Life’s highest purpose is selfless service to others.

Picture of Darryl on the evening that marked his 20th year of military service
Picture of Darryl on the evening that marked his 20th year of military service
Overcome with emotion on the evening that marked my 20th year of military service.

Finding the right words that do justice to my time in service is a mentally laborious endeavor. The emotional chasm that separates where I began from where I am now, somehow makes silence an honorable response.

Dissolve the ego. Enter the void, and become light.

The tentacles are continuously reaching out, desperately trying to grab on to any scrap of consciousness so it can yank you back in.

Back into the illusion. Away from the infinite, and toward the noise.

But it’s all over now. There’s no need to go back.

Those voices that whisper your name are merely echoes from the past, or hallucinations of the future.

If you keep moving forward, step by glorious step, while elevating your being to ever higher dimensions,

The purpose of this journey will become clear, and the path will reveal itself.

Life’s pain is the pathway to freedom.

Morning meditation. Canary Islands, Spain.

Thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

For I have been to the darkest places on earth.
Yet, here I am.

And I have seen the very worst of humanity.
Yet, here I am.

My very existence has been to the brink of destruction.
Yet, still, here I am. Basking in the sunshine with the wind in my hair and the world at my feet.

The miseries of life give beauty its sweet essence.

Stumbling through the darkness of night allows us to fully embrace the light of day.

Let the torment, suffering, and pain of life guide you to freedom.

For beyond this most precious life lesson, an infinite bounty awaits.

You’re worth more than you think.

Photo by Jeremy Perkins on Unsplash

As I stare into the infinite ocean horizon, the stillness is a lightning rod for the noisy mind to ground itself. Gazing at the endless blue, I can’t help but wonder: in this world we share — how was MY particular view of reality formed?

Celebrating retirement in the warm seas of the Bahamas (2018)

It was anything but a straight line.

The outlook was extremely grim for me in 1998, and few would have predicted any success for this unemployed, teenaged immigrant and high school dropout with a pregnant girlfriend. Truth be told, if I was aware 20 years ago of the pain that awaited me beyond the horizon — homelessness, sexual assaults, racial assaults, and mental challenges beyond my wildest dreams — chances are I would have run in the opposite direction and sabotaged my own destiny. Thankfully, I was just as oblivious about the future as everyone else was.

As I left home for the final time at the…

That’s me back in 2012 hosting the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. breakfast at the Del Monte Hotel.

During my tenure as Monterey Chapter president of NNOA at the Naval Postgraduate School in 2012, I helped organize and host the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. breakfast at the historic Del Monte Hotel as a means of spreading his message throughout the campus and community. The event was a memorable one, as it brought people together from all aspects of life around a positive message of acceptance, diversity, peace, and understanding. While there, however, someone told me the quote below that continues to resonate with me to this day. The quote, by Dr. King, states:

“Even if I knew…

Photo by Chris Ensey on Unsplash

This may sound unlikely, but there’s actually only one fundamental difference between a yogi and an experienced military officer. After completing two decades of military service that has taken me around the world, I’ve finally come to realize why this is the case.

Initially it may seem may paradoxical that a “peaceful” yogi and a combat tested military officer are so much alike, but as you will see there are more similarities than differences between these two life paths.

Below are a few of the traits shared by both Yogis and Military Officers: - They dedicate their lives to serving…

All photos were taken by me during the peaceful march in Bellingham, WA on the morning of January 20th, 2018. Images were edited using the #DeepArtsEffects app for Android.

Or you will never experience the love you deserve.

Photo by Christopher Windus on Unsplash

Remember that traumatic experience that ripped your heart to shreds 5, 10, 15 years ago? Well I’ve got some bad news — you’re still not over it.

How can I tell? It’s pretty easy. It’s because your heart is hardened, like a prison cell— nothing gets in and nothing gets out. You might smile, help people, and be generally be considered a nice person, but that’s only because those things can be done without making yourself vulnerable to being hurt again.

In order to protect yourself from future heartbreak, you’ve convinced…

You can do this.

Photo by Jasper Van Lommel on Unsplash

One day you’re going have a rude awakening that will completely shatter your reality. As part of the human experience, it’s not a matter of IF … it’s a matter of WHEN.

It could be anything ranging from cancer, to a death in the family, to breaking up with your boyfriend. The event that shatters one’s reality differs from person to person, but what is similar is how it makes us feel in the process.

Yes, there are the 5 stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance), but beyond acceptance lies the risk of…

Darryl Diptee

UC Berkeley PhD Student. Veteran. Speaker. Author of Free Your Mind, and The Caterpillar that Became Enlightened.

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