A throw back

My husband just airdropped this to me. Turns out in 2012 I used to write posts like this, and share them to subscribers. The reminder makes me wonder why I don’t really write anymore and that makes me sad. So since I’ve no new material, here’s something old and still relevant.

Guest Post~ Meditation: A Discipline of Mind

By Lou DiVirgilio

The idea of meditation and its practice has nested within our cultural confindmints for a number of years.  Generally, it congers up for us visions made popular by T.V. and movies: of priests or monks cloistered in some remote place, either chanting or quietly absorbed in prayer, or a practitioner of one of the marshal  arts preparing for mortal combat or some spaced out “newager” sitting in a crossed legged position trying to experience oneness.  Beyond those images, we have not a cultural niche of real value in which to place the practice of meditation.  

The problem is that we have no tradition, no established conceptual foundation, aside from the Science of Psychology whose study mainly focuses on the functions of the physical brain.  We therefore, need to barrow the cultural traditions of mind established over many ages, from the Orient and from India to help us understand, experience, and establish a true value for meditation. These borrowed traditions of mind are difficult for us to quickly and neatly integrate, adapt, and transpose into our culture.  Yet as remote as these concepts seem from our everyday experiences, we are beginning to realize that the practice of meditation has a relevance to our spiritual, mental, and physical lives. 

The motivation for this releverancy comes from our desperate desire to, in some way, neutralize and manage the stress and anxiety we create in our daily lives. People are desperately seeking any practice, method or technique that may relief their stress and bring some peace of mind.  The problem is that the search is usually confined to the material side, trying to find the right pill, therapy, medical technique  , psychological training, ect.  The more we search for cures from the outside, and the more our attempts fail to satisfy, the greater our stress, anxiety, insecurity, and confusion.  We are trying to satisfy infinite appetites with finite practices; an exercise in futility and ultimate frustration.  Life’s enduring fulfillments lie within us, and the practice of meditation puts us in touch with that infinite world within.  The practice of meditation begins to discipline our mind and gradually begins to abate those 1000 voices in the mind speaking at one time. 

Continue reading here.

Guest Post: The Cyclical Revolvings of all Things

By Lou DiVirgilio

There is a contemporary saying, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”  There is an ancient saying attributed to a Hebrew wise man, “There is nothing new under the sun.”  What these two sayings have in common is the suggestion that even though we see what is collectively designated as new, it is really a permutation of something that has already been.  What is thought to be new is an adaptation of something that has been, and what has been is a bases from which adaptations are created.  It is analogous to the Egyptian and East Indian myths of the Phoenix and the Garuda respectively.  These two birds, consume themselves in fire, then are resurrected from their ashes.  The operational theme in the above representation is the cyclic movement, from a time current bases, (from their former bird form, to an ashes form, then to a renewed form), to modifications, without a brake in the causal chain.  If we were aware of the movements of our lives, we would be also aware of its cyclic nature, but for most of us, cyclic movement is only a background, of which we pay little attention.    


We live within the great circulations of the Universe.  The Hebrew prophet, Ezekiel, described this cosmic movement as, “wheels within wheels.”  We live through the cycles of our lives, even before birth we must gestae for nine months, then the life cycle: birth, growth, death, decay.  Every manifest thing has duration, and moves in step with Universal Nature’s cycles: beginning, middle, and end.  Within Universal Nature’s Great Wheel are numerous major and minor wheels, Our Milky Way or galactic cycle-our imagination can scarcely grasp at the enormity of its cyclic movements or duration.  Then there is the cyclic movement of our solar system within the our galaxy.  Then are the lesser movements, our planet Earth’s 365 day movement around our Sun, our Earth’s 24 hour rotation, and how about our satellite, the Moon’s 14 day cycle around our earth-“wheels within wheels.” All these cycles, and many, many more we know and do not know, are webbed together, and are causally linked one to another.  Nature repeats herself everywhere, and it is on her repetitive action that the laws of cycles are founded. 

Continue reading here.

Guest Post: the inner characteristics in all things

By Lou DiVirgilio

As I age, and my body morphs into an older characterization of my younger self, my feeling of myself within my mind has not changed.  That is to say, in my mind my identity, my character, the way I use my energy, has remained constant.  And further, this felt quality of myself would remain the same even as I awakened from sleep, even if  I were hit on the head and lost consciousness, even if I awakened from a coma, even if I had amnesia.  This individualized quality of being is experienced, at sometime or another, by every spiritual awakened human being.  Even though there is unrelenting change bombarding our being, there is also a place of constancy within our consciousness, and this constancy gives us our feel of our unique quality.  


