Crashing the Peace Train

train-wreck-300x208I have adopted three words to define who I would like to be on a daily basis: Peaceful, Mindful, and Joyful.

This past Father’s Day, I failed miserably to live up to my word goals.

First, I got into an argument with my cousins about why baseball is a horrible sport for kids. I won’t tell you which side of the argument I was on for fear of retaliation, but let’s just say that I was not very PEACEFUL.

Then we went swimming. After trying to coax my 3 year old son to leave the shallow platform we had been sitting on for what seemed like hours, I exited the pool to dry off. While talking to some less narrow-minded cousins, I turned around to find my son at the bottom of the pool. When I dived in and saved him, he came up sputtering water. “Daddy, I was swimming!” he said with a smile. Not very MINDFUL to have almost let my son drown.

Of course, my wife wasn’t very pleased to hear about the incident. The stress from the weekend, the long drive, and the near-death experience set off a huge argument. It wasn’t very JOYFUL having a door slammed in my face.

The ironic part is that while I was getting ready to go to the party, I reminded myself to be peaceful, mindful, and joyful.

The one thing they don’t tell you about neuroplasticity, mindfulness, and peacekeeping is how frickin’ long it takes to make a change. But I can’t quit.

I remember setting goals to run 4 miles a day in order to make the varsity soccer team in high school. I also remember vowing to finish 50,000 words for National Novel Writing Month. I still have 8,000 words to go and no varsity letter hanging at my parent’s house.

But this is different. I’m not trying to boost my ego or increase my income stream>brook>arroyo. I’m trying to bring peace into my life and my world. If I quit now, I will never have peace, not in my marriage, not in my mind, not in my heart.

Besides, once you get on the Peace Train, everything else seems TaylorSwifty.

What else am I going to do with my time if I’m not “working” for peace? Youtube, Facebook, trade stocks? What good will popularity, recognition, or money be without peace?

Like my blogger friend, KM, says, “things fall apart and come together again.” I’m sure Yusuf (Cat Stevens) has seen his share of crashed peace trains, but he continues to advocate and create peace. The same could be said about any peacemaker. The Dalai Lama has been in exile for over 50 years, yet he still strives for peace and freedom every day.

So I got up this morning and meditated on peace and compassion. And I will continue to practice peace until God says I’m done.

To Peace and my wife,

I will never leave you.



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

Have you ever fallen off the peace train? How did you get back on? Please share.


67 comments on “Crashing the Peace Train

  1. I’m glad your son is alright. It’s a continuous practice. You work on it forever…and that makes it all the more beautiful! {{{hugs}}}

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Love the last part, Julianne. Yes, it is beautiful. Hugging my son today was very beautiful. Thank you. {{{Hugs}} Kozo

      • Thanks! Oh, I have to tell you…I had a dream a week or so ago in which you and I were collecting stray animals in the Bay Area for rescue as some sort of peace project. I never had a dream with someone I’ve never met in person so I’m still pondering over its meaning. Thought I’d share it with you just in case you had some insight.

      • Kozo Hattori says:

        Stray animals (sheep) have always been symbols of followers, so maybe we are recruiting Bloggers for Peace in the Bay Area. Yay. I hope I can live up to the dream image when we meet someday. haha.
        {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

      • oooh, nice interpretation! My subconscious already knew what you looked like from your blog video, but I’m sure the compassion and kindness would be the same in real life! 😉

  2. Kelly Kuhn says:

    Beautiful honesty, beautiful song, beautiful post. Life sure can be messy, can’t it?

    For some periods of my life, I’ve spent lots of time on the peace train. Other periods, I’ve fallen off multiple times a day. Lately I’ve been falling off a lot. I get back on through prayer, walks in the woods, talking with girlfriends, reading the posts of bloggers such as yourself, journaling, and focusing on my breath.

    Namaste, Kozo.

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Focusing on the breath as we speak, Kelly. Great advice. The Woods or Nature would work well about now. Don’t have any girlfriends, but I do read inspirational bloggers like you who are women. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  3. Alison says:

    I frequently fall off the peace train, just not for very long anymore. Awareness and self-forgiveness are both useful “tools”. Adyashanti said one of the things his teacher told him that really stuck with him is this “If you go to war with the mind you’ll be at war forever.” Forever is a long time! – so don’t fight your mind/mind-made self. Make peace with it. Don’t try to be peaceful, joyful, mindful – the harder you try the more difficult it will be. What you resist persists. Instead make peace with the messy you. Much love my friend.

