“Guru is a four letter word”

Yesterday, I had a double guru experience. My son was home sick, so I couldn’t work. Instead, I finished watching a documentary called Kumare.

kumare

Here is the synopsis of Kumare:

“A provocative social experiment-turned-documentary, KUMARE follows American filmmaker Vikram Gandhi as he transforms himself into a wise Indian guru, hoping to prove the absurdity of blind faith. Instead, he finds himself forging profound connections with people from all walks of life — and wondering if and when to reveal his true self. Will his followers accept his final teaching? Can this illusion reveal a greater spiritual truth? Winner of South by Southwest’s Audience Award, KUMARE is an insightful look at faith and belief.

Watching this film simultaneously engendered doubts about gurus and inspired me to the spiritual powers of ordinary humans. Vikram Gandhi sets out to pose as a guru, but ends up transforming others lives, as well as his own, in the process. Still, I felt a bit jaded.

Then last night, I attended a Conversation on Compassion at Stanford University. A guru I had never heard about named Sadhguru eradicated any doubts I had about spiritual leaders, enlightenment, or gurus.

sadhguru at Stanford

Interestingly enough, Sadhguru started the talk by explaining how he entered spirituality as a skeptic, much like Vikram Gandhi.

“Even if one has the wrong intentions, but travels the right path, one will find the truth.”

Sadhguru acknowledged the skepticism around gurus: “Guru is a four letter work.” He explained that a guru is merely a “live roadmap,” not meant to be worshiped. He also assured everyone that when we are dealing with what is inside us, no one is better than anyone else. We might be in better physical shape than others or more intelligent, but when we look inside, we are all the same.

What most impressed me about Sadhguru was his insistence on serving others (although he didn’t see it as service since we are all one).

“If we do not do what we can do that is a disastrous life.”

“If your heart is full of love, then you can never do enough.”

Hearing these statements, I immediately thought about Rarasaur. It is my duty to help Rara. I will continue to send letters, love, and what money I can afford to help her out.

I hate to personalize this guru juxtaposition, but I couldn’t help but see it as a call and response. I started the day with some doubts, yet within hours those doubts were quickly abated. Part of me feels like I was calling on the Universe to show me a sign, and almost immediately the Universe answered. Coincidence? Serendipity? Destiny? It really doesn’t matter, because I’m a believer.

Do you believe in destiny, serendipity, or fate? Please share.

 

Pushing Mother’s Day

This post is dedicated to my wonderful wife.

0101

Push

 

 

“Push, Push, Push”

Ignore the pain

Overcome the fatigue

“Push, Push, Push”

 

“Push, Push, Push”

Don’t think about the fear

Only you can save this child

“Push, Push, Push”

 

“Push, Push, Push”

Breastfeed, Soothe, Console

24 hours a day, repeat

“Push, Push, Push”

 

“Push, Push, Push”

Homework, face-time, college fund

Never enough at home or in the office

“Push, Push, Push”

 

“Push, Push, Push”

Love your child,

Love your partner,

Love your career,

“Push, Push, Push”

 

I see you, mother, laborer, lover

I feel your pain, your stress, your joy

I bow in gratitude, respect, and love

 

Happy Mother’s Day

 

Love,

Man

Everyday Thanksgiving: April 2014

My dear friend, Rarasaur, is in jail unjustly. Her absence in the blogosphere makes me grateful for all of you who blog, read, and comment. Rara loved these monthly downloads, so I’m dedicating this  gratitude post to her. We love you, Rara. Stay strong and patient. photo(2)

April 2014

Thank you for spiritual teachings on the internet; The Hunt; Trader Joe’s sausage; learning to act my age; giving up competing with younger guys in sports.

Thank you for an editor at a major online publication describing my article as “gorgeous”; Oliver reflecting to me how my compliments prevent interviewees from going deeper; the power of myth; Krishnamurti’s perspective on violence as any form of separation from others; Tera’s nickname “Kozy Kozo.”

Thank you for fresh blueberries, granola, and yogurt; downtown Los Altos on a sunny day; Truth is Love/Love is Truth;

Thank you for the article I wrote getting 10,000 likes on Facebook; an amazing conversation with Dr. Dan Siegel; Happy Feet massage for $20/hour; Jett scoring a goal from half field; all the interactions at the Stanford Compassion Consortium.

Thank you for Stanford catering; new ideas about running a business that is environmentally conscious; being happy at home; not craving for anything new; restaurants with outdoor patios that can handle 8 kids under the age of 7.

Thank you for letting go of socially conditioned definitions of success; reinforcement of the importance of compassion; showering with my son; giving others the freedom to think whatever they want about me; recognizing when I am separating myself from the greater good.

Thank you for alternative medicine; ice cream socials at Jett’s school; Mindset by Carol Dweck; abiding in uncertainty; slow growth.

Thank you for cooking bacon splatter-free in the oven; my wife being home more often; Fox’s love of touch; acting my age; mp3 downloads.

Thank you for books on cd; library holds; the connection between compassion and uncertainty; The Gratitude Summit; learning compassion from critical comments.

Thank you for my parents letting us use the Tahoe cabin; premade meals at Raley’s; Fox and Jett looking out the window quietly for the last hour of our road trip; full action soccer games adjacent to our under 7 league; new ideas for compassionate men articles.

Thank you for playing classic board games like Risk and Monopoly with Jett and Fox; coyotes crossing our path on our hike; Fox saying, “Look, sheep,” when he saw the coyotes; wolf prints in the snow; all the plants and grass that are springing back to life as the snow melts.