All manifest things have a certain predominant quality.  For instance, if an oak tree seed were planted, an oak tree would manifest, not a pine or maple tree.  The oak tree’s DNA has instructions and memory to form an oak tree; of course within the instructions are continuous adjustments of internal relations to external relations.  Therefore, not all oak trees would look 100% identical, but their oak treeness, their quality, their essential characteristics, and their function would predominately remain the same. 


You the reader, have probably noticed the difficulty of confidently understanding some of the meaning of certain ideas put forth in this blog. This difficulty arises first, from your unfamiliarity with the ideas put forth, and the limits of the English language for explanation.  The English language has no equivalent words for some of these ideas.  They are beyond its syntax.  That is the reason Sanskrit and other languages are used.  These other languages have incorporated these ideas into their word syntax.

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Guest Post: the meaning of life

By Lou DiVirgilio

The idea that anyone could know, in a comprehensive manner, the meaning of life, seems to most people an absurd notion.  Life qua life, is such an enormous, interwoven, complicated idea that it appears to defy comprehension, and further there is a general feeling today among Western Culture that a person searching for life’s meaning is wasting scarce energy, scarce time, and being counter productive.  “Monty Python,” a group of English funny men, created a satirical spoof movie called, The Meaning of Life.  Of course their title was meant to be sarcastic and to taunt the viewer with the high concept of “the meaning of life,” then they immediately began to mock it in the most irreverent of ways.  After many comedic skits, that had little to do with the meaning of life, the movie ended with one of the Monty Python crew sitting in a chair saying , “Oh! You really expected to see evidence of the meaning of life?”  Then he reaches over to a small table standing next to him, picks up the book setting there entitle, “The Meaning Of Life,” opens it and begins to read in a flippant manner, “treat every one as you would like to be treated, turn the other cheek, love your neighbor as yourself, blah, blah, blah,” then throws the book to the side on the floor as the movie ends. 


Viktor E. Frankl, a Viennese psychiatrist, wrote a book entitled, “Man’s Search for Meaning.”  His presentation was taken seriously by millions of readers, owning to the facts that he was an immanent psychiatrist, and a survivor of Nazi death camps at Auschwitz and Dachau.  On page 154 of his book Frankl encapsulated his perception of the meaning of life, …”Man is not fully condition and determined, but rather determines himself whether he gives into conditions or stands up to them.  In other words, man is ultimately self-determined.  Man does not simply exist but always decides what his existence will be, what he will become in the next moment”…  Thus the meaning of life for Frankl, expresses itself from man’s innate capacity for self-determination.  What is not made clear from Frankl’s above perception or perhaps it was implied, is where the capacity for self-determination originates?  The answer is, it originates from our self-awareness. 

Continue reading here.

We Know

We know ourselves. This has come to me recently in a conscious way.

We all know when something isn’t right within us and amongst us. What we do with this is where we need to place our attention. What do I mean by this? For many of us, when we know something isn’t right— what do we do about this? Do we try to understand what it is? Or do we push it away and put our energy to functioning as if all is well?

We also know when something is right with us. Most of us would like if others noticed this. Again, what we do with this is where we need to focus our attention.

Is it enough that we know this? Is it enough that we truly do know ourselves? Or do we believe we need the other? Do we not trust ourselves to know who we are?

If we did, imagine what that might mean?

Perhaps we do not know because from right out of the womb, even before, when our parents paint our rooms blue or pink, we are told who we are, what we will like. In school we are taught what “they” think we don’t know and need to know, and on and on it goes.

But we know. We know ourselves more than anyone else can know. And this is the key to our unfolding, our conscious knowing of who we truly are and also, who we are not.

Congratulations! What happens when you get on the other side of your shit.

Many years ago, at a retreat, I had an intentional encounter with a horse. I timidly walked toward the horse. Within me was all the anxiety and doubt of my struggling and unprocessed traumas. I stood with the horse for a few moments and then it led me to a pile of shit. I thought: of course. Of course this horse would bring me to a pile of shit. Only me….At first, I thought it was a cruel joke. Then, it became one of my more profound lessons: it’s just shit.

Which brings me to now~ A quote that keeps running through my mind:

This is a time of divine fulfillment. The fruits of my labor and purpose of my life now unfold in a clear, harmonious way.

This quote is a favorite of my mothers. I will forever associate these words with her and today they ring true for me. I can’t help but wonder if this was her gift to me, not just the words themselves, but to have the experience of the words. 

