More +
A Guide to Love, God, Prayer, Meditation, & Peace Within You—Right Now

My Search for Another Way


My Search for Another WayAnother inspiring story originally submitted for inclusion in When God Spoke to Me. This story is called “My Search for Another Way” by James Wolford. It didn’t make the final version of the book, but I think you’ll enjoy it! It touches my heart…

“I was born into this world to Roman Catholic parents on April 20, 1931. I received my higher educated in a Roman Catholic university and college, plus spent four years as a monk in a Benedictine monastery.

I struggled with the spiritual path presented by the Catholic Church all my adult life. Though I remained within the Catholic Church, I looked into different spiritual paths, exploring one after another but never finding one that worked for me. Disappointment after disappointment followed so I stopped searching and remained in the Catholic Church. Still I held a deep belief there must be a better way; something I could define as a truly satisfying spiritual path.

My first degree of success came after starting a practice created by Fr. Thomas Keating, a Trappist monk, called Centering Prayer. Centering Prayer is a method designed to facilitate the development of Contemplative Prayer, the opening of one’s mind and heart—our whole being—to God. Centering Prayer is a meditation method, focusing on the intention to be with God; releasing distractions caused by thoughts or emotions. Fr. Keating says practicing Centering Prayer is like “two friends sitting in silence, just being in each other’s Presence.” My daily Centering Prayer meditation practice brought a new welcome peace into my life. Through all my years of struggle, I always had a great trust and belief in the concept of a Loving Jesus. The meditation practice increased that experience, and soon after I began it, my spiritual director, a Catholic priest, starting telling me I was a mystic.

Centering Prayer meditation was a powerful, peaceful experience for me which I practiced throughout the years. Still, I felt something was missing and continued searching for a spiritual path that would take me to a deeper level.

After all the years I spent looking into one spiritual teaching after another, the searching ended two years ago when I became a student of A Course in Miracles. The Course message resonated with me immediately. I knew I had found my spiritual path and began experiencing an even deeper peace. My interaction with the world’s value system changed greatly for the better. I saw and experienced the world from a different perspective. The new perspective changed every aspect of my life, a change that continues to unfold.

After studying A Course in Miracles, I read different books by authors I deemed true teachers of Love. After reading The Voice for Love, by DavidPaul and Candace Doyle, I completed the Doye’s six-week Teleclass, ”The Secrets to Hearing God’s Voice.” While doing one of the program exercises, I experienced a strong inner thought: “You are worthy.” This thought penetrated my system with such authority I could not question it. It was a moment of divine inspiration for me. Immediately I was flooded by an inner joy and release I had never known before.

After so many years believing I was born into the world stained with sin, the belief in sin dissolved. The message released a most wonderful transition. I believe the negative voice (ego) I so frequently heard inside my head went into shock and let me enjoy this peaceful transformation for a while. However, the ego-voice came back vigorously, telling me, I really did not hear a message of worthiness and I would be better off to forget the whole experience. A back and forth struggle ensued until I started DavidPaul and Candace’s 5-Steps to Hearing God’s Voice 30-Day Course. At the point in the program where course participants are instructed to write a message they received from within, I experienced the most profound spiritual occurrence of my life.

Back in 1991, after starting the Centering Prayer meditation practice, I began experiencing a physical sensation in and around my head during meditation. The sensation was somewhat uncomfortable at first, but as it continued, I grew used to it. I didn’t know what the sensation meant, if anything, but it soon became a comfortable companion to my meditation.

I began to enjoy more and more peacefulness in my daily life. While meditating, I would occasionally receive a new understanding about something delivered with such authority I could not question the message’s truth. I don’t know how to describe the sensation other than to say it was as if I were aware of another Presence and was feeling a disconnecting with consciousness. I seldom mentioned this sensation to anyone until I told DavidPaul about it. That he was accepting and shared some of his own story with me was very encouraging. He gave me hope that the sensation was more than a sensation, that it had a spiritual connotation.

During the 30-Day Course writing exercise, I received a mental message in addition to the writing message telling me with absolute authority the truth of my writing. The written message told me the following: “The sensation you feel is a physical sign letting you know you are connected with us, the Holy Spirit, and Brother Jesus. It is a sign of being with what is outside time and space.” The written message also told me that being “in the connection” is a simple choice: yes or no. The writing exercise continued by asking me for my decision to accept this connection or not. I answered with a committed, ”Yes.”

After affirming my answer with trust and belief, the sensation of a Presence intensified. The writing instructed me to spend time daily connecting with the Presence—not just once or twice a week—but daily. I thought I had finally received an answer to my question about what the sensation meant. Receiving this answer was a marvelous experience. To me it was like a bolt of thought energy exploded within me. It continued to expand and expand, changing my whole thought system and every aspect of my life.

Since the writing experience, the sensation continues to grow in intensity. I now understand from experience that I have no private thoughts. The Presence is aware of all my thoughts. It is easy to experience the connection during meditation and I can spend hours in meditation. Sometimes the connection is so strong it takes effort to end my meditation session. I find feeling the connection is possible outside the meditative state while going about my daily activities as well. If I choose to keep the connection active, I receive comments or direction regarding what I am thinking and doing.

Another experience that is beginning to unfold is having sort of a dialog of asking questions and receiving answers. While the connection is active, especially in meditation, I feel a deep peace, acceptance, and love. It is a profound experience beyond anything outside the connection. The only difficulty regarding the connection is taking time to do the meditation and choosing and remembering to keep the connection active when not meditating, because the ego’s voice is always present to offer other choices.

The connection continues to grow stronger. Having the Voice for Love as my companion is the most wonderful experience of my life. I would much rather be with my Friends, as I now refer to them, than in time and space, as the peace is beyond anything I’ve felt in the world. In fact, each time I return to time and space, the meaning of the world is less important. I also notice that my ability to practice forgiveness has greatly improved, plus I have much greater awareness of my thoughts and an increased ability to extend Love to them. In addition, my interactions with people are now considerably different. When the connection is active, I feel deep appreciation and love for other people. This is, indeed, a joyful experience compared to the judgment I’ve often had of others in the past. I also notice that when I am having a conversation with another person, the other person often expresses appreciation for my comments.

I have now come to believe that the Holy Spirit sees through our negative beliefs, never gives up on any of us, and is present in everyone’s mind waiting for our invitation. All we need to do to connect with this Presence is to go within with a willing intention to hear the Voice of Love.


James Wolford is retired having worked in the business community as an operations manager, general manager, and services specialist while working at Alaska Housing Finance Corporation, Division of Public Housing. After retiring from work in the business community, he worked as a case manager for five years with the Alaskan AIDS Assistance Association. He now devotes his time as a caregiver and assists people with HIV/AIDS and special needs.