Everyday Thanksgiving: March 2014

This is my monthly download of daily gratitude lists. I realized something about gratitude lately that might be obvious to everyone else: gratitude keeps you in the present moment. When you are grateful, you are loving what is. You are not wishing for something in the future or yearning for something in the past.

March 2014

Thank you for enlightenment moment by moment; being cradled like a baby at age 48; repairing mistakes; homemade chicken soup that lasts all week; being able to serve those in need.

IMG_1223Thank you for riding bikes to school; 4 year old Fox still needing to nap in my arms; checking the wind everyday in hopes of flying a kite with Jett; long walks in the woods with Oliver; the emergency help that I was able to provide to Dusty.

Thank you for realizing that we are all enlightened; catching myself un-enlightening myself; having my flyer distributed to an entire school digitally; Rarasaur’s love and direction; the B4Peace Redbubble page.

Thank you for Fox making a rocket out of a cardboard box; Jett wanting to read for 20 minutes a day; Fox sing/narrating whatever he does–”I’m looking for a little ball”; Pediatricians who remember your children; seeing the simplicity of enlightenment.

Thank you for getting authentic with an old colleague; the montessori school that supported my free talk; when my young sons talk to each other–”Hey Jett, it’s daytime”; a week without any television; Bastille’s song “Pompeii.”

Thank you for the cacophony of 4 year olds singing Happy Birthday; flying kites on a windless day; friends surprising us with a free dinner; vaseline mohawks; slow motion basketball with fathers.

Thank you for striking up meaningful conversations with strangers; gymnastic obstacle courses; early bedtimes; consistent routines; ripe papaya from Mexico.

Thank you for The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar; reading 10 books at a time; Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Kohn; hugs for no reason; Guerrilla Counseling.

Thank you for plastic Groucho Marx glasses; TPumps Boba Tea; reading in the park; the clearance, open box HD camcorder I got for 90$; hearing from my dear friend, Lawson.

Thank you for allergy medicine for my sons; Ms Tsai, Jett’s compassionate 1st grade teacher; parents willing to learn; elementary school musicals; a conversation with Adyashanti.

Thank you for the generosity of Rarasaur and Gold Fish; Peace Cat t-shirts; being able to wear whatever I want; re-incorporating my 11 year old self; Gary Hein’s counseling.

Thank you for my sons’ love of Star Wars; Fox playing with the big boys; Pharrell’s song “Happy”; feeling the vitality of youth as a 48 year old; bike helmets for kids.kids on the mat

Thank you for Alfie Kohn’s love of children; research on the detrimental effects of grades; research on the ineffectiveness of homework; unconditional parenting; telling my boys I love them for no reason.

Thank you for every compassionate parent who showed up to the Raising Compassionate Boys talk; 45 minutes of Q&A; all the supportive texts and emails I got after the talk; feeling like I’m doing what I was born to do; Angela for watching the kids.

Thank you for Adyashanti’s myth analysis; realizing the connection between the body and awakening; the new Muppet’s movie; Tina Fey’s subtle comedy; my son sharing his boba tea with me.

Thank you for old fathers beating high school kids in pick up bball; a whole day in the park; rainbow loom; ice chests on a hot day; udon noodles.

Thank you for all the people who want me to counsel them; releasing old body/psychological constrictions; letting the body and the mind settle; Jett meditating for 12 minutes today; my wife’s humor.

Thank you for old cotton sweats that feel like home; all the email subscribers to my Parents4Compassion Newsletter; deepening friendships with strangers; the LeSportsac our generous friend bought for us; teriyaki salmon.

Thank you for clean public bathrooms; TedX talks; everyone on the path to awakening; kleenex after your son sneezes; my wife cooking dinner last night.

Thank you for the “Tell me who you are” exercise I did with Jolana; the invisible people who clean up the streets; an enlightening lunch with Michael; dancing without gender restrictions; liberation from the opinions of others.

