Mistakes

Kozo Hattori:

New friend, Pavi Mehta, speaks truth, hope, and forgiveness in this beautiful poem. Let it sink in and enjoy.

Originally posted on The Poetry Of:

I want you to know that I have made mistakes
Enough to fill ten thousand king-sized bathtubs
Enough to try the patience of a hundred saints.
I have been terribly stubborn, frequently selfish
And am prone to devastating bouts of pettiness.
Yes. I am quick to fall, slow to rise, full of faults.
Yet I want you to know, that even to my window
Each morning, knocking with long, golden arms
Comes the sun.

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Guest Post: RARASAUR!!!!!!

Got a letter from Rara today asking me to publish this post because Grayson has had trouble getting internet access. Feel free to re-blog or send to anyone who knows Rara and her plight.

I skyped with a dinosaur!

How I’ve missed this icon on the blogosphere

The Space Between

There’s a cold science to the warm observance of art. Fancy galleries and museums all over the world apply careful calculations to the placement of viewing-benches and lights. It is a detailed symphony of diagonals and distance, measured to accompany the artistry and elevate the experience of beauty. At a certain angle, from a certain number of steps away, even your favorite masterpiece could look unappealing, or downright ugly, or worse–simply quiet. Can you even fathom the travesty of such a fate? To have something silenced by the space between when it could have spoken to you and shared its ageless secrets with the very insides of your soul? Such is the power of distance.

explodingdog.com

explodingdog.com

Anything can look gross from up close, but if you look even closer, most things become wondrous once again. It is an issue of science and the computations required to discover the perfect perspective.

For someone like me, life is as much about the observations as it is about the experiences. (It’s not that I don’t have a little adventurer in my heart–it’s that I have a giant scientist sitting on top of her.) I am constantly calibrating my perspective–growing and shrinking the space between myself and my observations with a dexterity evolved from life-long practice. The decision to look closer or step farther is a crafted science I learned from my father, but the act of doing so is an art I picked up from my mom. I continue to study the science, and act the art into existence. The goal is not to change reality, hide from truth, or eradicate the acknowledgement of all the world’s bad–but to shift a paradigm and to remember that everything under the sun has a place and purpose.

Rara quote

How it affects us on the outside is often unavoidable, but we can control how it speaks to our insides. We can translate it–changing what is whispered into a language that creates our best selves, and a landscape of our best possibility. Language is our legacy, after all–and, much like perspective, is a melody of science and art.

Today, the sun set over me. Her rays warmed the air and her shimmering power stilled the clouds. Fragments of orange and silky webs of red-purple shot around in all directions, kissing the ground with pink light. The sun herself glorified in the show–radiating inward as much as outward–reveling in her great celestial roundness and yawning into her cosmic nap.

Below her, on the dusty plateau around me, a baby jackrabbit chased a pale green apple, paying no mind to the schedules of stars. He tried to capture the fruit, but its size was too great for such small eager hands and it would simply roll away. The little rabbit didn’t seem to mind the chase–the treasured green prize was more than worth a weary hunt. A hundred feet above his tall ears and grand adventures, a bird flew in circles, stretching her wings and enjoying this brief moment of time where her wingspan was larger than the sun. She sang loudly, and her whistled song was about her freedom from everyone and her ownership of all the world. No one contested her tune or argued her claim, because no one could. Hers is a freedom that lives in her heart and an ownership of possibility that lives in her mind–and she is the only one who has power or providence there, in her insides, where the truth of her lives.

I mimicked her whistle and she approved–acknowledging my heart’s freedom with a proud slant of her head. I nodded back and caught another glimpse of the little rabbit. He was focused on apples and even less interested in whistled freedoms than in the mapping patterns of magnificent stars. I let myself absorb the secrets of the Sleeper, the Hunter, and the Singer. It required no shift of diagonal or distance because beauty such as theirs needs no elevation. Anyone who looks or listens will experience full measure of their truths–the sun’s faith in the sanctity of cycles, the rabbit’s dedication to the purity of the present moment, and the bird’s reminder that every soul is as free as it believes itself to be. I filled my mind with their wisdoms and carried the inspiration with me–down the pathway, past the guards, through the gates, and into my prison cell…

where I continued to whistle the song of my freedom.

Such is the power of perspective and beauty.

Love,

Rara

animation of sun

Peace Challenge: Taking Action

B4Peace

 

Many of you have been Blogging for Peace with me for over a year and a half now. I have no doubts that our posts have had an effect on countless individuals in ways we may know or never know. I thank you for all you have done for peace.

Now, I’m going to ask you to take a step further. I am inviting you to take action.

Boys with T-shirt

As some of you may know, I’m launching a new website called RaisingCompassionateBoys.com. This is my effort to bring peace back to our schools where violence, bullying, and viral humiliations have run rampant.