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Love that, Alison, “make peace with the messy” me. I missed typed, “make love with the messy me” that might work as well. Great quote from Adyashanti. Can’t wait to see him in August. Learning to settle into peace day by day. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  4. Ah Kozo, Alison has some good advice. Make peace with yourself, its the journey that matters. You are a good person, don’t beat yourself up so bad. We ALL have those really really bad days. Whats important is to learn from our mistakes. I am on the learning train to peace land, see you on the tracks! ((((hugs))))

  5. I fall off the peace train a lot..usually when I have an expectation that relies on others, and it doesn’t happen..then I realize how much I was counting on it. I’d like to not have expectations, and to at least keep my peace train running on soft grassy hills so that when I jump off, it feels nice and cushiony 🙂

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Unmet expectations can derail any peace train, Jennifer. That and getting offended. I met a couple who had been married for 60 years today, and I asked them what the secret was. The husband answered, “Keep your mouth shut.” Wish I would have gotten that advice last week. haha. Thinking back, I did have high expectations…for myself. Maybe that was the problem–ego.
      I consider this blog my soft grassy hills. It is very cushiony getting wise comments like yours. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  6. lauriesnotes says:

    I can totally relate! My hysband doesn’t think I am very peaceful at times – though we do get back on track quickly these dsys..thankful fir that. I think that ‘s what it is about. It is no meditation in the desert ..for sure. The coach I work with keeps saying we are doing something that hasn’t been done..bringing it to daily life. It is hardest with those closest I am finding. Great honest post 🙂

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      So true, Laurie. “It is hardest with those closest.” That is our challenge. Peace in daily life>>>peace in our world. I’m so good while meditating alone, but put me at a party and all hell breaks loose. Here’s to getting back on track. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  7. Having gone through exactly what your son went through – I can tell you the one thing you remember the most is the person that saves you.
    Happened to me at a pool party/family gathering too.
    So, try not to beat yourself up too much about it. Accidents happen, Kozo. We can just thank the heavens that he’s alright.

    I haven’t fallen off the peace train yet, but I came damn close. Some teenagers were walking on the sidewalk by my home & I was standing out front trying to enjoy my coffee & clear my head. (Call that my meditation of sorts.) Anyway, one of them yelled out to me “WTF are YOU looking at? Stupid b•tch!” & I nearly lost it.
    Somehow. I kept my cool. Now the teenage me would’ve marched across the street and kicked his ass.
    Adult me is much more grounded & mature, though. (At least I’d like to think so. Says the girl that plays videogames & loves Alice in Wonderland.)
    The mother in me just wanted to give them a good talking to. Sometimes, ya just wanna slap some people, though.
    Then, I thought of you, I knew me ignoring it was probably the best thing. 😀

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Kill them with Kindness, J. I have a video coming out this weekend that tells a very similar story. It focuses on Patriarchy, so your experience validates the claim. My goal is to create more compassionate men who will raise more compassionate sons who will not only refuse to say such hurtful words, but stand up to someone who says them. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo
      I don’t think my son knows I saved him because he thought he was swimming. haha.

  8. P.S. Thanks for the ping 😉

  9. Melanie says:

    Change-true, honest, life-long change-takes forever. To be who you want to be isn’t something that happens because it’s always happening.
    And, I don’t think your peace train crashed. I think you just tried to walk on top while it was still moving and forgot there were passengers inside.

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Haha, Melanie. Love the image of walking on top the Peace Train. I also love your wisdom about being who we want to be. Yes, it continually happens. And thank God for that. Imagine if we became that person. What would we do then? {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  10. jmgoyder says:

    Not easy is it! I fall off constantly.

  11. I fell off spectacularly when hearing my daughter’s diagnosis..after these few days with His Holiness I’m deepening my practice again. The memory of a modicum of inner peace is appealing 🙂 So, agreeing with Alison’s not about striving for but practicing Kozo 🙂 Just practice everyday and every day will be different 🙂 May you be blessed, guided and protected along the path, be well and have profound joy. x

  12. Geo Sans says:



    a work in progress




    many forms

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Just watched a video that said “to excel is to move forward.” Yes, we all move forward on different paths. Meet you at the top, Geo Sans. {{{Hugs}}} to you and your daughter. Love, Kozo

  13. i never really think much about this but i live the way you say you want to. perhaps it is because i was raised by someone peaceful, mindful and joyful. i laugh about this but someone told me once if i were any more relaxed i would be in a coma. these are things that we seek on a daily basis. just stay in the moment and ask yourself when you are having interactions if that is really what you want to say or do. what do you want to happen?

    i admire that you are willing to accept responsibility for your actions that did not promote peace and are being mindful of that. being mindful, in my opinion, does not mean your child will not do as children do. it is important not to be distracted by things that are not important in the long run. you are brave to lay yourself open in this public forum. i look forward to hearing more about your journey.

    wishing you peace of heart.

