Practice Peace

Practice Peace Slogan

My 5 year old son just started playing YMCA basketball. He is one of the younger players on the team and a bit intimidated. I almost let him quit. One day he asked me, “Daddy, are the games we play practice games?” I told him that every game he will EVER play is a practice game, unless he makes the pros like Jeremy Lin. But even professional games are practice games. Just because you play for money doesn’t make it any more substantial.

“I do not judge success based on championships; rather, I judge it on how close we came to realizing our potential.”–John Wooden

If you believe, like I do, that “we are not human beings having a spiritual experience, but spiritual beings having a human experience,” then our whole human existence is a practice game. We are already Gods, Buddhas, and Peace; we just need to re-member ourselves to the Truth.

I, like many other Bloggers for Peace, have been intimidated by this project. How can my trivial little posts bring about WORLD PEACE? Who am I to make a change when much greater men and women have been playing this peace game for centuries? The whole idea of peace can be debilitating. Wouldn’t it be easier to give up and do what I am good at–apathy, ignorance, selfishness?

Then I realized that the game is already won. We don’t need to create Peace; it already exists in each and every one of us. Our duty is not to change the world or become perfect peacekeepers. We just need to practice peace.

Yes, we will stumble and fall. We may post up a few airballs. But that is all part of the process. We are practicing to realize our potential, to re-member our godliness, and to re-mind us that we are all we need to be.

So my slogan for peace would be “Practice Peace.” I might even add the subtitle, “No One is Perfect.” Practice every day being peaceful. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes; it’s only practice. Be forgiving of others because they too will make mistakes. In fact, be grateful for their mistakes because they will make you better. You will learn from practice, which is what it is all about–learning, realizing your potential.

God knows I have made a lot of mistakes in my life. I have not always been a peaceful person, but I can honestly say that I am practicing hard everyday to get better. Some days I work on forgiveness; other days it is right speech or mindfulness; most days I “practice” meditation. The last thing I want to do is give up.

“When people ask me now if I miss coaching UCLA basketball games, the national championships, the attention, the trophies, and everything that goes with them, I tell them this: I miss the practices.”–John Wooden

The great thing about practicing peace is that over time you realize that this practice makes you happy. The more you practice, the more peace of mind you enjoy. You come home to a peaceful marriage. You make peace with those who have trespassed against you. You become more forgiving of yourself.ย  Like John Wooden, I will miss practices when I retire from this human experience. Until that day comes, I am thankful everyday for the privilege to practice peace.

This post is inspired by the Monthly Peace Challenge: Mad Men and Bloggers for Peace. If you want to join Bloggers for Peace, please click on the badge to your right. Remember we are all just practicing peace. You are allowed to make mistakes, try new moves, push your boundaries, or just have fun.

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

How would you practice peace? Please share.

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71 comments on “Practice Peace

  1. merbear74 says:

    I tried my hand at making a banner..although I am not much of an artist. But it was fun anyways. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Kozo says:

      MB, your banner looks ten times better than mine. I was able to get large letters on black and white. haha
      Love your banner. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  2. Kozo you always hit on some of my favorites. John Wooden provides us with so many great quotes. I used to coach high school soccer and basketball and the one thing I regret is that I always worried about the score too much, the end result of the season, rather than teaching it is the ride that is important. The joint effort to accomplish something. Things I loved but never expressed. I have been trying to write something for bloggers for peace, but everything so far has not been good. Lots of snippets of good stuff surrounded by garbage. I will keep trying, someday perhaps it will be done!
    Also kudos for using Alan Iverson practice? Were talking about practice? Classic. I wonder how he feels today? thank you for the thought provoking article and I am grateful for your contributions. You are the man!

    • Kozo says:

      Jonathan,
      We are so similar. I, too, used to coach. I got to see John Wooden at a coaching clinic. He definitely is an everyday guru.
      Just post what you got. Remember, it is all practice. There are no bad shots. Sometimes our own self-judgment can be our biggest obstacle. I’ve read your posts, so I know you have everything you need.
      P.S.
      I just clicked on your blog while you were on mine. How cool is that?