To experience is the shift I have made, where the words I have grown up with, surrounded myself with, and those that live within me come alive— and it’s absolutely splendid. 

As I write, on my vision board are these words: The rebirth of Awe. And….

  • Finding real
  • Second wind
  • Instructions for life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it. (Mary Oliver)
  • Born to write
  • Join the thousands of people around the world who are opening up, digging deep, and transforming their lives!

It is very possible I have known all along what I am up to. Yet, for many years I had doubt, insecurity and practiced indecisiveness as if it were an appreciated art form. 

The words, so many words, are coming alive right before my eyes!

It is also very possible, that as I earlier said to my father in conversation, that the signs and mystical experience I seek, are all around me and have been with me every step of the way. 

All of this to say, and most importantly, experience the turning of an important corner where the fruits of my labor and purpose of my life now unfold and where I live in the energy of Congratulations!

Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash
 

This is where I am. And it does not come without some old guilt-ridden programming. The kind of guilt that needs reminding such as: Nikki, you have worked diligently for 32 years to know and understand yourself. You have opened up to your desire to get through “your shit” sooner rather than later. You have dug deep, so deep to the literal “big mother wound” of neglect and abandonment. You have been twisted and turned through many dark crevices and have come out the other side only to be taken in yet again. You, dear heart, have transformed your life AND you’ve earned every minute of celebration and awe you now experience. 

Own it. Stand in it. Experience it. It’s yours. And if and when you feel ready, share it. 

This is where I find myself today. It is where I have been for the past few weeks and because it was such a new experience, I did not have the words to express what it has been like. But the words come now, through my own voice, but mostly through the voice of others who have come before me. I relish in their generosity. Especially from my dear poet friend, Rumi. This, what Rumi writes, is on the other side of the shit we must all travel through. Bless you dear hearts as you journey through yours. 

 
Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash

You have fallen in love my dear heart

Congratulations!

You have freed yourself from all attachments

Congratulations!

You have given up both worlds to be on your own

The whole creation praises your solitude

Congratulations!

Your disbelief has turned into belief

Your bitterness, into sweetness

Congratulations!

You have now entered into Love’s fire, my pure heart

Congratulations!

Inside the Sufi’s heart there is always a feast

Dear heart, you are celebrating

Congratulations!

My heart, I have seen how your tears turned into a sea

Now every wave keeps saying

Congratulations!

O silent lover, seeker of the higher planes,

May the Beloved always be with you

Congratulations!

You have struggled hard, may you grow wings and fly

Congratulations!

Keep silent my dear heart, you have done so well

Congratulations!

~Rumi

~The Soul Reporter

To Be Admired

What’s this selfie for?

In the hopes to be admired. 

I want to be admired and I also fight against it. The fight against it has mostly won. And, has come at a price. I hide. I have been stingy with sharing and passive/aggressive about it. I have silently said to readers, followers and potential ones:

look at me dammit. Pay attention to me. Admire my face and my insights. So I show off.

And then on the flip side I’ve said:

forget you. I know you won’t notice me. See I knew it- no likes. Another post of such great words (I mean I have the best words) and no one cares. So I shut down.

This has been my dance with all of you (and my nearest and dearest ones). It’s dysfunctional and toxic and not how I want to show up in the world. Therefore, I have mostly remained hidden. This is also unhealthy because the truth of me, and all that I’ve come to realize about life and myself, wants and needs to be exposed. 

The truth is I’ve reacted to all of you, which is really just my own battle with myself that I’ve drafted you all in, and it comes out of a conditioning that came from my upbringing. 

Essentially, I was ignored. I longed to be deeply seen. I know now it wasn’t personal. It was the impact of being raised by those who did not see themselves. 

Until we see ourselves we cannot and will not see another. 

If the desire to be seen, and essentially deeply known and valued, is not identified and satisfied, this desire becomes increasingly toxic. At its worst it becomes the dance I have described- on one end a compulsion to be admired, which can be as extreme and defined by a narcissistic personality disorder. And on the other end, a complete erasure of self characterized by self-neglect.

The desire to be admired is a trap, part of the psychological mindset, which creates dysfunctional and protective patterns and behaviors. In the age of social media and a particularly exaggerated version of an admiration-seeking U.S. president, we are afforded the opportunity to really look at the deep inner wound of neglect and abandonment. In doing so, we can limit the toxic interplay it does create and instead tease out the toxins and understand, and most importantly feel the hurt of not being seen.

