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

Blogging Break

Jett and Fox

The boys are out of school, so we are doing something that many kids don’t get to do nowadays–playing. For the first three weeks of summer, we are going to swim, bike, watch movies, and eat Popsicles, so I won’t be blogging too much.

In addition, after the shootings in Isla Vista, SPU, and Vegas, I’ve also dedicated a large part of my life to spreading compassion for boys. I’m completing an audio series called Raising Compassionate Boys. I believe that compassion is the missing piece that no one is talking about. Everyone is talking about gun control, but we forget that Elliot Rodger killed half of his victims with a knife. If we instill compassion in our boys, there would be less shootings, rapes, bullying, viral humiliation, suicide, and suffering.

I’m also starting a Compassion for Men’s Group. We meet every second Monday in Cupertino, CA. If anyone is interested, email me at everydaygurus@gmail.com

Lastly, I’ve been writing for The Good Men Project. It is a great website that is redefining what it means to be a man in the 21st century. Here are a few of the articles I’ve written lately:

Hope everyone has a peaceful and joyful summer. See you after the July 4th weekend. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

 

Change Yourself. Change the World.

Many of you know that a lot of my blog posts this past year were inspired by the year-long training I completed at Interchange Counseling Institute. Although I am a professional counselor, I would like to encourage “anyone with a face” to enroll in this program.

In essence we are all counselors. If you have a friend, a lover, a family, or co-workers, then you are often in the role of a counselor.

interchange

image by Don Courage

Last year I took a day-long introductory class at Interchange and a spunky Asian woman who had completed the year-long program told me, “Kozo, I’m not a counselor, but Interchange is the best thing I have ever done for my life. My whole life is better because of Interchange.”

I signed up immediately, and after finishing the program, I have to agree. The wisdom, healing, growth, and experience gained at Interchange have and will significantly change every interaction I have with others for the rest of my life.

Here are my top five reasons to sign up for Interchange Counseling Institute Now:

 

 

1)     Learn to love

Have you ever been taught to love? Most of us have had to figure it out the hard way. Many of us still struggle to love and receive love in our lives. This is something that we are never taught in school, work, or the family—at least, not explicitly.

Interchange explicitly teaches you how to love:

  • How to love your loved ones
  • How to love yourself
  • How to love others, even strangers
  • How to receive love and know when you have received it
  • How to express love beyond the socially conditioned roles we are trapped in

In my opinion, everyone needs to take a course on love. Some get it at church, others through couple’s counseling, but only Interchange covers all aspects of love and how to do it.

2)     You will see magic before your very eyes

The leader of Interchange is a man named Steve Bearman. He is a teacher, healer, wise man, and shaman. I know this sounds odd, but Steve works magic. Every Interchange weekend, he calls people up on stage and within minutes they are sobbing, healing, or exposing themselves.

This would be almost cultish, except then Steve teaches everyone in the audience how to do what he just did. We then pair up and make deep connections that heal painful wounds and open us to a whole new world of love and acceptance.

People think magic only happens in special places with magical people, but magic can happen every day with anyone you come in contact with. You can offer someone a safe space to be themselves by your smile and lack of judgment. You can change the life of your child or your parent with a consistent dose of hugs.

Interchange will make you not only believe in magic, but learn to wield it.

 

3)     You might never get the chance to do this in the future

There is a story about an old sadhu who met the Buddha in a marketplace. “Teach me,” said the old sadhu.

“This is not the time or place. Come to my dwelling later in the afternoon, and I will teach you,” replied the Buddha.

“No. Teach me now. What if I die before this afternoon? What if you die? What if the confidence I have in you right now disappears? Teach me now,” insisted the old man.

The Buddha sat him by the side of the road and within minutes the old sadhu became enlightened.

I’m not saying that Steve Bearman is the Buddha, but he is an amazing teacher. This might be the last year he decides to do Interchange. Or he might get so big that you might have to do Interchange online in the future.

I met a woman who hugged the guru Amma 21 years ago in a small room in Palo Alto with just 70 other people. Last month, I “donated” my chance to hug Amma because 2000 people had come to see her at Stanford University.

Right now, you have the chance to spend some quality time with Steve Bearman at Interchange. In the past few years, Interchange has grown, mainly by word of mouth, from 20 people to 150. Who knows what it will be like in the future.

Steve got to know all 150 of us this year. We had opportunities to counsel with him, hug him, dance with him, and cry with him. I’m not sure if this will be possible in the future.

4)     World Peace

The motto of Interchange is “Change Yourself. Change the World.” I couldn’t agree more. You know that I am a strong advocate for peace. Bloggers for Peace is my attempt to bring world peace into reality.

I can honestly say that I am a more peaceful person after Interchange. I spread more peace. I live more peacefully. Something about the teaching, community, and support one gets at Interchange transforms us into agents of peace.

As many bloggers for peace have attested, if we really want world peace, we have to create peace in ourselves. Interchange cultivates that inner peace.

5)     Free stuff

Books: When you sign up for Interchange, you get a lot of bang for your buck. On the first weekend, you will be handed a bag full of books that will change your life.

Some of the books you may have never heard of, like Radical Honesty, Unconditional Parenting, or Riding the Horse Backward. Other authors might be more familiar like Krishnamurti, Marshall Rosenberg, or Martin Seligman. Either way, these books will change who you are and how you think.

Counseling: You will also be required to do 50 hours of either counseling or clienting. This is powerful. Going rates for psychotherapy are $125-$175/hour. I have to say that the counseling I received at Interchange had much deeper, long lasting effects than any other counseling I’ve had in the past. You might also be chosen to be counseled by Steve on stage which is priceless.

Touch: At every Interchange weekend, you will be encouraged and gifted with free massages, hugs, hand holding, or cuddling. Some of you may be resistant to this, which is exactly why you need to go.

Humans are social animals who need nurturing touch. Our society prohibits much of this touch due to fear of inappropriate touch, homosexuality, and neediness. Thus, in our touch deprived society, many of us don’t get to be fully human.

Interchange will help you get in contact with all aspects of your humanity and feel good about doing it.

Obviously, I’m one satisfied customer, but I’m more than that. I’m an advocate of change and peace. I truly believe that Interchange will transform you and our world in positive ways. Sign up now.

In full disclosure, if you sign up for the Interchange Year-long Program and mention my name, I will receive a finder’s fee. If you feel uncomfortable about this, don’t mention my name, but by all means, SIGN UP NOW.