Looking back now, my road to “A Course in Miracles” probably all were only available in 1969 when I accepted Jesus my personal 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 how many Bible verses I had 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 town crier that nobody desired to hear. Jesus would show me more, much more.
As divine synchronicity would have it, I ingested a hallucinogen that triggered 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 has been my voice singing to God, not George’s! Soon a fantastic white light began appearing from the darkness, as my soul sang “I actually want to see you Lord “.Then somebody started initially to emerge from the light. This Holy One oscillated between masculine and feminine. As I’d been praying to Jesus a course in miracles online retreats, I believed it might be him, but without a 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 only pure love. Then it was over. I was shot back to my body, hearing the words to a fresh song telling me “it’s been quite a while coming, it’s planning 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, who confirmed that I wasn’t crazy and stated that Yogananda had appeared to numerous 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 to understand 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 back the 1920s. Since I heard the name Babaji, I knew I knew Him. He and Jesus interact, behind the scenes, in the cosmic scheme of things. And Babaji was to be the next phase in my ongoing spiritual evolution. However, I did not know at this time that He had supposedly manifested a body again and was residing in the little village of Haidakhan, in northern India. That will 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 straightforward to play and lets one follow the drone sound into silence. Now, I purchased my very own 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 exactly the same entity Yogananda wrote 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 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 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- an actual karmic fire ceremony. In the ashes, untouched by the fire, was a picture of Babaji and His cymbals from Haidakhan. Discuss miracles! Next, was the unexpected news that people have a child 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 to college for 2 yrs to be retrained, while my ex-wife and son left for the Southwest. This really is when each of my abandonment issues generated extreme drinking alone. After graduation, I left for India to see Babaji’s ashram, as He had already left His physical body again, and to pray for help 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 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 ended up following my ex- wife and son to the Southwest, where my next step was peyote meetings with the Native Americans for several 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 had 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 came across the Courses’Manual for Teachers within our library. Soon, I had the whole book sent in free to prisoners and was reintroduced to Jesus again, with all the time I wanted to examine every word of the lengthy text. After two decades, I must be old enough to obtain it now! Over time and with the help of the Course, I was finally in a position to forgive myself for the bizarre life my ego had constructed. Used to do the daily lessons again, attempting to see the face of Christ within each inmate. That has been no easy one. But I left prison a changed, free sober man, definitely better for the experience and with a primary draft book about all of it 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 is a very condensed version of my story- an odyssey of one soul’s karma.