  3. Another lovely post Kozo – a great reminder to practice. My dharma teacher shares a similar message – ‘it’s called Buddhist practice because we are all practicing’ ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Kozo says:

      Takes a lot of the pressure off, doesn’t it, Annie? I love practicing meditation, but I struggle when I try to meditate perfectly. I feel so much freer practicing peace rather than fighting for peace or creating peace. One small word change can make a huge difference.
      Thanks for sharing the practice, wisdom, and love. {{{hugs}}} Kozo

  4. seeker says:

    Hi Kozo, Our post must just have crossed each other. I just posted about Peace today titled Tell me and I will tell you mine. Peace out.

  5. Rufina says:

    That is a fantastic slogan and you are so right! What a difference a word makes. Smiling, breathing, and practicing over here…:)

  6. Thanks for this Kozo. Love that quote: โ€œwe are not human beings having a spiritual experience, but spiritual beings having a human experience.โ€ Mr. Watts was fond of saying the same thing.
    I’m a bit of a quote-compiler, so perhaps that will be my first B4Peace post…hmmm….much to ponder…
    As to practicing, I just had a little lesson involving a snow duck, dog pee and anger. A much-needed lesson.

    • Kozo says:

      JohnnyCC,
      Thanks for mentioning the quotation. I have heard a number of people use this quotation before, but I never knew who originally said it, so I just researched it. It was written by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin in his book The Phenomenon of Man. I’ve never heard of Mr. Teilhard de Chardin, but he seems like one amazing Frenchie. Here is another one of his quotations: “Love alone is capable of uniting living beings in such a way as to complete and fulfill them, for it alone takes them and joins them by what is deepest in themselves. All we need is to imagine our ability to love developing until it embraces the totality of men and the earth.”
      You might want to look him up for your B4Peace quotation post.
      I would love to hear the story about the duck, the dog pee and anger. Sounds like a good joke: A guy walks into a bar with a duck and a cup of dog pee…
      Thanks for reading and commenting. JCC. I look forward to your post of quotations. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

      • I am somewhat familiar with Mssr. de Chardin. Having grown up Catholic, he was one of the few “mystical” thinkers you could find in a Catholic school library. Sounds like I need to revisit his work…I think I have a volume mouldering in the basement…
        The Duck and Dog-pee story is kind of what my last three post were about — would love to hear your insight — A lot of the “story” seemed to happen in the comments…
        I may have to write a joke though…
        {{{Re-Hugs}}}

  7. They say that practice makes perfect….and although I’ll never be perfect, I enjoy the practicing. Excellent post my friend!

    • Kozo says:

      We are already perfect, Strawberryindigo. We just need to be re-minded of our perfection. Practice is quite enjoyable. I think about the film Wings of Desire. We are so lucky to be having this human experience. We get to taste, feel, love and hurt in ways that are nourishing.
      Thanks for reading and commenting. {{{Hugs]}} Kozo

  8. theINFP says:

    I love the concept of practice and never becoming perfect, I always need something to strive for, well done, Kozo.
    Robert

    • Kozo says:

      You already are perfect, Robert. We get to practice just for the joy of it. We don’t need to strive. We just need to stay present. I can’t think of a better way to live life/play. Imagine if you already knew that you will win the championship game, but you get to go to practice everyday and enjoy the camaraderie and thrill of practicing. No pressure, but definitely the opportunity to meet our potential. I’m not sure if I am articulating my thoughts well, but it feels great.

      • theINFP says:

        Hmm, the self doubt projected by my ego doesn’t allow me to believe that I’m perfect.. A long way off for me I’m afraid. Others see more in me than I do in myself.

  9. diannegray says:

    What a wonderful post, Kozo ๐Ÿ˜€

    I love the Teilhard de Chardin quote – so true! Practicing peace every day can be as simple as smiling at someone when you’re walking down the street. Compassion is contagiousness and I find when I am peaceful and compassionate to others, the universe sends it right back at me! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Kozo says:

      Kind of like blogging, huh Dianne? When we are attentive and compassionate to other bloggers, we get the same attention and compassion. Sometimes I whine that a small percentage of my followers read or like a certain post, but then I go read their posts and suddenly my post does not seem that important anymore. When I release this ego/desire then people start reading/liking the post. I guess I still have a lot of work to do on “dana”–giving without expectation of returns. ๐Ÿ˜‰
      Thank you for being such a faithful follower, Dianne. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  10. I soooo needed to read these words today! Thank you!!

