Looking back now, my way to “A Course in Miracles” probably all started in 1969 when I accepted Jesus my personal Lord and Savior, consuming 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 such as a parrot of Bible verses, that I didn’t even begin to understand, or the town crier that nobody wanted to hear. Jesus would show me more, a lot more.
As divine synchronicity could have it, I ingested a hallucinogen that led to 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. That has been my voice singing to God, not George’s! Soon an excellent white light began taken from the darkness, as my soul sang “I must say i want to see you Lord”. Then somebody started to emerge from the light. This Holy One oscillated between masculine and feminine.
As I’d been praying to Jesus, I thought it may be him, but without a beard. I began crying from the depths of my soul, as 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 into my body, hearing the words to a fresh song telling me “it’s been quite a long time coming, it’s going to be quite a long time gone.” How true that has been.
Per year later, I saw the cover of Autobiography of a Yogi. It had been Paramahansa Yogananda who had arrived at me! Next came meeting Baba Ram Dass, who confirmed that I wasn’t crazy and stated that Yogananda had seemed to many young spiritual seekers on drugs. He also autographed my copy of Be Here Now. My next decade was spent as 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 to understand Jesus and Christianity better. Yogananda also showed me the fundamental truth behind the oneness of most religions.
And he brought me to Babaji, the Mahavatar who sent him to America back in the 1920s. 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 function as next step in my own ongoing spiritual evolution. However, I did so not know at this stage he had supposedly manifested a body again and was surviving in the tiny village of Haidakhan, in northern India. That could come later, combined with the mystery and myth of this current manifestation.
After hearing Bhagavan Das sing, I purchased 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. At this time, I purchased my very own invest the woods and met a guy 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 exactly the same but peoples egos still question His true identity. Babaji’s new Kriya yoga was the path 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 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 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 make sense of the written text but got nowhere; each sentence bogged me down and had to be re-read over way too many times to assimilate. I was just too young, I told myself. un curso de milagros I was thirty-three. I’d cope with this Text later, someday, maybe.
Then following a year of being married, our house burns down- a real karmic fire ceremony. In the ashes, untouched by the fire, was an image 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 began to dissolve quickly after I fell twenty feet off a roof, breaking my own 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 is when all of my abandonment issues resulted in extreme drinking alone. After graduation, I left for India to see Babaji’s ashram, as He previously already left His physical body again, also to pray for help with my life in probably the most spiritual country on the planet.
I attended the 1995 Kumbha Mela festival with ten million others and lo and behold, who should appear? It was Babaji, asking me easily was having fun. Yes, but I couldn’t speak to answer Him! HE THEN 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 thing 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 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 finished up in prison for 2 2.5 years on an aggravated DUI, instead of dead, where I discovered the Courses’ Manual for Teachers in our library. Soon, I had the complete book sent in absolve to prisoners and was reintroduced to Jesus again, with the time I had a need to study 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. That was not an easy one. But I left prison a changed, free sober man, much better for the experience sufficient reason for an initial draft book about any of it all 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. It is a very condensed version of my story- an odyssey of 1 soul’s karma.