Raising Compassionate Boys talkThank you for Jett passing his red blet test; Fox getting to do Kung Fu with Jett; Jett deepening into meditation; all the conversations about parenting I’m having after the Raising Compassionate Boys talk; Dan Siegal agreeing to an interview; the compassion consortium this Friday.

Thank you for chia seeds; teriyaki salmon; ice cream mochi; STRAWBERRIES IN SEASON; farmer’s markets on a sunny day.

Everyday Thanksgiving: February 2014

I continue to find joy and happiness in this daily gratitude practice. This is my monthly download.

February 2014

Thank you for Jett yelling, “I wanna meditate” when I said he had to meditate if he wanted to go to the hobby store; sleeping with both boys in a twin bed on a cold night; empathy buddies; Tibetan mandalas; all the everyday gurus I’m surrounded by.

Jett MeditatingThank you for bubbles and balloons for making kids smile; no commercials on netflix; all the interesting people in the mall at 11 AM; Fox kung fuing bubbles; rain during a drought.

Thank you for Rancho San Antonio; radio controlled airplanes; hobby stores; hilly trails; all the Bloggers for Peace in year two.

Thank you for Fox knowing what nunchucks are at 3 years old; green tea with honey; the gift of challenges to help us grow; artistic friends; Dianne Gray back on WordPress.

Thank you for unleashing my hips through dance; somatic healing; self-awareness leading to self-belief; dancing to pop music and not caring how uncool that is; all the love Fox got at his 4th birthday party.

Thank you for Peter Levine; healing trauma; back to back counseling; men’s groups; hijiki cabbage wraps.

Thank you for Osho’s Mystic Rose meditation; healing deep wounds; reconnecting with my ability to cry; completing grieving; a safe space to heal.

Thank you for rain; snow in Tahoe; rain boots; recognizing my distress recording to my son’s crying; understanding the healing nature of crying.

Thank you for Adya’s study course on redemptive love; Dr. Xie’s talk on Authentic Success; Meg’s strength to push me through trauma; snakes; child-like curiosity.

Thank you for Dusty’s suggestion to write out my life story from other people’s perspective; Fox wanting to start Kung fu; doing homework in the park; a sunny day after a week of rain; seeing drama for what it is–none of my business.

Fox with bikeThank you for the Hello Kitty helmet Fox wore at the moto-x park; recognizing that everyone is my guru; Russell’s wise assessment of my life; watching my sons play baseball; free home phone service with obitalk.

Thank you for Jett riding without training wheels; our friends flexibility and forgiveness when our cabin reservations fell through; the woman who cleaned up the glass of the bottle Jett broke; Adyashanti’s Online Study Course “Redemptive Love: The Healing Power of Descending Grace”; recognizing eternity.

Thank you for seeing the connection between we are all connected and self-compassion; seeing cancer as a lack of self-love/self-compassion; recognizing my mother’s emotional detachment as a catalyst for my awakening; the difference between self-esteem and self-compassion, the 1000 hits I got on Richard Rohr’s interview.

Thank you for the Lojong saying “transform all mishaps into the Path”; Russell Bradley’s reading; finding eternity in the present moment; a loving dinner with my brother’s family; children’s love of ladybugs.

Thank you for clarity on the meaning of my life; seeing a Path devoid of win/lose, better/less, and duality; confirmation that I am on the right Path; Richard Rohr’s ripples of peace and tranquility; a heartfelt talk with a high school friend.

Thank you for sunny days in the snow; gortex; snow saucers and a steep hill; the awakening of our true selves in the presence of children; screaming, giggling bunches of friends flying down a snowy slope.

Thank you for Circus Circus; 1$ Arcade Games; Cheesy cheap stuffed animals that make kids smile; not needing to gamble anymore; king-sized hotel beds with the whole family.

Thank you for Vietnamese food in Reno; unnecessary shuttle rides that put kids in awe; warm sun with icy cold air; sleeping in until 9 AM; text messaging to coordinate rendezvous.

Thank you for catching up on Rarasaur posts; playing pickup basketball again; city planners for making parks available to all for free; my sons playing with original legos and using their imagination; Jett’s chattiness before going to sleep.

