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Natural Awakenings South Jersey

Author John D. Sambalino Shares His Spiritual Path in New Book

May 28, 2019 04:19PM ● By Ellen Kershner

He survived a rattlesnake bite through meditation, learned with yoga pioneer Amrit Desai in India and practices Transcendental Meditation, Sudarshan Kriya, tai chi, qigong and hatha yoga two to three hours a day. What local author John D. Sambalino really wants to do, though, is enlighten others about the underlying matrix of the entire physical universe, which he refers to as the Ultimate Truth, Pure Consciousness, or what some may call “God.”

His new book, Is God in That Bottle Cap? A Search for Truth, that was published in May, is a great summer read for anyone that wants to embark upon a personal journey of spiritual understanding and better health. He wrote it to motivate others by teaching about the true nature underlying everything in the universe. Sambalino uses his personal experiences, storytelling, parables and metaphors to encourage us to seek this Truth for ourselves, and he presents a vehicle—meditation—to help carry us towards our goal.


Sambalino was born in Buffalo, New York, and moved to South Jersey when he was 12. Growing up, he felt that things around him didn’t feel “quite right.” Listening to the teachings in church, he could not understand why Jesus was born as this perfect being while he was stuck in a “human body.” In college he began reading about karate, yogis in India, and Zen Buddhism. He has traveled the world, studying ancient teachings and scripture, and methods of self-realization. He has also studied with Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

He started meditating more than 40 years ago and friends have been encouraging him to write about spirituality and meditation for many years. Is God in That Bottle Cap?was written to give others motivation and direction for exploring enlightenment. The book promotes the practice of meditation. “Meditation calms the mind and body, and allows you to experience the unseen world that surrounds you,” he explains. Here he quotes Jesus, who said, “The Kingdom of Heaven Lies within.”

The Meaning of the Book’s Title 

While living in Charleston, South Carolina, he met a Christian minister who told him he should go to church. Sambalino happened to look down and saw a bottle cap on the ground. He turned to the minister and asked, “Is God in that bottle cap?” The minister did not have an answer, but Sambalino explained that God must be there if he exists everywhere.

Sambalino was in Florida in 1979 when he stepped on a five-foot rattler and received 11 puncture wounds in three toes. He was rushed to the hospital, with high blood pressure, poor respiration and a blackened foot. He meditated for an hour, becoming 100 percent stable. His doctor couldn’t believe it, and later said that John was the only patient he had ever treated for a rattlesnake bite that didn’t require surgery to repair damage to tissue. 

Meditation: Like Taking a Shower and Other Metaphors

He likened meditation to taking a daily shower: You take a shower and you live your life. The same can apply to meditation: You do your daily meditation and you live your life—all the changes happen from the inside out. “You don’t have to shave your head or wear orange robes,” he laughs. 

Through his book, he is not trying to instill beliefs; he wants to let readers know that there is something else going on besides what their senses are picking up, and whatever it is, it is worth checking out. He compared this to telling friends about a Hawaiian vacation. “You can tell people how great Hawaii is and give them advice about ways to get there and where to stay.  The next steps are up to them.” Another example he cites is a banana. “You can explain what a banana tastes like, but words cannot convey the taste. People need the actual experience of tasting a banana for themselves.”


He is highly focused on understanding what is going on in the universe and knows that others can also experience this transcendental reality, thus improving their happiness and health. He believes that three main factors contribute to making people healthy: what they put into their bodies, proper exercise and stress relief. He explains that 75 to 90 percent of all doctor visits are for stress-related illnesses, including cancer, heart problems and mental health issues. 

Although having a drink or gardening may appear to have a calming effect, stress can actually be reduced by meditating. It removes stress, strengthens the nervous system, controls anxiety, enhances well-being and can make life a “billion times better.”

The Future 

In addition to being a published author, he is a retired lawyer turned venture capitalist, involved with startup companies. He is married and has four adult children, plus a beautiful new granddaughter. He spends his free time reading, traveling and paddleboard surfing. Although writing Is God in That Bottle Cap?is the most rewarding thing he has ever done, he is satisfied for the time being. He may write another book, but has no immediate plans to do so. We’ll just have to wait and see what the universe has in store for him.

Ellen Kershner is a freelance writer from Marlton. Connect at Linkedin.Com/In/Ellen-Kershner-0325646/

Is God in That Bottle Cap?is currently available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and neighborhood bookstores. For more information, visit