Looking back now, my path to “A Course in Miracles” probably all started in 1969 when I accepted Jesus our Lord and Savior, beneath 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 by it all. Their version of reality just didn’t sit well with me. I felt like a parrot of Bible verses, that I didn’t even begin to comprehend, or the city crier that nobody desired to hear. Jesus would show me more, much more.
As divine synchronicity would have it, I ingested a hallucinogen that led to a near death experience the afternoon 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. That was my voice singing to God, not George’s! Soon a fantastic white light began appearing out from the darkness, as my soul sang “I genuinely wish to see you Lord “.Then somebody started to emerge out from 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 started crying from the depths of my soul, while the Holy One communicated telepathically into my heart. I knew this Being to be just pure love. Then it absolutely was over. I was shot back into my body, hearing the words to a new song telling me “it’s been quite a long time coming, it’s going to be quite a long time gone.” How true that’s been.
Per year later, I saw the cover of Autobiography of a Yogi. It had been Paramahansa Yogananda who had come in my experience! Next came meeting Baba Ram Dass, who confirmed that I wasn’t crazy and stated that Yogananda had appeared to many young spiritual seekers on drugs a course in miracles online retreats. He also autographed my copy of Be Here Now. My next decade was spent becoming 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 necessary clarity for me to comprehend Jesus and Christianity better. Yogananda also showed me the primary truth behind the oneness of all religions. And he brought me to Babaji, the Mahavatar who sent him to America in 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 phase in my own ongoing spiritual evolution. However, I did not know at this time 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, combined with mystery and myth with 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 straightforward to play and lets one follow the drone sound into silence. At this point, I purchased my very own place in the woods and met a man 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 exactly the same entity Yogananda had written about. Yes, one and exactly the same but peoples egos still question His true identity. Babaji’s new Kriya yoga was the trail 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 that this mantra alone was stronger than a thousand atomic bombs and His 1-800 number. I started at this time seriously doing japa, or the repetition of the mantra on 108 rudraksha beads, to obtain 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 create sense of the Text but got nowhere; each sentence bogged me down and needed 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 particular Text later, someday, maybe.
Then after a year of being married, our house burns down- an actual karmic fire ceremony. In the ashes, untouched by the fire, was a picture of Babaji and His cymbals from Haidakhan. Talk about miracles! Next, was the unexpected news that we have a child coming, after losing everything? My marriage started to dissolve quickly after I fell twenty feet off a roof, breaking my body in twelve places. Surviving death, I was put back into college for couple of years to be retrained, while my ex-wife and son left for the Southwest. That is when most 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 assistance with my entire life in the most spiritual country on earth. I attended the 1995 Kumbha Mela festival with ten million others and lo and behold, who should appear? It had been Babaji, asking me if I was having fun. Yes, but I couldn’t speak to answer Him! Then He disappeared back into the crowd, leaving me blown away. Returning state side, I ended up following my ex- wife and son to the Southwest, where my alternative was peyote meetings with the Native Americans for many years 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 one 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 closer to death’s very door. However, as fate, karma and prayers would have it, I ended up in prison for 2.5 years on an aggravated DUI, instead of dead, where I discovered the Courses’Manual for Teachers within our library. Soon, I’d the whole book sent in liberated to prisoners and was reintroduced to Jesus again, with all the current time I wanted to study every word of this lengthy text. After 20 years, I must be old enough to obtain it now! Over time and with assistance from the Course, I was finally able to forgive myself for the bizarre life my ego had constructed. I did the daily lessons again, wanting to see the facial skin of Christ within each inmate. That was not an easy one. But I left prison a changed, free sober man, much better for the experience and with a primary draft book about it all under my belt. Today, I’ve 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.