Tweet: “I’m meditating with Jon Kabat-Zinn”

Spring came early in the form of a week of incredible growth. In the past 7 days, I had three incredible experiences that I wish to share with you with a serendipitous surprise that could generate huge waves of Peace.

The Deepest AcceptanceDay-long workshop with Jeff Foster

If you don’t know who Jeff Foster is, today is your lucky day. In a small church room surrounded by windows, about 40 disciples sat around an unassuming bearded man giving a sermon. Here are excerpts of the Gospel shared that day.

“Your life is suppose to be imperfect/a mess.” 

Jeff compared consciousness to an ocean. All different kinds of waves are parts of the ocean. The ocean already accepts all its waves. It IS its waves. We on the other hand, prefer certain waves of joy and happiness over waves of grief and suffering. We try to stop the waves or ignore some waves. We like to say, “life has gone wrong.” How can life go wrong? All these waves, all this messiness, is who we are. Thus, “acceptance is not something you do; it is what you are.”

“Your life is not working out perfectly.”

The “not working out” of your life is perfect. Life is so intelligent; it gives you exactly what you need. Our suffering is caused by comparing this moment with our view of how this moment should be like, our view of a perfect moment.

“If everything is ok in the present moment, then EVERYTHING is ok.” 

The only thing that makes us believe that everything is not ok is our inability to stay in the present moment–to get stuck in the past or fear the future.

Completion of Cultivating Compassion Training from the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education

Wednesday night wrapped up the Cultivating Compassion Training (CCT) that my wife and I have been taking. I came to two realizations on Wednesday.

1) More men need to take this class. Only 1 other man besides myself completed the class. The class was predominately women. Most men who started the class dropped out during the 9 weeks of meetings. This strengthens my resolve to work on gender equality in order to bring peace.

2) Although I knew about compassion for most of my life, I had never learned to cultivate it. In the class, we were given cds of guided meditation narrated by Thupten Jimpa, the Dalai Lama’s English translator. I don’t usually like guided meditation, but since it was for the class, I followed the program. After 9 weeks of guided meditation, I discovered a new feeling in my heart. It’s hard to describe, but it feels like a warm heart hug. I try to cultivate this feeling as much as possible.

Practicing Mindfulness & Compassion Conference

compassion it

Picked up this cool wrist band that reminds us to do something compassionate everyday

In contrast to the Jeff Foster event, this conference put on by The Great Good Science Center attracted what looked like over a thousand attendees. Jon Kabat-Zinn gave the keynote. Here are some highlights.

After starting off with a mindfulness meditation, Jon joked about a presentation he gave at Wisdom 2.0 where people were on their iPads during the meditation tweeting, “I’m meditating with Jon Kabat-Zinn.”

When a cell phone went off, he pulled out his cell phone and pretended to call himself, “Hello, Jon, are you here?” Mindfulness is so tough with super-computers in our pockets to distract us.

Jon focused on keeping what Zen masters call a Beginner’s Mind.

“When we know that we don’t know, that is a kind of wisdom.”

“Whatever the story you’re telling yourself, it’s wrong.”

He quoted the one sentence that the Buddha claimed summed up his 45 years of teaching, “Nothing is to be clung to as I, me, and mine.”

Before ending with poems by Emily Dickinson and Derek Walcott, Kabat-Zinn quoted Thupten Jinpa, “poetry moistens the heart.” Since Jinpa narrated the guided meditations I had been doing for CCT, it came as no surprise that his words described the feeling that I had discovered in my heart. I thought of it as a hug, but Jinpa was more accurate–it was more of a juicy and moist feeling.

Serendipity Squared

After powerful presentations by Kristen Neff on Self-Compassion (more about Kristen in a future post), Paul Gilbert, Shauna Shapiro, and Emiliana Simon-Thomas, there was a panel presentation focused on mindfulness in the field. One of the presenters was Robert McClure, a staff member for CCT. During the Q&A, I asked a question about gender differences and compassion that sparked a long discussion. When I approached the stage to continue the discussion with some of the panelist, a stylish young man asked me if I was the one who asked the question about gender.

He introduced himself and asked me if I would be willing to write an article for The Greater Good website about my question. When I glanced at the card he gave me, I recognized the his name as the author of the two books I had bought at the conference–The Daddy Shift and Are We Born Racist?  Isn’t serendipity amazing?

Needless to say, after spending all day Friday at a conference and focusing my energies on researching and writing an article for The Greater Good website, I have fallen behind on blogging. I apologize in advance if I am not able to read and comment as much as I’d like to in the upcoming weeks since I’m prioritizing this article.