Thank you for the amazing synchronicity with the Adya study group; Shari’s hook meditation; Rick Hanson’s timely reminder of patience; Sandy telling me about Enneagram; Fox playing playdoh all by himself.

Thank you for releasing money; enjoying the ride of life through the rear view mirror; Fox’s gentle kisses; talking about awakenings with Laura; Judith Blackstone.

Everyday Thanksgiving: January 2014

This is my monthly download of my daily gratitude practice. I have been doing this for over a year and a half now, and I have seen tremendous changes in my life. Sometimes the changes aren’t the ones I envisioned, but overall I am grateful for the new trajectory I’m on.

January 2014

Thank you for Legoland Hotel’s bunkbeds with a separate television set; Shamu smiles; Sunsets at Meditation Mount in Ojai Valley; spending all day at the pool in January; roadtrips with Tara Brach CDs.IMG_0992

Thank you for a wonderful interview with Richard Rohr; upcoming interviews with Scott Kriens and Marc Brakett; the goodwill of our PTA president; a heartfelt lunch with a fellow life coach; Jesus as a meditator.

Thank you for “abiding as the stream of love”; “I am that am I”; palindromes; Eckarte Tolle’s uncovering of the ego; non-reactivity; “they hate me when I’m Buddhist, but they love me when I’m the buddha.”

Thank you for the eternal Dharma; getting into shape; basketball with other out of shape fathers; the kind scheduler at City of Cupertino; Hotpot meals.

Thank you for Jumanji; authentic relationships; dinner with my sister-in-law; my nephew’s magic tricks; self-love born from authenticity.

Thank you for granulated emotions; increasing emotional bandwidth in boys; micro-moments of silence; The Sounds of Silence; the sound of compassion.

Thank you for Rick Hanson’s day-long seminar on the Neurology of Awakening; Woodacre; a beautiful lunch with awaken souls; mushroom sandwiches; the scent of fresh orange peels.

Thank you for my older son saying, “You’re part enlightened, but you still get angry”; ceasing to control and manipulate my experience; Roma’s hospitality; Spiritual NVC;  “Most people don’t see things as they are; they see things as THEY are.” ~Richard Rohr

Thank you for Fierce Gentlemen’s email reminding me to practice gratitude; my empathy buddy, Oliver; Cathy Lu for helping me schedule my talk; the thought that we are all neurons in God’s brain and the neurotransmitters are love, compassion, joy, and equanimity.

IMG_1028Thank you for Skyping with Rarasaur; Goldfish’s courage; No Drama at Everyday Gurus; a comment from Dianne Gray; Kenny Johnson.

Thank you for kale and chicken wraps; how cute Jett’s crushes are; a birthday play date with cousins; the wonderful and generous Vitamix salesperson at Costco; Costco.

Thank you for learning iAuthor; a new book idea; calm parenting; not taking things personally; Loving what is.

Thank you for less aversion every day; abiding in meditation; Steve Bearman’s enlightenment; another Satsang with Adya; a peaceful and compassionate conversation with my cousin.

Thank you for my brother’s hospitality and advice; transformational counseling; dancing without shame; noticing defenses to shame; matta latte.

Thank you for naked counseling; authenticity leading to unconditional love; kinetic sand; Greens Take Out sandwiches; an argument that ended in love.

Thank you for writable CDs; The Work by Byron Katie; the photos of Alison; finding what takes me away from enlightenment since we are all already there; Adya’s Sangha.

Thank you for Rara’s thoughtfulness; Rara’s baby brother; the miracles of unconditional love; Fuji apples; blue jello.

Thank you for Drew’s courage and wisdom; vulnerability leading to acceptance; Fox rubbing my neck while he sleeps; Jett becoming more independent; loving what is.

Thank you for the seminar on the Neuroscience of Adolescence with Dan Siegel; Dr. Siegel agreeing to an interview; arugula, brie, and ham sandwiches; teachers around the world; the gentleness of horses.