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Must have been wonderful to have been raised by someone peaceful, mindful, and joyful, SBC. I had quite a different upbringing, so I am trying to give my sons the same experience you had. I’ll have to remember to ask myself what I want to happen during my interactions. Great advice.
      {{{hugs}}} to you, my wise friend. Love, Kozo

  14. Every day we are on this planet, we are learning. Realizing we have made a mistake and vowing to do better is self-directed learning… a reminder to be mindful. Forgiving ourselves as we forgive others is divine.

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      I agree 100% Anne. Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. That is the practice. Here’s to “self-directed learning.” {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  15. prayingforoneday says:

    Great Read mate..

    Can I ask, being an ex Coach for kids myself.
    Was your side of the argument along the lines of ”
    “Too much pressure too early for kids”

    Very good read.
    And you are a brilliant person and Father. You know this
    One of the best.

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Not so much about pressure, Shaun. Baseball is a sport in which kids have to sit out in a field for a long time without moving and with nothing going on. Also, It is a sport where one bad play can lose the whole game. Unlike faster sports like soccer and basketball, baseball has long extended periods of offense then defense, so it is easy to see who lost the game for the whole team. This is could ruin a child’s self-esteem.

      I want my son to run around and get fit, not stand around bored hoping he doesn’t lose the game for the whole team.

      This is sacrilegious talk in America.

      Thanks for the read and the comment. {{{hugs}}} Kozo

      • prayingforoneday says:

        Always the same. too much emphasis on winning and kids get too scared to be the one who may make the mistake. Not a big Baseball fan, but sport is sport and this is a common theme..
        Pressure on kids in Europe, UK is bad with this if development. Let them learn from their mistakes..
        I am part of the respect movement Kozo:


        Very hard hitting.
        We must allow kids to learn from their own mistakes.

      • Kozo Hattori says:

        I’m with you 100% on the respect movement. I’m also for the positive coaching alliance.
        When I go to my son’s sporting events i often have to remind myself to “check myself, before I wreck myself.” Still have work to do with ego, anger, and competitiveness. {{{hugs}}} Kozo

      • prayingforoneday says:

        Yeah I find it hard to bite my lip when an adult is swearing at a child. I part of a panel over here (Kinda) that gets these adults away from the touch lines at games.

        I take satisfaction telling someone they won’t be able to do it again.

        Cheers Kozo

  16. Rohan 7 Things says:

    Keeping at it is what matters! Developing good habits and being conscious of our mistakes is kind of what it’s all about, that’s what I think anyway. Keep at it buddy, you serve as a great reminder of the importance of taking a breath and remaining at peace 🙂



    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Wish I could remind myself, Rohan. haha. Yes, taking a breath and remaining peaceful is key. I guess I was a little delusional thinking that I could change patterns that have been with me since childhood in a years time. {{{hugs}}} Kozo

      • Rohan 7 Things says:

        Yeah for sure! I always think about how our present behaviors and circumstances are a culmination of everything that lead up to this point, and particularly the last 5 years or so. That’s why I try to be patient and think of things in terms of 5 years. Sometimes you won’t get to enjoy the result of today’s choices for a long time, just like you are now living with the choices made years ago!

        When you have time you should check out a book and a practice called Focusing developed by Eugene Gendlin. I can honestly say it’s changed my life in the past couple of years I’ve been using it. It’s basically the act of solving problems in our body, instead of trying to change them out in the world. Very good stuff!



      • Kozo Hattori says:

        I’m right in the middle of reading Wired for Love, and it is brilliant. I take your recommendations very seriously, my friend. I will put Focusing on the Kindle although it will be in a long line of research and reading.
        I just want to say that I really appreciate your guidance, Rohan. I would not be where I am in life without your help and knowledge. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  17. diannegray says:

    I remember seeing my daughter at the bottom of a pool when she was very young, Kozo and it’s not a great sight! She was only there for a few seconds, but it was enough to nearly give me heart failure. We all fall off the peace train every now and then, but the beauty of that is how good we feel when we climb back on board again {{{hugs}}}.

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Glad I’m not the only one who had to experience that traumatic moment, Dianne. As much as I focus on staying in the moment, I couldn’t help thinking about what would have happened if I didn’t notice. Makes me shiver.
      Give your kids a big {{{hug}}}, my friend. Love, Kozo

  18. KM Huber says:

    As always, Kozo, a refreshing post, and like everyone else, I’m glad your son is all right. Somewhere in the last 18 months, I began using my breathing as a way to “settle me” for lack of a better phrase. I believe I learned it in one of the various meditation approaches I was trying.

    The reason I mention it is I found myself thinking less about goals (as well as having expectations) and more about being curious about the moment. My circumstances are so much different than yours as you are a parent and your responsibilities are much more diverse and demanding but thought I would mention it.

