Looking back now, my path to “A Course in Miracles” probably all were only available in 1969 when I accepted Jesus my personal 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 on how many Bible verses I had 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 town crier that nobody wished 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. Which was my voice singing to God, not George’s! Soon an excellent white light began appearing from the darkness, as my soul sang “I really want to see you Lord “.Then somebody began to emerge 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, because 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 brand new song telling me “this has been a long time coming, it’s likely to be a long time gone.” How true that has been.
Annually later, I saw the cover of Autobiography of a Yogi. It absolutely was Paramahansa Yogananda who had 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 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 much needed clarity for me to comprehend Jesus and Christianity better. Yogananda also showed me the fundamental truth behind the oneness of religions. And he brought me to Babaji, the Mahavatar who sent him to America back in the 1920s. From the time 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 step in my own ongoing spiritual evolution. However, I did not know now that He had supposedly manifested a human body again and was residing in the little village of Haidakhan, in northern India. That will come later, combined with 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 time, I purchased my own, personal invest 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 the same entity Yogananda wrote about a course in miracles online retreats. 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 that this mantra alone was stronger than one thousand atomic bombs and His 1-800 number. I started now seriously doing japa, or the repetition of the mantra on 108 rudraksha beads, to have this vibration into my sub consciousness. I also learned many ways to chant it on my dotara. With all 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 had to be re-read over too many 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 to be married, our house burns down- a real 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 individuals 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 really is when all 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 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 absolutely was Babaji, asking me if I was having fun. Yes, but I couldn’t talk with answer Him! Then He disappeared back to the crowd, leaving me blown away. Returning state side, I finished up following my ex- wife and son to the Southwest, where my next step 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 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 nearer to death’s very door. However, as fate, karma and prayers would have it, I finished 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 had the entire book submitted 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 should be old enough to have it now! With time and with assistance from 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. Which was not an easy one. But I left prison a changed, free sober man, definitely better for the ability and with an initial draft book about everything 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.