Doing the Best That I Can for Peace

In all truthfulness, my intention is to become fully enlightened in this lifetime. I know what some of you are thinking because I have heard it expressed to my face and behind my back. Who does this guy think he is? Get Real. Why don’t you try for something obtainable?

Why is it OK to have intentions to be a billionaire, but when someone has intentions to become self-actualized we scoff or judge them as delusional, self-indulgent, or presumptuous? I’ve even had people tell me, ‘Yes, that is a noble goal, Kozo, but how are you going to support yourself?”

Since its December, I keep thinking about George Bailey from It’s a Wonderful Life. I like to think that if you were a truly authentic, loving, compassionate person then the world would support you in times of need.  Moreover, you would change the world just by BEING more than a billionaire could DO with all their money. If we look at all the great gifts to humanity, very few of them come in the form of money–Christ on the Cross, Buddha’s teachings, Mandela’s unification of South Africa, MLK’s dream, Gandhi’s ahimsa, Mother Teresa’s service, Joan of Arc’s sacrifice, Emerson’s writings, Shakespeare’s plays, Chief Seattle’s warning, Bob Marley’s music. Note how many of these enlightened beings were living for a higher consciousness/power.

Be the change you wish to see in the world.”~Gandhi

I may not become fully enlightened in this lifetime, but I can already say that becoming more loving, compassionate, peaceful, and equanimous have already made changes in my life, my relationships, my community, and, yes, our world.

I was talking to a friend who said that she doesn’t want to be happy all the time. She believes that anger is necessary to cure the injustices of the world. I could feel her desire to make the world a better place, but I had to question her strategy. A few quotes come to mind.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”~MLK

“An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.”~Gandhi

My intention is to bring peace just like Martin Luther King, Gandhi, Buddha, and Jesus. Yes, I said it. I want to be a peacemaker like these great figures from our past. Call me egotistical (although part of becoming enlightened requires dissolution of the ego, so I guess that problem will fix itself) or delusional (all these peacemakers were called delusional at some point in their lives).

I know a lot of kids who want to be LeBron James, Tiger Woods, Bill Gates, Oprah, or Steve Jobs. Their parents smile and encourage these aspirations. I hope my two sons want to be the Buddha, Jesus (although being the parent of Jesus might be the toughest role in history), Mother Teresa, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, or the Dalai Lama. They may never be recognized as great spiritual leaders, but imagine the loving and compassionate men they will become if they become one-tenth as awakened as their role models.

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

What are your intentions for your life? Please share.

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58 comments on “Doing the Best That I Can for Peace

  1. smilecalm says:

    aspiration worthy
    of one willing
    to sacrifice
    their self
    for the benefit of all 🙂

  2. lauriesnotes says:

    I struggled for a while to find the right word..I think fir me it is wholeness. And so I have studied much that I couldn’t learn in college..I have a hard time explaining what I am doing..but I understand what you are doing. I think what will happen is we will connect with others who are also doing the inner work. So great what you are doing.
    I have connected with a small but powerful support group..weekly calls with this pure intention..with christina fisher.. goldenheartalchemy.wordpress.com.
    If you are ever interested in stopping by we would be honored. She is a powerful example of wholeness. I can see that being in this energy is so healing. Ya, that is what I want too.

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      I love the idea of wholeness, Laurie. It reminds me of Brene Brown’s term wholeheartedness. I know that our meeting was no coincidence. I will definitely stop by the group after the holidays. {{{hugs}}} Kozo

  3. When brighten your light it will shine on others. I often remember and share what my high school teacher said to our class. If you touch one person’s life you have done your job. Wanting to spread peace massively is admirable. It starts with one person at a time.

