The Sleeping Guru: 5 Life Lessons from a Golden Child

Son sleepingsleeping buddha

“Even the largest avalanche is triggered by small things.”– Vernor Vinge

My two-year old son thinks ears are handles for the head. Whenever it is time for him to go to sleep, he grabs my ears and pulls my head down until our foreheads are touching. He has done this since he was an infant. This is one of the greatest joys of my life–having my ears cradled by my sleeping son. Lying next to his chubby face with his soft breath caressing my cheek has taught me some valuable lessons about life in general. Continue reading

1978 Suburban Guru: “Pimp Your Marriage”

hood ornament from suburban

While walking home from dropping off my kids at school, something crept up on me that I haven’t seen in over 20 years. Moving about as slow as a three-toed tree sloth with a gentle purr that cloaked the V-8 power beneath the powder blue paneled exterior appeared a mint condition 1978 Chevy Suburban. This behemoth was the grandfather of all modern SUVs, and like most grandfathers from back in the day, the Suburban could kick the crap out of any of his cheeky grandsons. With three full sized bench seats, the Suburban could comfortably SLEEP three intoxicated adults. Just the sight of this classic beach car flooded me with memories of Mexican beaches, tan bodies, and early morning surf sessions. But enough of this mid-life crisis penis envy about a muscle truck. What really mattered sat inside the Suburban. Continue reading

The Surfing Guru: “Life is a wave…”

The first time I hit rock bottom was in Y2K. My career in filmmaking was over; I was living in my car; and I had ostracized myself from the professional surfing community that I had called home. When you are down to your last $200, your options for weekend entertainment recede to zero. So when I received complimentary tickets to the premiere of a surf film by Jack McCoy, a legendary surf filmmaker and mentor, I jumped at the opportunity. Continue reading

Cross Walk Guru: James 1:2-4

buddha statue with hand upcross walk sign

Sometimes the smallest incidents reveal the deepest secrets. I was standing at the cross walk in front of our condo with my two sons in a double stroller, when a woman walked up and pressed the button to cross the street, “beep.” I had already pushed the button before she arrived, but I just smiled and waited for the light to change. “Beep, beep,” again the same woman pressed the button twice more. When the light did not change, she went in for another round, “beep, beep.” I could tell that she was getting upset that her desire to cross the street was not instantly gratified. In my younger days, I would have said, “you know, it’s on a timer don’t you. You can press it until it plays Mozart, but the light will not change any faster.” Instead, I just watched the light for crossing traffic turn yellow, then red. Then the left turn light lit up, but still the disembodied red hand mocked us from across the 4 lane expressway. “Beep,” the woman poked the button one last time in anger.

After dropping my kids off at school, I returned to the same cross walk. “Beep,” I pressed the button. I started to think about how much work I had to do at home after I cleaned up the breakfast dishes. “Beep,” I unconsciously pressed the button again. Have you ever done this? Why do we do this? Continue reading

To the true kings of this world

This amazing poem by my new friend Dieu is a gift to anyone who is willing to open their hearts and listen. Please read, share, and smile–Marshall Hattori Thank you, Dieu.

Dieu on the Grass

Those people with their talk
of deep cleanse exfoliation,
oil and gas importation,
stock market inflation,
interior home renovation,
economic levels of participation,
wealth investment amplifications,
hair gel technique application,
psychotherapy alleviations,
yearly European vacations,
convertible vehicle compensation
for middle-age nostalgia
of youth’s revelations.

What do they know of
the great blue sea
of dreams and tears and hopes
forsaken?

They are too busy climbing
ladders that lead to nowhere
within their castle walls.

And then there are those among us
who seek no glory,
but who are the Apollos of this world
-who remove the swords of pain and suffering
from their hard hearts
and raise them up,
holy,
bright,
and sharp.

To say,
Even if you do not care,
I am here,
Oh yes,
I am here.

~ dieuonthegrass

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Celluloid Gurus: 5 Films that Increase Empathy

image of the characters from the film The Breakfast Club

For many spiritual pilgrims “the path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men,” especially the iniquities of the entertainment industry that make films like Pulp Fiction from which this quotation was taken.In my experience, however, God speaks to us in a variety of mediums including Lucasfilm THX digital dolby. If we free our minds, films can serve as everyday gurus that guide us out of the Matrix of samsara and into the kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. With this in mind, here are five films that have taught me empathy and compassion. Continue reading

Obi Wan and The Force

photo of Obi Wan Kenobi from Star Wars

This post is on the topic of “The Power of We” for Blog Action Day 2012. One of the lines from Star Wars that I still think about to this day is when Obi Wan Kenobi says, “You can’t win, Darth. If you strike me down I will become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.” Obi Wan says this right before he altruistically allows Darth Vader to strike him down in order to force Luke Skywalker to escape. Being that Obi Wan Kenobi was one of my first gurus–I even thought about changing my name to Obi Wan Hattori–I’ve spent the last 30+ years trying to figure out what this line really meant. After years of studying Buddhism, the Bible, and the Japanese martial art aikido, I think I have finally unlocked the secret of this koan. Continue reading

Christian Enns and Phileas Fogg: Why rush?

Christian Enns was one of the surfers featured in Imagine: Surfing as Sadhana. As you can see Christian charges huge waves. He is also a very talented artist. While we were traveling together, Christian was reading Jules Verne’s classic Around the World in 80 Days. In the novel, Phileas Fogg, the protagonist, bets half his net worth that he can circumnavigate the globe in 80 days or less. Although Fogg is in a monumental race against time, he never runs nor rushes during his entire journey. Christian wanted to emulate this character, so he decided that he would neither run nor rush while traveling. The problem was that Christian tested his new theory on a day when we were late for our flight out of Morocco. So while I ran around like an ant who had lost its trail, lugging huge surfboard bags that were twice my size, Christian moseyed through the crowded halls of Mohamed V International Airport as if he were strolling down the beach looking for sand dollars. Continue reading