  11. I like it …”Practice Peace”. We always have room for improvement and this slogan reminds us that.

    • Kozo says:

      Yep, Tasha. Takes the pressure off. We don’t have to create world peace right now. We can just continue to practice peace. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  12. 1EarthUnited says:

    Whoa, awesome realization master Kozo… The Force Is Strong with This One! You so got IT, practice practice practice is the mantra. Probably the only habit worth keeping, and the only logical choice. Practicing meditation, being mindful and aware, sharing your love…. we’re just getting out of our own way and allowing the natural peace to flourish. That’s why John Lennon stated: Give Peace a Chance!
    I practice peace by listening to others with focused attention, truly caring about what the other person has to say. The old adage, “Listen twice as much as you speak, 2 ears 1 mouth”, is sage advice. I finally understood the “other” point of view, which ultimately reflect my own inner issues. No need to get in the last word or argue who’s right or wrong any more. Real communication is the key which leads to mutual understanding and respect. I’m happy to say my life has changed for the better from this peaceful practice; the bonus is I no longer yell to make a point. Ahhh so much better for everyone!
    Another enlightening post, you are heavenly my gorgeous friend.
    Keep the faith, and the peace! ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Kozo says:

      Maddy,
      You are so wise. I love the 2 ears/1 mouth ratio. I have been shutting up and opening my heart to listening lately. I agree that it is a life changer. For some reason, I can’t imagine you yelling. Unless you are screaming for peace from the mountain tops. ๐Ÿ™‚

      I also love your phrase: “weโ€™re just getting out of our own way and allowing the natural peace to flourish.” It reminds me that the path is already there; we just need to let go of our ego and walk it.
      Thank you for another comment-that-could-have-been-a-post. haha. Love ya, Kozo

  13. You got it so right, Kozo…Peace starts within us one day at a time, being at peace, in peace and giving peace. The butterfly effect works miracle and all of our hands joined together, our minds thinking together, are bound to change our surrounding…one at a time ๐Ÿ™‚
    You are so wise, thank you for sharing your thought with us

  14. Amy says:

    Beautiful, and well said.

    • Kozo says:

      Thanks, Amy. By the way, I can’t tell you how many people thanked me for re-blogging your post. Thanks again for the powerful message/reminder of what peace is all about. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  15. Dieu says:

    Yes, humans being creatures of habit must act to be. As Marcus Aurelius wrote: “your mind will be like it’s habitual thoughts; for the soul becomes dyed with the colour of its thoughts”. Practice doesn’t always make perfect, but it creates a groove in the path to the right direction, methinks.

    • Kozo says:

      Definitely, Dieu. I read about how brain synapses are actually rewired physically by changing the thoughts we think regularly. Imagine if we could re-groove everyone’s brains for peace. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Thanks for reading and commenting. I do love seeing those red shoes pop up in my comments. {{{Hugs]}} Kozo

      • Dieu says:

        I love reading your posts, Kozo. Despite my poetry, I often have moments of negativity and angst, so your blog is a daily reminder for me to be more positive! Surprisingly, unlike the cliche, I write better when happy and not morose or depressed.
        {{{hugs!}}} btw, I now use these hugs in my emails to my friends thanks to you. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Kozo says:

        You must be happy a lot, Dieu, because you consistently post brilliant poems. ๐Ÿ™‚
        Love how you spread the {{{Hugs}}} on email. I also love your personal touch of the exclamation mark.
        If you ever feel down, just send me a comment or email and I will send a {{{Hug}}} and some love your way. {{{Hugs}} Kozo
        p.s. wow, 3 {{{hugs}}} in one comment. I mean 4. ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Sarah says:

    The post is excellent (duh), but the video made my day. Kozo, “we’re talking about practice”… ๐Ÿ˜€ Couldn’t stop laughing! xoxo

    • Kozo says:

      Glad I could brighten you day a bit, Sarah. I’m glad someone got the joke. I loved watching Allen Iverson play, but he did not shine in front of a microphone. haha. [{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  17. sarahneeve says:

    You have it bang to rights, ‘Pratice Peace’. Simple, but effective. What more can you say. Thanks so much for sharing your words of wisdom. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Kozo says:

