Everyday Thanksgiving: May 2014

Just got back from the Greater Good Gratitude Summit where we spent a whole day learning about the benefits of gratitude. From better health to Olympic gold medals, gratitude is proven to be one of the most important practices we can incorporate into our lives.

May 2014

Thank you for my brother, nephew, and parents coming to Jett’s soccer game; Jett almost scoring 4 goals; superballs; sunscreen; water balloons.

Thank you for giving up on being cool; RSA animated videos; Fox wanting to play golf; bbq pits at parks; tamales.

Thank you for the joy of getting toy airplanes out of trees; rip sticks; riding on BMX tracks with Jett’s 16″ bike; reading about Atlantis today with Jett; another article published by The Good Men Project.

Thank you for a paying client; sharing an office with my wife; the power of movement in counseling; another transformative session with Gary Heine; freedom.

Thank you for Rara being safe; all the support we are generating through blogging for Rara; protective custody; realizing how the Universe spreads light to the darkest places; Rara getting over 250 likes on her post about being falsely accused.

Thank you for Fox saying, “Ok, Fine!”; realizing that that is a mantra for life; Evangelist calls with The Good Men Project; all the smiles I’m getting from other parents; a deep talk about the importance of emotional intelligence for our children with another parent.

Thank you for white snake lotus movement meditation; changing meditation pillows; Letmerun; teaming up with Ashley at letmerun to spread compassion; being on the Rebel Alliance of compassion for men.

Thank you for Jett’s koala diorama, origami; RSAnimate; understanding purpose, autonomy, and mastery; living purpose, autonomy, and mastery.

Thank you for Alfie Kohn on NPR; having too much to say about raising compassionate boys; Fox wanting to get a bike and helmet for me for my birthday; poetry as gifts; stamps.

Thank you for Temporal Thermometers; children’s Advil; staying at home with my feverish son; Sadhguru’s wisdom; Kumare.Sadhguru

Thank you for BBQ at my parents; hanging out with my cousins; a visit from Dr. Harry Edwards; rice crispies made with salted caramel; wiffle ball in the park.

Thank you for Mother’s Day dinner with my wife; chazuke; ume; $1 ice cream at McDonalds; hot summer nights.

Thank you for high fives with Vaibhavi; Wind in the cypress trees; a long talk about surfing and life with Lawson; Sadhguru videos; getting Ender’s Game DVD from the library.

Thank you for group processing; Kathy’s advice that everything will be ok eventually; Don’s power and softness; Laura getting raw about sexism; Mood Meter sessions with Jett.

Thank you for not getting over-involved in Jett’s soccer practice; playing wall ball with Jett; Bro Alerts; not reacting to getting no reaction from others; recognizing that aversive thoughts are an opportunity to deepen into compassion and equanimity.

Thank you for realizing the importance of mindset; finishing another track of the Raising Compassionate Boys Audio Program; Fox wanting to take a new way to school everyday–partly to spend more time in the car with me; a snail mail letter from Rara; vegan fruit pie.

Thank you for Fox’s “rainbow slide” watercolor painting; Father Richard Rohr’s two hour talk on silence; NVC empathy buddy training with Oliver; all the disrespect I receive to teach me patience and compassion; Vietnamese Garlic Noodles.

Thank you for Jett’s music performance; the joyous courage of children who haven’t been told they aren’t good enough yet; all the time I get to play with Jett and Fox; push up popsicles that don’t drip; my boredom with luxury.

Thank you for Robert Bly; taking initiative on the Good Men Project Men’s Groups; ancient wisdom hidden in myths, tales, and stories; Lisa Nicols talks; peace in Isla Vista.

Fox with AviatorsThank you for Boomerang Bay; aviator sunglasses for kids; pocky sticks; Harvey Jackins and Re-evaluation Counseling; lifeguards at public pools.

Thank you for Jett asking “Is that bad karma?” when someone stole his birthday gift in front of the restaurant we were eating at; three tables representing 3 generations of Hattoris at a Memorial Day lunch; silence; realizing all parts of my life are connected although they seem so different; all the brave men and women SERVING our country in the armed services.

Thank you for Roma telling me to speak from my toes; seeing embodiment as connection to everything; realizing that humility is the path to uncertainty which leads to freedom from knowing; more articles getting published by The Good Men Project; Esalen.

Thank you for Conversations with Compassion with Paul Ekman; Paul Ekman as an agnostic and psychologist admitting that the feelings of peace he experienced sitting with the Dalai Lama were “thick, palpable, and mysterious”; being invited to give a workshop at Bonfire Heights; Fox crying because he didn’t get to hug and kiss me goodnight; Dr. Doty giving me a hug.

NOT Getting Hugged by Amma

Amma at StanfordOn Monday, I went to a Conversation on Compassion with Amma at Stanford. Here are a few highlights:

  • “Compassion is the most important factor in life”
  • “Compassion is the first step.  If we can take that step courageously without fear then everything else will follow spontaneously.”
  • “When we have compassion then all the decisions we make and the actions and their results that follow will have a special beauty, spontaneity, and power to it.”
  • “Human’s calculations can always be wrong. But decisions taken from compassion and actions that are compassionate can be never wrong because compassion is a law of nature.”
  • “When we give up the individual mind and tune to the universal mind which happens in compassion, then we can never do anything wrong because it is not us acting, but it is the universal power. Compassion gives us the ability to tune into the universal power.”
  • “When love attains perfection that is when the flower of compassion happens.”

 

After the conversation, Amma announced that she would give darshan to all the attendees (near 2,000), but she asked that only attendees who have never received a hug come up so Amma could have time to hug everyone who wanted one.

Since I have been getting hugged by Amma since 1999 and I was wearing an “embrace the world” t-shirt that I bought at Amma’s ashram, I knew that I should remain seated, but I REALLY wanted to get a hug from Amma–especially when I saw that they were giving large gift bags to all who received a hug.

Unfortunately, during her talk Amma said that there are three types of people.

  • The first type of person–what they get they eat.
  • The second kind of person–what they get they eat and they also try to take the other person’s food and eat that as well.
  • The third kind of person–whatever they get, they eat a part of it then give the rest to others around them.

I knew that if I went to get a hug, I would be taking from someone else, so I forced myself to refrain from getting a hug.

But something wonderful happened. As I watched Amma hug others, the craving and jealousy drained out of me and was replaced with sympathetic joy (mudita). I saw the glowing faces of the people walking off the stage, and I could feel their joy and gratitude which somehow became my joy and gratitude. I got a taste of the universal mind and power that Amma was talking about.

It was the best non-hug that I have ever received.

Have you ever felt empathic joy? Please share.

 

Related Articles

http://everydaygurus.com/2013/06/03/embracing-the-world

http://everydaygurus.com/2012/11/14/free-hugs-hug-for-freedom

 

 

Hey, Silence

Hey! Silence.

Hey! Silence, I see you.

You are the space between the notes in a symphony resonating in our souls;

the skipped heart beat when our child stops breathing;

the caesura that connects the poet, the speaker, and the listener with God.

You absorb all insults, gunshots, and explosions, yet retaliate with acceptance and Truth.

You are the infinite forgiveness in a moment of reflection.

You are the words worth listening to when this poem is over.

You are…

 

This is a post for the Monthly Peace Challenge: Empathy Blogging. Some of my favorite bloggers are poets: Geo Sans, Dieu On The Grass, and Bodhisattvaintraining. This is my attempt to blog some poetry for peace.

“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