So here is my challenge:

  1. Watch the videos on RaisingCompassionateBoys.com about how to cultivate compassion in boys and ourselves.
  2. Find a boy or group of boys to raise, mentor, befriend, coach, or teach. Some of you may have sons. Others might be youth leaders, coaches, counselors, aunts and uncles, neighbors, or teachers who interact with boys on a regular basis.
  3. Practice cultivating compassion in this boy or these boys on a daily basis.
  4. Role Model compassion for any boys in your presence.

I have no doubts that if a critical mass of adults take on this challenge of raising compassionate boys, we can change not only our schools, but also our society, the world, and the future.

Click here to receive the free videos on raising compassionate boys.

I hope you and your friends and followers will join me on this challenge in whatever form you deem feasible.

With Gratitude,

Kozo Hattori

Happy Birthday Little Dinosaur

Kozo Hattori:

We’re celebrating Rara’s birthday in her absence. Please join the party.

Originally posted on Stories that Must Not Die:

We are patiently waiting for you to come out of your cave. While we wait we’ve decided to celebrate your birthday with some Stories about you that will live on forever.


One day, a dinosaur appeared in my fishbowl. She was wildly drawn and breathing fire, but I wasn’t afraid. She dropped an insightful comment and left. I poked my head into her domain and found a wondrous world full of creative and awesome things. I followed her immediately.

A few months after we met, she asked me to guest post on her blog. It was my first guest post. I was nervous as hell, even though, at that point, I didn’t realize what a blogging celebrity she was. I posted what, in all honestly, is one of my most half-assed posts since I had the flu at the time, but her audience was kind, just like Rara.

For the…

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Peace Challenge: Getting Paid for Posting Peace

B4Peace

Stop School Violence, Viral Humiliations, and Bullying by Raising Compassionate Boys

In response to all the school shootings, sexual assaults, viral humiliations, and bullying, I’m launching an audio series called “Raising Compassionate Boys.” I’d like to do whatever I can to change the culture of violence, rape, and cruelty that boys are indoctrinated in.

I wanted to ask you if you would be a partner in this launch. All that means is that during the week of the launch, you will publish one post on boys, parenting, children, love, compassion, bullying, assault, shame, gender, masculinity, etc with a link to RaisingCompassionateBoys.com

 Fox Sitting

You can also post a review, testimonial, or interview, because…

If you become a partner, I will give you the audio series for free before it is released. This audio series includes a special audio track just for men–it is a track by a man for men about why compassion is important for men and boys. The audio series costs $29.95, so you will be getting paid for posting for peace. Thank you for all your posts and support.
If you are interested, please email me at everydaygurus@gmail.com

A Key to Happiness at Great America

Great America

Still on summer blogging break, but I had a thought that I wanted to get down. The boys and I were at Great America’s Boomerang Bay yesterday.

I forgot to bring a book, so while the boys were playing in the kiddie pool, I people watched. I was trying to empathize with strangers by mimicking their body language and face expressions in my mind. What I noticed is that a majority of people at this theme park were not happy!

Fox smiling with green tongueOf course the kids were happy, but many of the parents and mature adults looked stressed, irritated, or burdened. Truth be told, it was near 100 degrees outside and all the pool chairs in the shade were taken, but we were in California on a beautiful summer day.

So I tried to zero in on people with smiles on their faces. I categorized the happy people into four main groups—singers, dancers, talkers, and sympathetic joyers. Everyone singing and dancing were having a great time. Those who were talking to others also seemed to be enjoying themselves. The happiest people in the park, however, were the ones who were soaking in the joy of others, usually their children.

In Buddhism, we have the four divine emotions—metta (lovingkindness), karuna (compassion), mudita (sympathetic joy), and upekkha (equanimity). I focus a lot on metta, karuna, and upekkah in my daily meditation practice, but I often forget about mudita.

This day at the park reminded me of a few things. First, we have the choice at every moment to practice a divine emotion. Second, there is always opportunities to find happiness through sympathetic joy, especially around children.

From that moment on, I sucked in the joy of all the children playing in the water like a vampire in a blood bank. Actually, the legend of a vampire fits here. Vampires were supposed to be able to live forever by sucking on the blood of youth. I estimate that I’ve increased my lifespan by practicing sympathetic joy with my sons. Even if I don’t live longer, I will live deeper and happier.

I wanted to publish this post to remind me to choose sympathetic joy as much as possible. I hope your days are filled with moments of joy, both your own joy and the joy of others.

Paid Gig

egg faceI’m still on semi-blogging break, but I wanted to let you in on a few announcements.

First, I got a job writing a weekly column for The Good Men Project! The column is on raising compassionate boys. My first article goes up on Wednesday 7/16 at 9:30 am EST. Come on by and say hello.

Second, I’m curating Stories That Must Not Die for the next two weeks. If you have a story that needs to be told, even if you need to tell it anonymously, please email me at everydaygurus@gmail.com and you can guest-blog at STMND. By the time you read this, I will have a post up there. Come on by and say hello.

Lastly, thank you for coming by here and saying hello during the blog break. May you know peace and joy.

{{{Hugs}}} Kozo