IMG_0979Thank you for realizing that my sons are wise teachers; seeing my life as a whole; loving those who hurt others; Adyashanti’s perspective on unenlightening ourselves; Byron Katie’s courage and authenticity.

Thank you for trampoline birthday parties; Fox’s joy; teaching my son about neuroscience; in-assurance to replace insurance; seeing friends everyday.

Thank you for Anita Moorjani’s Near Death Experience; Barbara Fredrickson’s study of love; the Vagus Nerve; touching my chest everyday; heartfelt words and touches.

Thank you for Fox’s first Kung Fu class; the insightful interview with Marvin Maurer; bitter melon; ideas of a men’s group; Scott Kriens getting back to me.

 

Thank you for reading, smiling, and/or sharing.

Everyday Thanksgiving: December 2014

This is my archive that I will post at the end of the month. Note that some of the things I am grateful for have not happened yet, but I am creating the reality of them happening through gratitude.

Just talked to a woman who was forced into meditation due to migraine headaches. Turns out that if she didn’t start meditating, the migraines might have developed into cancer. Reminded me that there is always something to be grateful for, even in “necessary suffering.”

December 2013

Spirit Rock Meditation Center

The view from Spirit Rock Meditation Center

Thank you for the couple’s retreat at Spirit Rock; the beautiful North Bay; listening to Tara Brach with my wife; a second Thanksgiving dinner with my brother’s family; the power of intentions.

Thank you for the symbiotic counseling session with Marika; past life experiences that illuminate present life experience; saudage; increasing the frequency of presence; burnt cornbread.

Thank you for the one-on-one time I got to spend with my wife; school photos; hugging my son when he is tantruming;  how my 6 year old decorated the tree by himself; “love never melts” said by my 6 year old son.

Thank you for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire; learning not to be controlling, competitive, or critical with my sons; present fathers; central heating in freezing weather; the possibility of snow this weekend.

Thank you for watching Jett do the lion dance; the Compassion and Technology conference; all the compassionate connections I made; hot chocolate on a cold day; how the youth of today speaks compassion.

Thank you for the one-on-one time I got to spend with my wife; school photos; hugging my son in the midst of a tantrum; how my 6 year old decorated the tree by himself; “love never melts” said by my 6 year old son.

Thank you for Adyashanti’s reading of the Christ Story; getting an Amma-like hug from Adya; Maya’s song about the blood of Christ being the love that flows through the Universe; warm socks on a cold morning; realizing that good chicken soup is more broth than vegetables and chicken.

Thank you for B. getting a break; sleeping in; the gift of massage from B.; Chinese medicine; Tui Na massage.

Jett with StormtrooperChristmas in the park with Stormtroopers and Jedis; cheap carnival rides for kids; spinning teacups; museums that cater to kids; warm panini on a cold night.

Thank you for giving testimonials as a Christmas gift; Rara’s Christmas post; lunch with old colleagues; one of my old colleagues stating that I am thriving; sleeping in the living room with the boys.

Thank you for how Jett hummed Christmas Carols the whole time we were decorating the tree; the spirit of Santa Claus; 60 degree weather in December; learning to practice redemptive love; how Fox talks to himself when playing alone.

Thank you for a 7 day vacation with no computer; self-compassion even when I skip my gratitude practices.

Thank YOU dear readers, Bloggers for Peace, BBFs, and spiritual partners for an incredible 2013.

What are you thankful for in 2013? Please share.

Beautiful Blogger Quotations: Rarasaur’s Brother

quotation on paper

I know you must be sick of how much I crush on Rarasaur on this blog, but this is actually a quotation from Rara’s brother in Rara’s Post for Peace last month. I love this idea of opening to love especially on the heels the Love Thy Enemy Monthly Peace Challenge. I’m discovering that Blogger Quotations are just as profound and life changing as anything Eckart Tolle, the Dalai Lama, or Brene Brown says. You guys are amazing.

This post is part of BBQ—Beautiful Blog Quotations.

Feel free to join the fun.