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Love the advice from the high school teacher, SHO. Yes, it starts with one person at a time–in my case, the man in the mirror. So excited that others feel the power in this intention. {{{hugs}}} Kozo

  4. tw says:

    My life has taken many twists and turns so my intention is very simple. To be grateful, kind and true… It isn’t always as simple as it sounds but I hope to have plenty of time to practice. Your mission is a worthy one Kozo. Remember most people fear change and the change you intend will alter the course of many lives. For the oppressed that’s a good thing. For the oppressors ~ not so good maybe. It’s easy to ridicule someone else’s intentions if the change they bring is something to fear. Don’t give up, there are more of us who wish this change than ever before. Xoxox

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Thanks, Tracy. I love your intention to be grateful, kind and true. I know how challenging that can be. For example, if we intend to speak the truth, but it might not be kind to others, what do we do? My goal, much like Nelson Mandela, is to have love for the oppressed and the oppressors. Jesus did this best–“Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” This type of love/compassion takes great fortitude and self-control. This is what I work toward in my daily meditation practice.
      I have to say that you have always been grateful, kind, and true ever since we met. Happy holidays to you, your son, and silverback. {{{hugs}}} Kozo

  5. I am so heart smiling right now. I have no doubt that you can be enlightened on top of enlightened with a cherry on top. You are the one and only Kozo, rock that!
    I very much look forward to watching you grow over time…. thank you for being you and making the world a better place . :0) (((hugs))) k. btw~ Merry Christmas

  6. tobyo says:

    I struggle with that anger thing you mentioned. There are people in my life who make me angry every time I come into contact with them. I have to talk myself out of this anger every single time. I’m hoping that one day I won’t even “go there”. here is one quote from Buddha that helps me “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” I also found this just yesterday that the Dalai Lama said “Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to have woken up. I am alive. I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it, I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others, to achieve enlightenment for all beings, I am going to have kind thoughts towards others. I am not going to get angry, or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.” I vow to try and make these my goals every day. Happy Christmas to you and yours! (my family is finally all up: let the festivities begin!!)

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Love the Dalai Lama quote, T. Wow, what a wonderful message as I head over to a large family gathering: ” I am going to have kind thoughts towards others. I am not going to get angry, or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.” That is like a message from God. Thank you for sharing. Have a mindful and joyful Christmas. {{{hugs}}} Kozo

  7. rarasaur says:

    Merry Christmas, Kozo! To you & your whole family– from me & mine.

    I love your goal. I think it is a hard path, but a world-worthy one. I will be wishing you peace the whole way through. 🙂 *hugs*

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Right back at you, Rara. Please tell EVERYONE in your family how much they have affected the whole world with their love, charity, goodwill, and compassion. I dream of having a family like yours–full of love, understanding, honesty, and growth. Your parents are my role models.

      By the way, check Queen Creative P.O. Box for a card from the Hattoris.

      Merry Christmas to you, Dave, Durgle, Mom, Dad, Baby Brother, Big Brother, Great Aunty Lali, the cats, Sis and the neices, and anyone else I might have forgotten. {{{hugs}}} Kozo

  8. grandmalin says:

    We should all be so “delusional”. I think this is called growing your soul. Life is a journey, so why not make the most of it in whatever way feels right. Happy Christmas Day to you and your family Kozo. xxoo

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      I know that you are on the same path of growing your soul, Grandmalin. I read a book called Falling Upward by Richard Rohr. It describes two halves of life in terms of a spiritual journey. I believe that we are both entering our second half of life, if not already there. {{{{hugs}}} to you in this new year. Love, Kozo

  9. maya dasa says:

    “‘I am not a brahmana, I am not a ksatriya, I am not a vaisya or a sudra. Nor am I a brahmacari, a householder, a vanaprastha or a sannyasi. I identify Myself only as the servant of the servant of the servant of the lotus feet of Lord Sri Krsna, the maintainer of the gopis. He is like an ocean of nectar, and He is the cause of universal transcendental bliss. He is always existing with brilliance.'”

    Sri Caitanya Caritamrita – Madhya 13.80

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Love this, Maya. I am practicing egolessness/selflessness in my meditation sessions. I like the idea of being a “servant of the servant of the servant.” Thank you for the brilliant insight. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  10. Kelly Kuhn says:

    Authenticity is my goal. Which I believe is connected to enlightenment, for we are beings of light. Namaste, Kozo.

