and Savior, underneath the influence of the Campus Crusade for Christ. However, after joining a Christian brotherhood of aspiring monks, where I was daily quizzed how many Bible verses I’d memorized and could recite verbatim, I was totally confused because of it all. Their version of reality just didn’t sit well with me. I felt such as for instance a parrot of Bible verses, that I didn’t even begin to know, or the town crier that nobody desired to hear. Jesus would show me more, much more.
As divine synchronicity could have it, I ingested a hallucinogen that resulted in a near death experience your day after Christmas, 1970. When I was in the black void, with only the consciousness that “I Am”, George Harrison’s song My Sweet Lord began playing. Which was my voice singing to God, not George’s! Soon an excellent white light began appearing out of the darkness, as my soul sang “I actually want to see you Lord “.Then somebody began to emerge out of the light. This Holy One oscillated between masculine and feminine. As I’d been praying to Jesus, I believed it could be him, but with no beard. I began crying from the depths of my soul, since the Holy One communicated telepathically into my heart. I knew this Being to be just pure love. Then it was over. I was shot back to my body, hearing the language to a fresh song telling me “this has been quite a while coming, it’s likely to be quite a while gone.” How true that has been.
A year later, I saw the cover of Autobiography of a Yogi. It was Paramahansa Yogananda who’d come to me! Next came meeting Baba Ram Dass a course in miracles online retreats, who confirmed that I wasn’t crazy and stated that Yogananda had appeared to many young spiritual seekers on drugs. He also autographed my copy of Be Here Now. My next decade was spent being an aspiring yogi and practicing Yogananda’s Self-Realization Fellowship lessons and exercises, chanting, meditating and receiving initiation into Kriya yoga. Yogananda’s path and linage of gurus brought the essential clarity for me to know Jesus and Christianity better. Yogananda also showed me the essential truth behind the oneness of most religions. And he brought me to Babaji, the Mahavatar who sent him to America back the 1920s. From the time I heard the name Babaji, I knew I knew Him. He and Jesus work together, behind the scenes, in the cosmic scheme of things. And Babaji was to be the next thing in my ongoing spiritual evolution. However, I didn’t know now that He’d supposedly manifested a human body again and was residing in the little village of Haidakhan, in northern India. That could come later, along with the mystery and myth of this current manifestation.
After hearing Bhagavan Das sing, I bought a dotara and began chanting mantras to God daily. This simple, ancient two- stringed instrument is simple to play and lets one follow the drone sound into silence. At this point, I purchased my own personal devote the woods and met a person who’d lived with Babaji. He conducted a Vedic fire ceremony that Babaji had taught him to initiate my new abode. I questioned and grilled him repeatedly, asking if this new Babaji was the same entity Yogananda wrote about. Yes, one and the same but peoples egos still question His true identity. Babaji’s new Kriya yoga was the road of truth, simplicity and love while performing karma yoga- work – and keeping one’s mind on God, through repetition of the ancient mantra Om Namaha Shivaya. Babaji stated this mantra alone was stronger than a lot of atomic bombs and His 1-800 number. I began now seriously doing japa, or the repetition of the mantra on 108 rudraksha beads, to get this vibration into my sub consciousness. I also learned many ways to chant it on my dotara. With all of this going on, I bought “A Course in Miracles” and began the daily lessons immediately. I tried to make sense of the Text but got nowhere; each sentence bogged me down and had to be re-read over a lot of times to assimilate. I was just too young, I told myself. I was thirty-three. I’d deal with this Text later, someday, maybe.
Then after having a year of being married, our house burns down- an actual karmic fire ceremony. In the ashes, untouched by the fire, was a photo of Babaji and His cymbals from Haidakhan. Speak about miracles! Next, was the unexpected news that we have an infant coming, after losing everything? My marriage began to dissolve quickly after I fell twenty feet off a roof, breaking my body in twelve places. Surviving death, I was put back to college for two years to be retrained, while my ex-wife and son left for the Southwest. This is when all of my abandonment issues generated extreme drinking alone. After graduation, I left for India to see Babaji’s ashram, as He’d already left His physical body again, and to pray for help with my entire life in the absolute most spiritual country on earth. I attended the 1995 Kumbha Mela festival with ten million others and lo and behold, who should appear? It was Babaji, asking me if I was having fun. Yes, but I couldn’t speak to answer Him! Then He disappeared back to the crowd, leaving me blown away. Returning state side, I wound up following my ex- wife and son to the Southwest, where my next thing was peyote meetings with the Native Americans for quite some time to come. Everything I’d read and studied in the Course was evident on the medicine inside that tipi. God Is. I learned more in a single night than I’d in years of studying metaphysical books. But I didn’t practice all I’d learned and I let my depressed ego, alcohol and abandonment issues take me nearer to death’s very door. However, as fate, karma and prayers could have it, I wound up in prison for 2.5 years on an aggravated DUI, as opposed to dead, where I stumbled upon the Courses’Manual for Teachers inside our library. Soon, I’d the entire book submitted liberated to prisoners and was reintroduced to Jesus again, with all the time I wanted to study every word of that lengthy text. After 20 years, I must certanly be old enough to get it now! With time and with the aid of the Course, I was finally in a position to forgive myself for the bizarre life my ego had constructed. I did the daily lessons again, trying to see the face of Christ within each inmate. Which was not an easy one. But I left prison a changed, free sober man, definitely better for the knowledge and with a primary draft book about everything under my belt. Today, I have eight years of sobriety under my belt and my book Still Singing, Somehow won the fall Pinnacle Book Achievement Award. This can be a very condensed version of my story- an odyssey of 1 soul’s karma.