  • Take a quotation from a favorite blogger
  • Create a BBQ post with the quotation
  • Link back to the blogger you quoted
  • Tag your post BBQLUV
  • Link to other BBQLUV posts (optional)

BBQ logo

Everyday Thanksgiving: October/November 2013

This is my archive that I will post at the end of the month. Note that some of the things I am grateful for have not happened yet, but I am creating the reality of them happening through gratitude.

I learned a great thing about gratitude this month. Gratitude needs to be given without expectations of returns. I started gratitude practices because I read that they bring prosperity and wealth into one’s life. It turns out that this is true, but the ideas of prosperity and wealth are not what we usually associate with these words. Gratitude practices are deeply embedded in the acceptance of the present AS IS. We are already wealthy and prosperous if we are grateful. Hope this brightens your day.

October/November 2013

x wing fighter model Thank you for school picnics; jumpy houses; Star Wars (the original); birthdays; mindfulness for children at Insight Meditation Center.

Thank you for chicken soup to nurse a cold; ume plums; my son’s squishy cheeks; zafu pillows; ear phones.

Thank you for vegetarian family meals; Japanese yams; carpooling; spinach salads; eyebody exercises; blogs.

Thank you for parent teacher conferences; carbon footprints; friendly strangers; strange friends; the love of my brothers.

Thank you for reconciliation; David Daeda’s gender analysis; David Richo’s NVC;  Curry Up Indian Food; a day in the hills of Marin.

Thank you for the amazing interview with Dr. Ted Zeff; highly sensitive boys; compassionate men; my son’s love; family photos.

Thank you for Dr. Rick Hanson’s generosity; Vipassana friends; free lunch at Google; horchata; flavored water.

Thank you for children’s floss; wooden trains; FastTrak; giving up the need for security in money; photos taken by friends.

Thank you for restarting my gratitude practice; my wife and my new workshop idea; long car rides with my wife; 4 AM meditation; 6 disc CD changers.

Thank you for Goenkaji’s teaching; eradicating sankhara; the Eckarte Tolle book my sister-in-law lent me; The Way of Liberation by Adyashanti; Dharmaseed.

Thank you for a day without conflict; water in a glass; the infinite now; Ender’s Game; empathic main characters; science fiction.

Thank you for Pali chanting; St. Francis de Assisi; putting holds at libraries; Interchange Counseling; Steve Bearman.

Thank you for counseling; clienting; not trying to fix anything; loving my clients; loving my work.

Thank you for sincerity; authenticity; the courage to tell my story; zafu pillows; guided meditation.

Thank you for Bearded Papa; fruit plates shaped like faces; walking through horse stables; Molokai; Jamaica Osorio.

Thank you for Richard Rohr’s insight; Meng Tan agreeing to do an interview; cosmic connections; giving attention to my wife; going down the rabbit hole of my fantasies to discover my need of being wanted.

Thank you for free art projects at the library; playing London Bridges with 20 kids; library volunteers; napping after lunch with my 3 year old; homework club.

IMG_0751Thank you for my nephew’s love for my sons; ping pong with kids; magic tricks; garage playrooms; trading inspirational youtube videos with my nephew.

Thank you for a silent conversation with a cat; non-violent communication with my brother; hugs from strangers; watching a master counselor in action; finding allies serendipitously.

Thank you for writing my bio and having the courage to share it with others; understanding from those who thought I might offend; a trajectory towards heaven; Fort Mason in SF; farmer’s markets on Sunday.

Thank you for a beautiful day at the beach; gender talks with my new friend A.S.; revealing my heart and getting smiles in return; caring for others; learning to feel adequate.

Thank you for discovering a new sangha at an Adyashanti discussion group; the amazing story of parental love and non-attachment  I heard today; getting the boys to school on time today; the cheeky slow driver who made me realize how silly it is to rush; the saying “sin happens whenever we refuse to keep growing.”

Thank you for my son’s meltdown to teach me about compassion; all the supportive comments I received from my lovely blogging friends; the hug my son gave me after the meltdown; more than a year of knowing Rarasaur; one of the parents who texted me empathy.

