Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons via National Archives and Records Administration | NARA 541501

When I was 15 years old, I often hung out at the local bowling alley, even during my school lunch hour. Sometimes I bowled a couple of lines. I was no more than a beginning bowler but one day I had an exceptional experience, and I’d bet that you’ve had at least one such experience in your life, too.

I only bowled one game that noon hour, by myself. Other kids were milling around and gradually some of them migrated toward my lane because they noticed that I was getting strike after strike. I don’t recall when I bowled my first spare, or how many spares I had and how many strikes. But I do recall my final score, 224, which might not be remarkable for a bowler with substantial skill and experience, but for me it was a life-changing event.

How could it be that somehow everything unfolded just right during those few minutes at the bowling alley? I hadn’t expected it to happen, had no inkling that I was about to look like a professional, and that it would never happen again in my life, at least not in that way.

I was in a special place all right, but I had no idea how I got there. I’ll never forget the feeling of inevitability during those moments, as though the game was evolving on its own. I was participating in something magical and out of my control. Athletes describe the same sort of experiences as getting into the zone. It wasn’t as though I was imagining the bowling ball knocking down all the pins, but I seemed to know the ball was going to do just that. I was excited and calm at the same time.

With many years of life experiences absorbed by now, I have a sense that these illogical events have to do with attaining harmony with the universe. As though a window opens and everything, really everything, is all right. There is a palpable sense of knowing and being in the moment.

These days I frequently have that feeling during meditation and when I work in the garden, that sense of inevitability. Often when I’m speaking before an audience I get a warm sense of harmony as though both me and the audience are connected to something of greater dimensions than ourselves.

I’m sure this is a universal experience, and might happen when we participate in any activity we love, like sports, like fixing a car, like writing a poem, like loving doing what we do in our lives. Imagine what a beautiful world we could create if only we could learn to have that feeling all the time.

What do you say we all work on it?