  11. Barbara says:

    You may call me a dreamer
    But I’m not the only one
    We hope some day you’ll join us
    And the world will live as one

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Yes, Barbara, John Lennon was definitely on the path, and Imagine is one of my favorite songs. If we all set our sights on enlightenment, I think the world could live as one. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

    • I’m sorry but I find John Lennon’s song “Imagine” to be the Bastian of delusional thinking, very misleading and a disservice to anyone who is interested in pursing a serious inquiry into spiritual maturity. “Imagine” has become the unifying anthem for atheists and pseudo-spiritualists that wallow in the dreams of a utopian spiritual commune that spontaneously appears for no reason the to satisfy ones own self serving desires and agenda. It promotes hallucinations about a world with no possessions, greed, hunger, heaven, hell, or God but is somehow magically filled with a brotherhood of people who share everything peacefully without any effort? Thoughtful people realize that the only part John got right in this song was that he was an idealistic dreamer. -Sorry. Let’s get real folks! The real work begins when we recognize the difference between dreaming and the type of discipline necessary to actually lift the soul from sentimental nonsense to philosophically sound wisdom.

      • 1EarthUnited says:

        Mayesvara Dasa, I can see and appreciate this pragmatic worldview from your perspective and experience. You’re right John Lennon was a dreamer, dreaming from the heart he’s just expressing his feelings for ultimate human potential of unity and world peace.
        Notice you found the song “Imagine” to connote delusional “thinking”. Have you considered that our collective thoughts of “possessions, greed, hunger, heaven, hell, God” may be the source of the problem? What if we all start acting from the heart, with the intent of “doing” what’s best for the other, would that possibly change the dynamic of world events? Jesus said to love others as yourself: no separation, unity consciousness. Just thinking about today’s myriad endless problems and trying to come up with solutions is pure folly- the real delusion! We have experts in every field of human existence trying to rationalize, solve all the problems of the world… so how’s that working out? It’s fair to say that we’re collectively screwed. Einstein said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”
        So why not change the paradigm and take a chance, have faith with love, compassion, the human heart. Wisdom, peace, love resides within our heart, consciousness expands with every heartbeat.
        We need to focus on reclaiming our hearts, only then we can correctly harness the power of thought, which is the first step in creation. Perhaps we can create the world anew in the right direction. How else can change be possible? The only type of “discipline” necessary is to listen to our hearts, be a little more loving, forgiving everyday…. wouldn’t that thought change the nature of reality as we wish to experience it?
        BTW, native American shamans believe we “dream the world into existence”. In other words, use our imaginations to create a beautiful possible future, to live harmoniously with nature, with each other, from the heart. Of course it will take effort and hard work to “uncondition” our selfish reptilian minds, but with thoughtful guidance from our hearts, with the highest intentions we can achieve anything. That is what I believe.

        Hey it’s all right if you don’t agree with my philosophy, be still, meditate upon it and see how you feel. If you have a better suggestion, please feel free to share.
        YES, I will call John a dreamer, but he’s most certainly not the only one. I hope some day you’ll join us. And the world will live as one♥

        Peace & Love to you, — Maddie

      • Maddi,
        Please accept my respects.
        Thank you for your comments.

        You said: “What if we all start acting from the heart, with the intent of “doing” what’s best for the other, would that possibly change the dynamic of world events?”

        This is the golden rule and suffers from the assumption that what you enjoy I will also enjoy. Better to practice the Platinum Rule which is to ask me what I would like and then treating me that way. The problem with all this is that everyone tends to be selfishly preoccupied. ie: You are assuming I want what you want is a reflection of this flaw in thinking.

        Acting “From the heart… alone ” can be as destructive and troublesome as acting from the Head alone. This is easily understood when you speak to someone who has been divorced. They did not marry properly because they were covered by the illusion of thinking their heart could not mislead the soul.

        Real wisdom requires the synthesis of BOTH the heart and the HEAD.. NOTHING LESS. So dream on if you insist… but dreaming and sentiment will never change anything. Only real wisdom based on real facts that properly define our human predicament can help us. But that takes the humility and willingness to approach growth with that paradigm, not just tossing around only nominally helpful platitudes.