Thank you for the Family Feast at my son’s school; homemade Acai shakes; happiness from doing good; fierce gentleman.com; Fr. Richard Rohr agreeing to a live interview for the Compassionate Interviews Series.

Thank you for a wonderful interview with Meng Tan; the Star Wars exhibit at the Tech Museum; my son’s understanding that Darth Vader is not a “bad guy,” just a hurt person who hurts others; X-Wing fighters; “Trust your feelings, Luke” advice from Obi Wan Kenobi.

stormtrooperThank you for the film I Am; sleeping in the living room with my son; all the compassionate men out there; Dyson Blade handdryers; the excitement of the holidays.

Thank you for closed city parks that we got all to our selves; anyone who cleared out all the poison oak near the creek; chocolate covered pretzels; massage chairs at Costco; Macklemore’s song “A Wake.”

Thank you for the smoked turkey by my step father; mashed potatoes from Mitch; all the cousins playing with my sons; the wonderful emails I got from new friends on Thanksgiving; a family gathering without any reactions or negativity.

Thank you for a wonderful play date with Natalia; the beautiful warm weather; tennis in the park; stealing snacks from my kids; school starting again.

Thank you for Frozen; my 3 year old’s crush on both the princesses in Frozen; Olaf from Frozen; Popcorn in a movie theater; frozen yogurt in November.

Everyday Thanksgiving: September 2013

This is my archive that I will post at the end of the month. Note that some of the things I am grateful for have not happened yet, but I am creating the reality of them happening through gratitude.

So much to be grateful for this month. I love fall in NorCal. Lots of friends, love, and beautiful weather. Hope you are enjoying your fall.

September 2013

Thank you for Commonwealth; carrot mochi; 7 years of support and love from my wife–Happy Anniversary, Honeybee; Uncle John for watching the boys; the Mission District in SF.IMG_0623

Thank you for Wong Kar Wai; the train station scene in The Grandmaster; PDFs; fruit drinks with boba; auxiliary ports in car stereos.

Thank you for our “new” 2007 Prius; learning my insecurities through mistakes; Labor Day; after-school Wu Shu, Lion Dance, and Percussion; 40+ miles/gallon.

Thank you for congruence; Jett’s new soccer league; the kind parent who watched Jett, while Fox finished napping; the patient and gracious employees at the DMV; my wife calling me for help with organization.

Thank you for finishing my ebook; Seth Godin; early morning work time; a weekend full of Spirit Rock; electric vehicles.

Thank you for a wonderful conversation with Rick Hanson; fog creeping over the hills onto SF Bay; whales—my spirit animal; driving a Prius to Spirit Rock; my wife giving the boys a mini-vacation. Continue reading

Everyday Thanksgiving: August 2013

“It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.” ~Brother David Steindl-Rast

Although I missed a few days, this daily gratitude practice continues to bring joy to my life. I feel like someone gave me a golden ticket when I learned about daily gratitude. I offer this golden ticket to you.

August 2013

Thank you for seat turtles again; a family reunion with my Kauai family; the generosity of my Aunty Shirley; Koa wood; Jaina’s home-made desserts.

Thank you for a beautiful home to come home to; Waialae Country Club Kale Salad; documentary on Hawaiian Medicine I saw on the plane; the excitement I feel to get back to work; the Sheraton Waikiki.Boys in Waikiki

Thank you for sleeping together in one room; Imahara’s fruit stand; double meditation days; inspiration from so many sources; the parasympathetic nervous system.

Thank you for Obon Festivals; Misoyaki Salmon; fake tattoos; kokua; the Zen saying, “Nothing left out.”

Thank you for the variety of fresh fruit available in California; how my sons pee together at the toilet; mattress covers to catch the mistakes of my 3 year old; vitamix shakes; Victoria sharing the wonderful Milton quote.

Thank you for my six year old’s love of water after coming back from Hawaii; patience with myself; coconut water; Rarasaur’s post on Black Box Warnings; my wife’s positive attitude. Continue reading