Looking back now, my road to “A Course in Miracles” probably all started in 1969 when I accepted Jesus our 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 by 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 comprehend, or the city crier that nobody desired to hear. Jesus would show me more, much more.
As divine synchronicity could have it, I ingested a hallucinogen that triggered a near death experience the 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 a fantastic white light began appearing out of the darkness, as my soul sang “I actually want to help you Lord “.Then somebody started initially to emerge out of the light. This Holy One oscillated between masculine and feminine. As I’d been praying to Jesus, I thought it could be him, but without a beard. I began 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 fresh song telling me “it’s been quite a long time coming, it’s likely to be quite a long time gone.” How true that has been.
A year later, I saw the cover of Autobiography of a Yogi. It had been Paramahansa Yogananda who’d come if you ask 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 essential clarity for me personally to comprehend 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 in the 1920s. From the time I heard the name Babaji, I knew I knew Him. He and Jesus come together, behind the scenes, in the cosmic scheme of things. a course in miracles online retreats And Babaji was to be the next thing in my ongoing spiritual evolution. However, I did not know now that He had supposedly manifested a human anatomy again and was residing in the small village of Haidakhan, in northern India. That will 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 straightforward to play and lets one follow the drone sound into silence. At this point, I purchased my own personal 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 had written 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 that 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 obtain this vibration into my sub consciousness. I also learned many methods 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 must 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 specific Text later, someday, maybe.
Then after having a year of being married, our home burns down- a genuine karmic fire ceremony. In the ashes, untouched by the fire, was an image of Babaji and His cymbals from Haidakhan. Speak about 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 couple of years to be retrained, while my ex-wife and son left for the Southwest. That is when all 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 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 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 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 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 could have it, I finished up in prison for 2.5 years on an aggravated DUI, as opposed to dead, where I came across the Courses’Manual for Teachers in our library. Soon, I’d the whole book submitted liberated to prisoners and was reintroduced to Jesus again, with all the current time I needed to review every word of that lengthy text. After twenty years, I must be old enough to obtain it now! In time and with assistance from 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. Which was not an easy one. But I left prison a changed, free sober man, definitely better for the experience and with an initial 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 just one soul’s karma.