        We must actually understand what type of behavior is consistent with the laws of nature. That is what the word dharma means. As long as the laws of dharma are violated there will be consequences. That is what Karma means. These are beginning points. All of these things require a strong commitment to actually learn with these minimal parameters earnestly and clearly. Unfortunately most people are simply too egocentric or lazy to take that task up with alacrity.
        Your servant,
        mayesvara dasa

      • Kozo Hattori says:

        Garry,
        I’m interviewing Dacher Keltner this week. Dacher is a professor of psychology at UC Berkely, author of “Born to Be Good,” and director of the Greater Good Science Center. After much research, Professor Keltner has posited that the “type of behavior…consistent with the laws of nature” are heart-centered behaviors like kindness and compassion. He actually debunks the common myth that Darwin argued “survival of the fittest.” Darwin actually believed in “survival of the kindest.” I agree with your definitions of dhamma and karma, but would like to explore the importance of compassion that Mahayana Buddhism added to the Path. Although I agree that real wisdom requires a synthesis of both heart and head, I’m wondering if we have been too much head in the past 6 centuries. Maybe it is time to balance the playing field and focus on the heart like Maddie suggests? {{{hugs}}} kozo

      • Kozo Hattori says:

        Maddie,
        To quote a Partridge Family song, “I think I love you.” 🙂 “have faith with love, compassion, the human heart. Wisdom, peace, love resides within our heart, consciousness expands with every heartbeat”–I’m realizing everyday that connecting the heart with the mind (which biologically is already connected through the Vagus nerve) is where true consciousness lies. I was just at Mission Santa Barbara where I saw numerous statues of iconic figures touching their hearts. Lovingkindness meditation is connecting the heart and the mind. The Chinese character for mindfulness is heart/presence. I don’t know how you tap into this eternal wisdom, but I am so grateful you share it with us. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

      • Kozo Hattori says:

        Garry,
        I see the validity in your statements about Lennon and “Imagine.” I agree with some of your statements 100%, but isn’t this critique perpetuating the duality that we on the Path are trying to transcend? Couldn’t Lennon be both a dreamer and a realist at the same time? This is the both/and perspective of non-dualistic thinking. Isn’t this the same non-duality that Lennon is trying to point towards in this song?
        I respect your dedication to the Path and am grateful for your generosity to share your wisdom on this blog. Like I said before, I look forward to more dialogue with you. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

      • 1EarthUnited says:

        Kozo you have a point, Lennon lived in this world full of purpose, a passion to unite the world through love songs. Knowing the illusory samsara of show-business, he certainly was not “of the world”. We should seriously consider Lenon’s vision… by allowing our hearts do the “talking”, our heads think more clearly with a light heart. We don’t have to polarize the head and heart, they’re part of one & the same body! Our mind/body/spirit should unify for the purpose of experiencing the life we wish to live, a future for our children and the betterment of society. I’m very optimistic that changes are happening in the world, along with our expanding awareness of the cabal which the old paradigm has imposed upon us to enslave the world i.e. corporations, shadow gov’ts, banking system, prisons etc. Well, that’s a whole other thread…

        Kozo, ♪I think I ♥ U 2♪ Enjoy the New Year w/ u’r adorable family, happier, healthier and wise!
        Remember, you already Are, so relax into enlightenment which is the natural state of your highest beingness (we’re just arriving/returning backwards thru physicality lol).
        ♪One Love♪ my friend. ♥☼♥

  12. Wonderfully expressed Kozo, my friend! and your last paragraph brings it home. This was the best gift today! Thank you for continued enlightenment!

  13. Indira says:

    Merry Christmas to you and your family. Very enlightening post, thanks for sharing.

  14. Alison says:

    Kozo – I am finally back into a country with good internet speed so can catch up. I agree with every word you’ve said. It’s been my goal to become enlightened since I first heard of it when I was 25. It’s the best goal you can have. It’s the *only* goal you can have. I applaud your courage in saying so out loud to the world. I used to think “who did I think I was to think I could become enlightened?”, etc but got over it long ago. It is for every. single. person. Enlightenment, self-actualization, whatever you want to call it is the end result for all of us eventually and God doesn’t care how you get there.
    Much love to you my dear friend
    (((((((hugs)))))))
    Alison