Thank you for small, non-chain eateries; train tracks; throwing rocks in the snow; butt prints in the snow; family hikes in the woods.

Thank you for the animated films of Miyazaki; family photos that never change; Fox and Jett remembering their Great Grandmother; mourning my Hawaiian Grandfather; Fred Luskin’s work on forgiveness.

Thank you for the bigger picture of what will we leave our children; realizing that trees and clean air are more important than being able to afford a college education; sleeping bags; croutons; high fives.

Thank you for a day at Great America; Jett’s joy while bouncing on a kid’s freefall ride; giant salted pretzels; Dr. Brooks talk on resilience in kids; awareness of awareness.

Thank you for understanding that compassion breeds resilience, but not visa versa; opening a space to embrace suffering both mine and others: understanding that life is suffering, so to fully embrace life, one must embrace suffering; The Last Temptation of Christ; The Gospel of Judas.

Thank you for the joyful shrieks of kids playing in the shorebreak; bike paths on the beach; watching the original Star Wars with Jett and Fox; discussing the Force with Jett; Jett using the Force to score 4 goals today.

Thank you for Ike’s sandwiches; the film Gravity; touches of silence in meditation; staying local for Easter; so much good stuff to read.

Thank you for playing wall ball with Jett and losing; all the men seeking to become more compassionate who are interacting with me; lunch with my wife at Whole Foods; Cameron Conaway from The Good Men Project tweeting my article out to his 12,000 followers; Rumi quotations.

Thank you for Fox telling us that taco shells are tortilla chips; tv time for the kids to give my wife and I some alone time; swiveling chairs for Jett and Fox to play on; new paper airplane designs; homemade tacos.

EMERGENCY Peace Challenge: Help Rarasaur!

I skyped with a dinosaur!

Rara Spreading Love like Fire

Those of you who know Rarasaur know in your heart of hearts how loving, generous, and inspiring she is. Bloggers for Peace would be a figment of my imagination without Rarasaur who designed both the logo and the Peacecat t-shirt for free.

Rarasaur Peace Cat

Recently, I’ve realized that at every moment, we have the choice to serve ourselves or serve others. Rarasaur spends a majority of her time serving others.

For those of you who don’t know, Rarasaur was falsely charged with a crime she did not commit. With no resources to defend herself, Rarasaur has become a pawn in the criminal justice system.

I am asking you to reach into your hearts and give to help one of the greatest peacemakers in the blogosphere. If you have ever visited Rarasaur.wordpress.com, please donate to her freedom fund by clicking here: http://rarasaur.wordpress.com/2014/05/06/i-didnt-go-to-jail-today-and-other-notes/

bannerI’m also asking all Bloggers for Peace who know Rarasaur to publish a post devoted to Rarasaur that links to this donation page.

We often are unable to see the ramifications of much of the work we do for peace. In this case, every post you publish and every cent you donate has measurable and concrete effects on the peace in the world. Please help Rara now.

May you all find peace and joy. May you be free from suffering. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo Hattori

Monthly Peace Challenge: Empathy Blogging

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To help inspire the Bloggers for Peace (B4Peace), we will have a Monthly Peace Challenge. To participate, tag your post with B4Peace and make sure you copy your URL to the Linkz collection. Anyone who completes all twelve Monthly Peace Challenges in 2014 will receive a Free B4Peace T-shirt. Yes, I’ve decided to offer the second annual Bloggers for Peace T-shirt as a prize. I envision a day when we will all gather for a Bloggers for Peace Conference donning our various Bloggers for Peace T-shirts.

Sorry this challenge is a bit late; I’ve been having my challenges finding funds to pay off overdue taxes.

For this month’s challenge, I would like to work on empathy. Empathy is being able to step into the shoes of another and see things from their point of view. I challenge you to empathize with other bloggers this month.

  • Write a post in the style of another blogger. What idiosyncrasies do they have that you can emulate? Make sure you link your post to theirs.  “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”
  • Publish a post that is in a completely different genre than you usually post. If you usually post prose, then try poetry, art, photography, video.
  • Post something that is includes quotations from another blogger. Maybe you can expand upon the thoughts of another blogger. Or you can start a conversation.
  • Write a post in the voice of your favorite peacemaker. What if you embodied MLK or Gandhi on your blog? Imagine writing a post in the voice of Bob Marley. What would Mother Teresa blog about?
  • Write a post about empathy. When was the last time you really empathized with someone? How has empathy brought peace into your life.

Don’t forget to link to at least one other B4Peace post and add your post to the Linkz collection. Here is how:

  • Copy your URL to the Linkz collection. You’ll find the link below. It’s the drunk blue frog smiling for peace. Click on it and follow directions.
  • Go visit this site to read and comment on other posts related to this Monthly Peace Challenge.

Let It Go Driver

I got an email from an old surfer friend who watched the video about driving I posted on the homepage of PeaceInRelationships.com. He said that his conversion from an offensive driver to a “let it go” driver saved him unnecessary conflict and anger.

My friend’s comment got me thinking. What if we could be not just “let it go” drivers, but “let it go” humans? What if we could “let go” of all our grudges, resentments, hurts, and offenses?

This reminded me of what Deepak Chopra claims turned his life around. Chopra has said that refusing to be offended brought a peace in his life that he had never felt before. Think about the phrase, “I take offense to that.” Read in one way, this means that you are going on the offense. You are becoming an attacker. Where is the peace in this?

Of course, whenever I think I discovered a new secret in life, I realize that thousands of others knew this years ago.

“Whatever will be, will be”~Rumi

How do you remind yourself to “let go”? Please share.