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

Was last week full of growth and serendipity for you? Please share.


50 comments on “Tweet: “I’m meditating with Jon Kabat-Zinn”

  1. jmgoyder says:

    Thanks so much for sharing all of this wonderful information. Are you going to put your article on the blog?

    • Kozo says:

      I will definitely put a link, Julie. Thanks for reading and commenting. I hope some of the wisdom of Jeff Foster, CCT, and Kabat-Zinn resonates with you. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  2. I love you Kozo for writing this most mindful post( how will I ever sleep now?) and I love Jon Kabat~ Zinn for saying ” when we know that we don’t know, that is a kind of wisdom”. The simple truth is always so complicated. I feel like I just saw the light. smiles…k.

    • Kozo says:

      Yay, Kimberly. I always see the Light when I look at your photographs.:) Glad I could return the favor. Jon also said that we need to realize that we are all one including the Mother Earth. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  3. Wow! This is amazing, what an awesome experience!

  4. Great experience and wonderful results all around. Wish I was there!

    • Kozo says:

      We are all there, Lesley. As both Kabat-Zinn and Foster said, it’s all about being in the present moment/movement. The people who were tweeting while the meditation was happening weren’t there, even though they were there. haha. That is the joke that Jon was making.
      I will share more insights from the 8 hour conference in future posts.
      Thanks for reading and commenting. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  5. Dave says:

    Thank you for bringing me there, Kozo. There is no doubt excitement in the air.

    I continue to celebrate that, which I don’t know as it serves as an opportunity to go find out. Wisdom is not what you know or, don’t know but, willing to accept as an opportunity, and therefore all the waves are good.

    Do we swim, and surf with each wave or, do we drown in fear? Oh, yes the waves are always there. It is just our relationship to each of those waves. Each wave can be very good.

    I am paraphrasing from your post a bit but, I am learning as I write. Thank you, again for this post.

    • Kozo says:

      I love your expansion on the wave analogy, Dave. Foster said something very similar. He said that waves/messiness is an “invitation to consciousness.” I like how you phrased it as an opportunity.
      I also love the idea of surfing the waves. Life is really about surfing the waves in our mind. Staying in the curl, not rushing too far ahead, not getting wiped out by what is behind us. Just loving the moment.
      Thank you for your insight.
      {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  6. Oh wow Kozo – goosebumps reading this.
    What wonderful things you have been doing, experiencing…and all that synchronicity!
    I absolutely rejoice with you x

    • Kozo says:

      I can feel your goosebumps, Annie, because they are all our goosebumps. What happens to one of us happens to all of us. I have to admit that at one point listening to Jon Kabat-Zinn speak about mindfulness, I jumped to the future and thought, “I can’t wait to share this with my blogging friends.” 🙂
      {{{Hugs with goosebumps}}} Kozo

  7. diannegray says:

    This is wonderful, Kozo. What an incredible experience and I’m so glad you shared it here. I love the “warm heart hug”.

    {{{warm heart hug}}} right back at you, my beautiful friend 😀

    • Kozo says:

      You moisten my heart, and not just because of your hurricane experience. 🙂
      Everything seems to heading toward compassion and lovingkindness lately. Pretty sure, I’m finally on the right road. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  8. My mother always said “The older I get, the less I know.” I always thought this was the essence of wisdom.
    Congrats and good luck (though I think luck has little to do with it) on the article. I am sure it will be awesome.

    • Kozo says:

      Lot of wisdom in mothers,Johnny. If we would only listen. I have such an ego that I jump from beginner’s mind to expert mind after every book I read or conference I attend. Jon Kabat-Zinn reminded us that even if we meditate our whole lives we are still a spec in the cosmic unfolding. That is why the Buddha’s quotation is so powerful.
      Thanks for the wise comment. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  9. KM Huber says:

    What a marvelous post to begin my week, new resources and, as you say, a thoughtful question turns into opportunity. Do direct us to the article in whatever way suits, dear Kozo, for we cheer you and love reading you. Your work for world peace continues to amaze.


    • Kozo says:

      I’m just a spoke in the machinery connected to you and all my other BBFs that inspire and instruct me, Karen. I feel blessed that I have finally found out what I was born to do and the Universe is in accord with this “profession.” Thank you for being a friend, guide, and teacher. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  10. twindaddy says:

    Last week was the first page in a new chapter in my life. It wasn’t serendipitous, but probably did involve growth of some kind.