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Alison, I am so grateful to have you as a friend, mentor, teacher, and companion on the path. You give me so much encouragement and wisdom. //bow// I was just reviewing the Eight-fold Path and noticed “Right Intention.” Then I was listening to Tara Brach who said that those who continue on the path are the ones who set focused intentions for their practice. I like to re-mind myself now and then that I am practicing meditation to eradicate suffering. This keeps me motivated and focused. I can’t wait to see you on the other side, my dear friend. Love, Kozo

  15. KM Huber says:

    I agree with Grandmalin, “we should all be so delusional.” Is not the warrior’s way one of compassion, simplicity, and patience, and if, as Lao Tzu advised, those three are the only tools we need, then it seems one lives the enlightened path as it exists on the physical plane. To me, you are always that warrior my dear Kozo. Best to you and yours this holiday season.
    Karen

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Compassion, Simplicity, Patience
      Compassion, Simplicity, Patience
      Compassion, Simplicity, Patience

      I’m trying to tattoo that in my brain. So much wisdom, Karen. Thank you for sharing as always. Why do we have to make things so complicated? It is so simple, Love, Be, and Abide. {{{hugs}}} Kozo

  16. Something tells me you are already on this path Kozo. Not an easy one for sure, a worthy one though.
    Last night I dreamed of creating a perfume for peace and today coming over reading your words here, I can sense this perfume is already in the making.
    Thanking you for all you write and all you do. Hoping you are having a beautiful holiday season with your family. Hugging you from afar

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Wow, a perfume for peace, Anyes. Count me in. I’ll make a monthly peace post challenge using the perfume. haha. We can have people get the perfume, wear it, then notice reactions. Or we can have them secretly spray it on their enemies. haha.
      Hope your holidays were full of love and beauty. Knowing your kids and your photos, I suspect they were. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  17. maya dasa says:

    ‘When the Supreme Personality of Godhead is pleased with the living entity because of his devotional service, one becomes a pandita and does not make distinctions between enemies, friends and himself. Intelligently, he then thinks, “Every one of us is an eternal servant of God, and therefore we are not different from one another.”‘ -SB 7.5.12

  18. lumar1298 says:

    Love and peace is the only way…

  19. 1EarthUnited says:

    Happy New Year Kozo and family! You know the old joke, “you’re already enlightened… just don’t know it yet”, has an element of truth to it lol. I suppose that’s what life is for, as a spiritual proving ground to make choices and transform inwardly/ outwardly toward our highest self/ global love, peace and oneness. Just keep doing what u’r doing, we’ll all get there ♪one way or another♪ ♥☼♥

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Maddie,
      I cherish your musical, image-rich, wise comments. I really do. I have been meditating on “shifting into neutral.” Mere knowing. Mere consciousness. Cognizing without RE-cognizing. I believe that this is our natural state, highest self, Buddha Nature, Christ Consciousness, and Unconditional Love. Someone told me that we cannot increase the duration of presence, but we can increase the number of times we become present. So I’m trying to abide in neutral as many times as I can. I’ll let you know where sitting in neutral leads to–as paradoxical as that sounds. haha. Love, Kozo

      • 1EarthUnited says:

        Sounds exciting! Life itself is a paradox, so play with it. Reality is becoming more malleable, with rising consciousness, we have a bit more “control” in the funnest possible way.
        Abide in neutral sounds like a great way to be, your precious birthright to just be here-now.
        Totally awesome, keep practicing and let me know how consciousness itself evolves!
        In oneness & ♥ dear. ;o)*

  20. A great and thought-provoking post. I am on a very similar path in that I too am working toward enlightenment. A lofty goal, to be sure, and maybe not attainable. I figure that as long as I am trying to be a better, kinder, less angry person I’m at least on the right path.

  21. sarahneeve says:

    Kozo.

    I wish you a Happy New Year and a happy journey on your path to enlightenment. Although I feel you are on the path already. Keep going, accept the bad comments with the good, otherwise, how will you truly grow.

    Sarah. 🙂

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Thank you, Sarah, for your wisdom and support. Yes, I’m realizing that what I consider “bad” is where my true growth happens. Trying to transcend the duality of good/bad to just abide in the flow of infinite possibility. {{{Hugs}}} and Happy New Year to you my friend.

  22. […] think Kozo makes a fantastic point in his post, that society is okay with people aspiring for material greatness- a greatness that will die with […]

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