This post is part of my own teasing, a confession in a way to make the dysfunctional dynamics known and to state I want to now come to all of you, readers and followers, and to my family and friends, in a more authentic and whole way. To share only to be admired comes from the smallest of self and truly not worthy of any of us. This way of showing up is also not sustainable and will eventually come back to haunt us us in one form or another.

We may never be able to be truly seen by another or by our primary caregivers. But we always have the opportunity to heal the wound and to fully see ourselves. The more of us that do this, the more we will see each other. Only this will bring the kind of shift so many of us desire in the world.

~The Soul Reporter

Glimpse Through A Sunroof: Increasing Our Inner Capacity

This glimpse through a sunroof tells a story. I did not know this when I took the shot. I only knew I just bought a new car and had pulled it into my driveway after saying goodbye to my mom, who was recently discharged from a hospital into a nursing home. 

Leaving my little mom who is, as she says, “not aging well” in a stark room, is that darker cloud hovering over the others. The other clouds are the week that had just ended. It was a week of juggling work, family, self-care, and my mom. The glimpses of blue sky are the new car and the experience of holding all of this while maintaining steadiness, stability, and even some joy.

This is the individual story. 

The larger, universal-soul story is we have tremendous capacity to hold any and all of what comes to us. Yet, many of us cannot because we are full to the brim, often running over, with clutter. The clutter is both internal clutter and external clutter. When we are filled to the brim with clutter, we are at capacity. When we are at capacity we do not run efficiently, and therefore, either do our lives and relationships. 

This used to be me—I was at capacity and not running as well as I am capable or as I am now. My clutter expressed itself in controlling behaviors and overall rigidity. It also looked like shutting down and isolation. Don’t get me wrong, I am still in the recovery process, as these patterns were deeply rooted and honestly kept me sane for a long time. One of my more useful patterns is being VERY organized. Being organized kept the overwhelm at bay. My most useful companion on this journey is my burning desire for space, order and understanding WHY. 

I compare myself to the Princess and the Pea. I am sensitive to discomfort. It does not matter if the discomfort is internal or external. If I feel it, I deal with it. Dealing with internal clutter takes diligence, patience, commitment and courage. What comes from this process, at first in small glimpses and then expanded ones, is self-knowledge, flexibility, enthusiasm, inner spaciousness, creativity, freedom, healthier relationships, clarity, calm and overall graciousness and generosity toward ourselves and therefore, others.

This is our potential. Our promise. Our possibility. And, it’s an ever-evolving process that I desire for us all to be consciously attuned to. It is also my desire to be a companion on this journey. So, follow here on this site, and here @adailyglimpse Facebook and Instagram for more. 

Stay tuned for a breakdown of internal & external clutter.

A Daily Glimpse

This is me sophomore year in high school. I’m in photography class (the only class I liked). I see a contemplative person. A deep well doing my best to function in superficiality, knowing there’s more, and feeling my way inward. 

I am still this way except I am beyond doing my best with superficiality. I have moved to that deeper place and I’ve discovered so much about myself. 

The journey so far has been intense and this is because I set a clear intention- maybe around the time of this picture- that I would get through my stuff sooner rather than later.

This “stuff,” is the trauma and neglect of my childhood. It’s the alcohol and mental illness from a primary caregiver. It’s the bullying and feeling left out in school. It’s the why I’m codependent (now in recovery). It’s all of that and more, and how it creates deep psychological conditioning, which creates disruptive relationships dynamics, behaviors and moods. 

It is my sense we are in a great battle due to the wounds of our upbringing. These wounds create psychological conditioning that impact our everyday lives, experiences and relationships. Many of us do not realize this is the case and just assume: this is who we are. But these attitudes and behaviors, that come from this psychological space is not who we are. We are more. And, we can be restored to who we are. Some of us are waking up to this realization because it is time. It is time to evolve and advance, and break the cycles of trauma and neglect.

At 47 I feel I am on the other side of the psychological conditioning and making my way toward everyday, every moment consciousness- one glimpse at a time. 

As I become more awake the desire to externalize all that I have learned also awakens. This is why I have started a new page on social media called A Daily Glimpse. The intention is to share, in a digestible way, the often complex and challenging experience of personal and spiritual transformation. There have been many who made the shift that came before me and helped me along the way. I now notice others coming forward to do the same. Sometimes I wonder, am I too late?

The ego says: why bother then. Well- because this shift in higher consciousness is bigger than my ego and I choose to be a part of the change and that is why I want to offer the messages I have to give. If you’d like guidance and support in making the shift from our psychological conditioning to expanded consciousness follow @adailyglimpse.

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