  11. Way to go Kozo and lets hear it for growth! Sounds like an awesome week and you seemed to get a lot out of it. That is great because eventually you will share that on the blog grapevine and even all of us out here on the outskirts of the country will get the news. 🙂 Always great to read about growth experiences and to see growth in action and that is what I see in you my friend! Keep on inspiring.

    • Kozo says:

      Thanks, Jon. I just wanted to share some of the incredible wisdom that I happened to encounter last week. Hopefully, it can help someone who is in a tougher stage of growth than I am. {{{Hugs]}} Kozo

  12. Really nice reading before going to bed, thanks for sharing.
    I really like the wristband, I even went to the website to see if they had for sale lol.
    Thanks again for sharing!

    • Kozo says:

      Yay, Leo is back. Yeah, the wristband is a great way to remind us to do something compassionate everyday. Like the inventor said, “we are making compassion a verb.” {{{hugs}}} Kozo

  13. 1EarthUnited says:

    Way to go Kozo! You seem to be attracting everything you need. Funny there’s nothing new under the sun. I’m smiling cause Jeff’s using the ocean/ waves analogy that’s been quoted by Japanese Zen master Rinzai a thousand years before. And Rinzai’s quote is a variation from the venerable Lao Tzu… so on and so forth. Cool stuff, the message still “sinks in”. Much love & joy! ♥

    • Kozo says:

      Haha, sinks in. You are a kick, Maddy. Yeah, I didn’t want to take up too much space, but Jeff Foster had another analogy of our thoughts/feelings being kids at our front door asking to come in. We often slam the door on their faces. Sometimes we tell them we will let them in if they promise to leave as soon as they come in.All these children want is to be embraced. That was a cool analogy.
      So grateful for the love, wisdom, and hearts you bring to this blog. {{{Hugs}}}Kozo

  14. theINFP says:

    Your post is all about I…….information, inspirational, infinite possibilities, thank you 🙂

    • Kozo says:

      Haha, Robert, you had me at first. I thought that I was trying to get away from “I”–ego. I agree that there are infinite possibilities to be informed and inspired. We just need to open our eyes and ears. {{{hUGS}}} Kozo

  15. Thanks Kozo and well done be sure to share a link so we can all support your article. Here is my forgiveness post and two others

  16. Sunshine says:

    amazing! so happy for you, Kozo…thank you for sharing your power packed learning experience. ♥ oh, and love the compassion bracelet…way cool! 🙂

    • Kozo says:

      The bracelet is cool, although I think these plastic bracelets aren’t too cool anymore after Lance Armstrong fizzled out. 😦
      I do like reminding myself daily to be compassionate. The bracelet is actually black on the inside. You start the day with the black facing out, and when you do something compassionate, you flip the white side out. Cool, huh? So next time you tweet one of your inspirational tweets, you can flip your bracelet.
      {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

      • Sunshine says:

        i LOVE the idea! it reminds me of these good deed things we had as kids (nuns think of everything.) the beads were somewhat fixed on one side and you moved them over to the other side once you did a secret good deed. the goal was to have all your beads over to the other side by the end of the day. lots of laughs from me. loves ♥

  17. grandmalin says:

    Love this and everything you share. Warm heart hugs to you. Can’t wait to read your article!

    • Kozo says:

      Thanks, Grandmalin. I’m so happy to be able to write an article for the Greater Good. Hopefully, they will put a link back to Bloggers for Peace. Maybe the Greater Good site will join Bloggers for Peace. Maybe…Oops, forgot about the present moment. Thank you for your friendship, Grandmalin. Love, Kozo

  18. yaussiechick says:

    I can’t remember if I have posted this already but if I did sorry but I think you deserve this award. The versatile blogger!

  19. Geo Sans says:

    an exciting week !!



    and thanks for sharing !!

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  24. Where can i find the article you wrote?

    About men and compassion- I’ve noticed that my male peers are far less compassionate than my female peers. I wonder if it is the conditioning of our culture, or a reflection of the difference between he masculine and feminine natures?

    To be compassionate, I need to be receptive and open to others and their perspectives, feelings, needs… When I’m in ‘masculine mode’, I’m focused on what I’m building/creating, on the road ahead and my destination. Only when I stop and listen (exercising the feminine mode) do I recognize the condition of others.

    “Nothing is to be clung to as I, me, and mine.” There seems to be a huge parallel between Buddhism and Taoism in this statement.

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      I would argue that masculine and feminine modes are socially conditioned. I don’t think babies are born masculine or feminine regardless of their genitalia. So I am working on re-conditioning to be more compassionate.

      The article has not been published yet. Stay tuned.

      Thanks for reading old posts. Yes, there is a strong correlation between Buddhism and Taoism in that line. Great observation. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

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