Blogging Break

Jett and Fox

The boys are out of school, so we are doing something that many kids don’t get to do nowadays–playing. For the first three weeks of summer, we are going to swim, bike, watch movies, and eat Popsicles, so I won’t be blogging too much.

In addition, after the shootings in Isla Vista, SPU, and Vegas, I’ve also dedicated a large part of my life to spreading compassion for boys. I’m completing an audio series called Raising Compassionate Boys. I believe that compassion is the missing piece that no one is talking about. Everyone is talking about gun control, but we forget that Elliot Rodger killed half of his victims with a knife. If we instill compassion in our boys, there would be less shootings, rapes, bullying, viral humiliation, suicide, and suffering.

I’m also starting a Compassion for Men’s Group. We meet every second Monday in Cupertino, CA. If anyone is interested, email me at everydaygurus@gmail.com

Lastly, I’ve been writing for The Good Men Project. It is a great website that is redefining what it means to be a man in the 21st century. Here are a few of the articles I’ve written lately:

Hope everyone has a peaceful and joyful summer. See you after the July 4th weekend. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

 

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Valentine’s Day for Boys ONLY

What can we learn from the innocence of children about the true nature of Valentine’s Day?

Six year old Jett was writing out his Valentine’s Day cards this morning.

“One for Paul, Justin, Kwon, Ashton, Michael, Derek…”

“What about Lauren, Zandra, or Sophia? Don’t you want to give cards to some girls?” I prodded.

“No girls,” Jett said without even looking up.

At first I was a bit disappointed that Jett didn’t have a special girl to give a card to. One of the other parents told me that his first grader had made matching Rainbow Loom bracelets for he and his sweetheart. rainbowloomThen I caught myself in my socially conditioned heterosexuality.

When I was able to see the beauty of the present moment, I felt a touch of jealousy. My son had the freedom to express his love to all the boys that he knew. He had a shared bond with these boys that was not tainted by homophobia or puffed up versions of manliness.

I thought about Rarasaur’s post on an alternate form of Valentine’s Day and fantasized about a day where men could show love for each other without shame, aversion, or homophobia. Where we could hug each other tenderly, heart to heart rather than be forced to chest-bump or bro-hug. Where we could look into each others eyes and tell each other how much we appreciated everything that we have done for each other.

I thought about Macklemore’s song “Same Love”:

“When I was in the third grade, I thought that I was gay, because I could draw and my uncle was and I kept my room straight.”

Maybe the reason, Macklemore thought he was gay in the third grade was because he had genuine feelings for some of the boys that he called friends. I hope my son can keep his heart open to anyone who he has strong feelings for regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, or culture.

I’m starting to experience what I’ve always heard, “Love is all you need.” Isn’t it a shame that we are socialized to stop loving half the population in the third grade?

Thanks for reading, smiling, and/or sharing.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all my brothers and sisters.

How Many Time Do I Have To Tell You

Lessons on Humanity from a Three Six Year Old

As a parent, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said:

“How many times do I have to tell you…”

Six year old Jett was upset because he had to re-do his homework.

“How many time do I have to tell you that if you do it neatly the first time, you won’t have to re-do it.”

Finally, he got so upset that he threw the pencil and eraser off the desk. I sat calmly and said, “I guess that means no iPad.”

This pushed him over the edge. He started screaming. So I sat down at my desk and started reading blogs. He walked over to me and screamed in my face.

“You better back off, because you are getting Daddy angry,” I said in a calm, but firm voice.

“You hurt my feelings,” he screamed.

“How did I hurt your feelings? I didn’t hurt your feelings; I just tried to get you to do your homework.”

“You ignored me,” he screamed.

“I didn’t ignore you. I just walked away when you started screaming.”

“You were rude to me,” the screams were getting louder.

“YOU WERE RUDE to ME. Don’t you understand that screaming in someone’s face is rude?”

“YOU ARE BEING RUDE TO ME RIGHT NOW!” he yelled as he “stood with fists.”

Suddenly, I flashed back to a post that I published less than 24 hours prior to this argument. In the post, I waxed how Jett’s 3 year old brother taught me to “apologize quickly, even if you were not at fault” and “let others know when they have hurt you.”

Jett and Fox with Buddha

My Teachers

Jett was letting me know that I had hurt him, yet I was refusing to apologize. Three year old Fox was taking a bath right next to the office Jett and I were arguing in. I could hear his thoughts, “How many times do I have to tell you to walk the walk, Mr. Talk-the-Talk?”

I grabbed Jett and pressed his heart next to mine. “I’m sorry that I was rude to you. Thank you for telling me how you felt. I’m sorry I hurt your feelings. I’m sorry I ignored you.”

Jett’s body softened like a stuffed animal. I could feel his heart embracing mine.

“Let’s finish this homework, so you can have some iPad time, OK?”

“OK, Daddy.”

Lessons learned:

  • Calm and collected are not the same as caring and attentive
  • If I want my boys to be compassionate, I have to honor their feelings even if I don’t understand or agree with them.
  • We all need to be reminded of lessons over and over
  • Heart to heart is the best medicine/discipline for raising kids

Lesson on Being Human from a 3 Year Old

I know it is a cliche to say that we learn as much from our children as they learn from us, but 3 year old Fox is different. From a very early age, we called him the “Little Buddha,” not just because he looked like a Buddha–large forehead, big long ears, and long half-open/half-closed eyes, but also because he would just sit calmly and contently for long periods of time.

Fox Sitting

I can honestly say that I have learned as much from this little soul as I have from any enlightened master. Here are a few highlights: Continue reading

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.

Blogging to Self-Actualization

I’m shifting my perspective on blogging. The reason I started blogging was to build a platform for my writing and counseling services. Yet after blogging for over a year, I’m starting to realize that blogging has more important lessons for me to learn.

Wayne Dyer once interviewed Abraham Maslow about self-actualization. Maslow gave four characteristics of self-actualized people:

  1. Independent of the good opinion of other people
  2. Detached from outcome
  3. No investment in power or control of others
  4. See the unfolding of God in everyone they encounter and treating them that way

I can’t think of more noble characteristics, so I’m going to start blogging for self-actualization.

  1. I’m going to publish authentic and radically honest posts that are free from the fear of how others will judge or praise. I’m going to eliminate any fluff or rhetoric that is meant to cater to others wants, desires, or tastes.
  2. I’m going to give up all attachment to outcome. I have no idea of what my blogging will bring me in life. I have no idea if I will ever make any money from blogging. I blog simply because that is what I do.
  3. I’m going to give up any power or control I’m holding onto in relation to others. This comes in the form of judging other bloggers or writers. Comparing myself with others. Being jealous of others success as bloggers, counselors, writers, spiritual leaders, etc.
  4. I’m going to treat everyone who I encounter on the internet and in real life as a manifestation of God. Like Mother Teresa who saw Jesus in everyone she met, I will see the Christ Consciousness and Buddha Nature in everyone and treat them in the same way I would treat Christ and Buddha, with dignity, respect, and gratitude.

I realize that there are a lot of “I”s in the previous paragraphs–certainly some ego to be dealt with. On the other hand, I like the intentions and personal responsibility of these new resolutions–do I dare call them covenants?

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

Do you blog for a higher purpose? Please share.