Looking back now, my road to “A Course in Miracles” probably all were only available in 1969 when I accepted Jesus my own Lord and Savior, under the influence of the Campus Crusade for Christ. However, after joining a Christian brotherhood of aspiring monks, where I was daily quizzed on what 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 a parrot of Bible verses, that I didn’t even begin to understand, or the city crier that nobody wanted to hear. Jesus would show me more, much more.
As divine synchronicity might have it, I ingested a hallucinogen that led to 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. That has been my voice singing to God, not George’s! Soon a fantastic white light began appearing out from the darkness, as my soul sang “I really want to help you Lord “.Then somebody started initially to emerge out from the light. This Holy One oscillated between masculine and feminine. As I’d been praying to Jesus, I believed it might be him, but with out a 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 only pure love. Then it had been over. I was shot back in my body, hearing the words to a new song telling me “it’s been quite a while coming, it’s planning to be quite a while gone.” How true that’s been.
Annually 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. 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 much needed clarity for me personally to understand Jesus and Christianity better. Yogananda also showed me the primary truth behind the oneness of religions. And he brought me to Babaji, the Mahavatar who sent him to America back the 1920s a course in miracles online retreats. Ever since 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 step in my own ongoing spiritual evolution. However, I did not know at this point that He’d supposedly manifested a body again and was residing in the small village of Haidakhan, in northern India. That would come later, combined with the 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 easy to play and lets one follow the drone sound into silence. Now, I purchased my very own place in 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 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 this mantra alone was stronger than a lot of atomic bombs and His 1-800 number. I began at this point 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 approaches to chant it on my dotara. With this going on, I bought “A Course in Miracles” and began the daily lessons immediately. I tried to produce sense of the Text but got nowhere; each sentence bogged me down and must 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 a year to be married, our house burns down- a genuine 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 people have a baby coming, after losing everything? My marriage started initially to dissolve quickly after I fell twenty feet off a roof, breaking my body in twelve places. Surviving death, I was put back in college for 2 yrs to be retrained, while my ex-wife and son left for the Southwest. That is when every one 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 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 had been Babaji, asking me if I was having fun. Yes, but I couldn’t speak to answer Him! Then He disappeared back in the crowd, leaving me blown away. Returning state side, I wound 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 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 closer to death’s very door. However, as fate, karma and prayers might have it, I wound up in prison for 2.5 years on an aggravated DUI, instead of dead, where I stumbled upon the Courses’Manual for Teachers inside our library. Soon, I’d the entire book sent in absolve to prisoners and was reintroduced to Jesus again, with the time I wanted to examine every word of this lengthy text. After 20 years, I must certanly be old enough to obtain it now! Over 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 so the daily lessons again, trying to see the face of Christ within each inmate. That has been not an easy one. But I left prison a changed, free sober man, far better for the knowledge and with a first draft book about all of it 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 one soul’s karma.