It was a joy to work with Dan Millman on this story for my book, Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything. As Dan’s story illustrates, enlightenment can come at the most unlikely times and in the most unlikely places. Here is an excerpt from Dan’s story, beginning with his bio.
Millman, a former world-champion gymnast, martial arts instructor, and college professor, has for three decades explored the heart of the spiritual traditions. His keynotes, seminars, and trainings present practical ways to live with a peaceful heart and warrior spirit. Millman’s twelve books have inspired millions of readers in twenty-nine languages, and his work has influenced people from all walks of life. His first book, Way of the Peaceful Warrior, was made into a motion picture starring Nick Nolte. Click here to visit Dan’s website.
On an ordinary spring afternoon in 1967, I was sitting on a curb on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley, California, carefully peeling a pink grapefruit I had just purchased from the health food store behind me. In about an hour I would walk, with the help of a cane, down to Harmon Gymnasium to continue my strength-building and rehabilitation program. I was recovering from a badly broken leg, which I had injured in a motorcycle crash a few months before.
I was twenty-one years old, beginning my senior year of college. In that moment, though, I wasn’t thinking of past or future—I was just peeling that grapefruit, sitting on that curb, in a kind of peaceful reverie, watching the wheels of various cars drive by, noticing pieces of litter blowing in the street, and life was okay.
In the next instant, something happened. No sounds, visions, or angelic choirs marked the occasion—yet in an instant, my life shifted as I looked up and noticed that everything was perfect. This “noticing” wasn’t an insight or idea or thought or belief or experience, but a radical shift in worldview, a perceptual breakthrough, unearned and unasked for. This moment of grace arrived in an unguarded moment, in the space of a single breath.
Prior to this rather odd and spontaneous awakening on Telegraph Avenue, if I had heard the phrase, “It’s all perfect,” I might have thought it a good bumper sticker, mantra, or affirmation. But in those moments of openness, that whispered revelation struck like silent thunder, with the force of a tidal wave of transparent truth that turned my life around.
In the decades that would follow, I’d have various experiences generated by fasting, immersive spiritual practices, deep contemplation and meditation—rising bliss, insights about the nature of mind and the universe, a sense of unity with all things. But none of those experiences came close to this awakening to the certainty that everything was perfect exactly the way it was.
The exhaust coming from the cars driving by . . . perfect; the litter blowing in the street . . . perfect; my broken leg now healing . . . perfect; the people walking by . . . all perfect just the way they are. I embraced the whole of creation the way a mother might embrace her child.
If a mugger had attacked me in that moment, it would have been absolutely perfect—and my response would have been too, whatever it might have been. Life no longer had any “wrong” choices—every single one would lead to evolution and wisdom.
I remained aware that, as I sat on the curb, a war was raging in Vietnam, and people everywhere were experiencing joy and despair, life and death, pleasure and pain. Yet I was incapable of seeing, thinking about, perceiving, or imagining anything in creation as less than the perfect process of life unfolding. I knew with a certainty beyond anything I had ever known that all was exactly as it should be, and was happening for our highest good and ultimate well-being.
Click here to view all my posts related to my book, Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything.
ABOUT PHIL BOLSTA
Phil is the author of Through God’s Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World, a comprehensive guide to living a spiritual life. Who will benefit from reading it?
Anyone who is on a spiritual path, or wants to start one
Anyone who loves life, or wants to learn how to
Anyone who is happy, or wants to be happier
Through God’s Eyes won first place in the “Spirituality and Inspirational” category at the San Diego Book Awards on June 22, 2013.
Here is a two-minute video introduction to Through God’s Eyes.
• an overview of the book
• the complete table of contents
• the Foreword by Caroline Myss
• my Introduction
• chapter excerpts
• a sample end-of-chapter story
• endorsements from authors and thought leaders
Just click on the link below to download your free PDF sampler!
THROUGH GOD’S EYES PDF SAMPLER
Phil’s eBook, The Logic of Living a Spiritual Life: Supporting a Life of Faith Through Logic and Reason, is now available for 99 cents on Amazon.
Order it at GodIsLogical.com.
In this eBook, you’ll find answers to questions like:
• What is the cornerstone of a spiritual life, and why?
• What is the secret to liberating yourself from other people’s judgments and expectations?
• Why is there an exception to “Everything happens for a reason”?
Those who worship logic instead of God are only half right. Not only is it logical to believe in God and to live a faith-based life, the existence of a loving, benevolent God that governs all creation is perhaps the only systematic worldview that explains every aspect of life.
Schedule a Mastery Mentoring phone session with Phil to learn how to apply principles of spiritual living more effortlessly and effectively. Priced affordably! Click here to e-mail Phil for details.
Phil is also the author of Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything, a collection of 45 inspiring, life-changing stories from prominent people he interviewed, including Joan Borysenko, Deepak Chopra, geneticist Dr. Francis Collins, acclaimed sportswriter Frank Deford, Dr. Larry Dossey, Wayne Dyer, Dan Millman, Caroline Myss, Dr. Christiane Northrup, Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen, Dr. Bernie Siegel, James Van Praagh, singer Billy Vera, Doreen Virtue, Neale Donald Walsch, and bassist Victor Wooten.
Reading this book is like spending a few minutes face to face with each of the contributors and listening to their personal stories. Click here to read unsolicited testimonials from readers. Learn more by visiting the official Sixty Seconds website.
Sixty Seconds was one of three finalists in the General Interest/How-To category at the 12th annual Visionary Awards presented by COVR (Coalition of Visionary Resources) in Denver on June 27, 2009.