    I try not to concentrate too much on the breath but rather, it is a “light awareness” as Chogyam Rinpoche refers to breathing in meditation. When I feel my emotions starting up, my “light awareness” reveals I am inhaling and I aware of my breathing but not removed from what is occurring, if this makes any sense.

    As always, we learn from your posts because you are so open and generous in sharing your life. Thank you for that, and thank you for all the support you give my blog. It is much appreciated.


    • Kozo Hattori says:

      I love the idea of “light awareness.” Sounds like awareness combined with acceptance. I was going to say detachment, but it is not really detaching from, but embracing the moment.

      I hope you know that I don’t support your blog, but I lean on it. haha. You should know that you have brought so much peace and clarity in my life. Thank you for being such a wise, honest, and generous friend. {{{hugs}}} Kozo

  19. My life was shredded in 2013. Sister’s accident, changing jobs, and dealing with the reemergence of my anxiety. Then slowly after the crash, a peace is trickling in that I wish would come faster. But, I wait for it like catching a rabbit, one false move and it will be back a few steps.

  20. As always your writing hits home for me. After my life was saved and being told many times I was given a second chance at life, I was released out of the hospital and sent back into the real world only to find, even though I wanted to be a better person and take the higher joy-filled path I would find resistance from people and circumstances all around me. Like you poignantly stated, my friend…”…we must continue to practice peace…” In the end, it’s how liberated we are from within who…we are…our makeup…self existence and what we exude from our nature.

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      I am so grateful that your life was saved, 1G4AW. Think of all the joy that would have been lost if you had not been there to spread it. I’m starting to think that all obstacles are simply guides that push us towards peace and understanding.
      Here’s to exuding peace from within. {{Hugs}}} Kozo

  21. Stuck Sucks says:

    Yup, just about daily. “The one thing they don’t tell you about neuroplasticity, mindfulness, and peacekeeping is how frickin’ long it takes to make a change” – absolutely! After an unmindful moment the other day, I realized why most people live to 80 or 90… It seems to take that long to get it!

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      LOL, BSS. Yes, it does take us years to get it. I remember hearing that there are 4 ways to enlightenment—quick and easy, slow and easy, quick and hard, slow and hard. I guess the fact that I hoped for quick and easy meant that my path would be slow and hard. haha. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  22. prog4 says:

    Yes every day. Probably several times a day.

  23. BroadBlogs says:

    “The one thing they don’t tell you about neuroplasticity, mindfulness, and peacekeeping is how frickin’ long it takes to make a change.”

    I keep reminding myself that they do call it a “practice.”

  24. Tracy says:

    Wow! A lot happened Kozo, its hardly surprising some of your peaceful practices got put to the test. What really matters is that you recognised it, stood back,assessed the situation and won’t give up on peace that easily… in return it won’t give up on you 🙂

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Great point, Tracy. Peace is always there. We just have to practice it. I’ve always known that peace would not give up on me, but now I’ve publicly stated that I won’t give up on peace. {{{hugs}}} Kozo

  25. 1EarthUnited says:

    Glad to be on board the Peace Train! Wow, Cat Stevens *speechless* ♥
    Kozo, you are on a life path that is perfectly tailored for you, still having doubts? You certainly have the support to carry you through – friends, family, faith, love – you are truly blessed. ☼

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      I love that, Maddy. A path “perfectly tailored” for us. We just have to remember to trust the tailor and not try to jump the tracks. haha. I am blessed, especially with friends like you. {{{hugs]}} Kozo

  26. I wake up every day with the mindset that today will be better than yesterday… then life happens. During the week days, I end up fighting with my 2 kids about eating breakfast, wearing shoes, you name it, it’s a possible issue. By the time I get to work my joy is long gone, my peace has been violently disturbed and mindfulness is… what was I talking about again???

    My point is life happens, but the thing about maintaining peace, joyfulness and mindfulness is to simply keep practicing. So don’t give up!

    I really enjoyed reading this post. Thank you for sharing

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Yes, life happens. I believe it happens for a reason. Life is so intelligent. It gives us just what we need to practice the most.
      Thank you so much for your honest and enlightening comment. {{{Hugs}} Kozo

  27. Sunshine says:

    ha ha…TaylorSwifty…☺ falling off peace train means only one thing: we are humans! i love the way you catch yourself after the fall, then make amends to stop or at least avoid another next time. thanks for sharing not just the problems but ways to fix it. ☼sunHUGS, Kozo!

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      THANK YOU, Sunshine. I didn’t think anyone was going to get the TaylorSwifty line. haha. I thought I was so clever when I wrote it, then blaaaaaaahhh. Glad someone is as goofy as I am.
      I do feel like discussing the struggles helps us avoid the pitfalls in the future. Glad I could be the canary in the coal mine for others. {{{hugs}}} Kozo

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