      Never heard the saying, “bang to rights,” Sarah, but I like it. ๐Ÿ™‚ Yeah, practice is “so simpo.” Or as my Aussie friends would say, “No worries.” We just keep practicing even if we make mistakes. Thanks for being a Blogger for Peace. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  18. So very true this Kozo, if only more people would make the choice of practicing peace…

    • Kozo says:

      I agree, Esperanza, if only…
      I do think that if people realized it is only practice, then they would be more likely to “practice peace.” Unfortunately, as you know, my blog pretty much preaches to the choir. Thanks for being part of the harmony. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  19. Beautiful post and so true. The more we practice peace, the more peace fills our hearts and lives. Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Kozo says:

      Funny thing, Carolyn, I just clicked on a twitter link that you posted about making the world complete. I can’t wait to read your post after I take the kids to school. I love how we are all connected in so many different ways. Have a peaceful day. {{{Hugs]}} Kozo

  20. raimyd says:

    Thanks for the inspiration, You know the other day I decided to practice peace and it was the best night’s sleep I got in who knows how long. It might sound like some hippie-utopian dream, but I’m on board ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Kozo says:

      I think a little “hippie-utopian dream” is what we need to counter this capitalist dystopian reality that seems to have a grip on the world. ๐Ÿ™‚
      So grateful to practice peace with you, Raimy. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  21. Kylie says:

    I love this post! There are a lot of lines here I will use with my children, especially my daughter who inherited my “if I can’t do it perfectly the first time I won’t do it at all” streak.
    So, I am constantly practicing letting go of that perfectionistic streak, which I suppose is a way of being at peace with myself.
    I am also practicing patience with my children. They give me lots of opportunities to practice!

    • Kozo says:

      I completely agree, Kylie. Children are some of the best practice for peace. My 5 year old is making me practice peace everyday without fail. ๐Ÿ™‚
      I, too, have a perfectionist problem, so the idea of practice helps me to just try my best without worrying about making mistakes. Hope your daughter can adopt the idea of practicing and just having fun. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  22. MindMindful says:

    Reblogged this on MindMindful and commented:
    Some thoughts on World Peace-making ……….. I lovelovelove the idea of our whole lives being ‘practice games’ for peace-making, hahahahahaha

  23. Connect with other peace makers – there is power in numbers (ยฏ`ยดยฏ).โœซ*
    `*.ยธ.* ยด* peฮฑce ยดยฏ`โ€ข.ยธยธ.
    โ™ก We Are โ˜ฎneLove โ™ก
    ~ ฦฮฑษฑฮฑยงษซรฉ เคจเคฎเคธเฅเคคเฅ‡

  24. Sunshine says:

    practice, practice, practice…it sounds like there is a piano teacher in the house…haha ๐Ÿ˜‰
    another great “thought” post, Kozo. think peace. try peace. if fail…get up and try again, and again.
    yep, i like the concept. :p

    • Kozo says:

      I especially like the idea of practice since I toss up so many airballs. So if I post a lemon, just remember I am just practicing. That goes for my first novel as well. haha
      P.S.
      Still thinking about that airliner with a prisoner on the loose, Sunshine. Thanks for the great dreams I’ll have tonight. haha. Love, Kozo

      • Sunshine says:

        your imagination needs the playtime, Kozo, so go, let it dream away…and what? airballs?? your posts come from your heart and air, heavy, funny, silly whatever you post is coming from a good heart and that would mean good posts–all of it. ๐Ÿ™‚
        buckle your seat belt…your imagination wants to soar!! peace+love<3

  25. […] peace, as my friend Kozo from everydaygurus.com has suggested, is whatโ€™s kept me from pulling out all my hairs these past few stressful weeks. […]

  26. Reblogged this on Professions for PEACE and commented:
    As the title states, Kozo shares inspiration that – like everything – peace requires practice. And as John Irving wrote: “Good habits are worth being fanatical about.” Here’s to being fanatical about world peace, and remembering that we CAN practice ’til perfect, right here and right now. Namaste, Gina

  27. […] Recent Post reminded me of so many things that have been in my reading and in the fore-front of my mind […]

  28. eof737 says:

    So true… We practice peace and we learn as we go… Perfection never required. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Kozo says:

      Love that, Eliz. “Perfection never required.” I like to think that we are already perfect, but we just need to practice that perfection. ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. […] Practice Peace (everydaygurus.com) […]

  30. […] Practice Peace (everydaygurus.com) […]

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