Aloha Healing 11/1/2015

moon_day_WanG_65 ‘Ole Kû Kahi
‘Ikuwâ 1

I’ve added two new treatments to my protocol. I’m taking hemp seeds and cannabis oil, as well as incorporating Frankincense Oil. I eat the hemp seed and cannabis oil, while I put the Frankincense on my skin with a new lotion I made out of coconut oil, vitamin E, and Frankincense.

A friend asked me how I will know what treatment cured the cancer since I am doing so many. This got me thinking. I’m not really focused on curing anything. To use a common analogy, cancer is like a “check engine” warning light in a car. You don’t try to disconnect the light to fix the problem; instead you do a systemic overhaul.

Dr. Arun Sharma [whose services were gifted to me by two incredible friends whom I have never met, Nisha and Ragu] guided me towards this path when I first got diagnosed:  “Our approach is to improve your overall health to such an extent that no dis-ease remains there. Disease is just a diminution of health and it vanishes as you improve health. So all therapies which are oriented with a consideration of fighting cancer or curing cancer are not taken in our system.”

From this perspective, cancer is a gift in the same way a functioning warning light is a gift. They both give you some advance notice to fix some deep lying issues that could cause a total breakdown.

Here are some of the gifts cancer has already given me:

  • Getting in touch with nature, ‘âina,aumakua, kûpuna, and my body.
  • Juicing raw vegetables every morning with a juicer gifted to me by a dear friend, Mitch McCoy
  • coconut water gifted to me by the thoughtful Mehta family
  • mangosteen juice gifted to me by Auntie Sandy Wong
  • moringa oleifera gifted to me by my dear friend, Oliver Bock
  • Protandim
  • Kangen Water gifted to me by my loving cousin in Hawaii, Marie Imanaka
  • Taking all the chemicals out of my life–water, processed foods, shampoo, toothpaste, lotion, soap, cell phones
  • Taking all the refined sugar out of my diet–I knew this was something I needed to do, but I never thought I could do it. Within 2 weeks of the diagnosis, I was sugar-free. “Free at last, free at last…”
  • Motivation to do morning prayers and movements on a regular basis.+ All the sunrises I have witnessed doing my prayers
  • Powerful experiences in gift ecology. Watching all the different forms of capital manifest whenever and wherever I need them.
  • The invitation to just love everything and everyone gifted by being in the presence of Jayeshbhai Patel
  • Healing deep scars with my parents, my ancestors, my family, and myself.
  • Embodying the first chakra, na’au, perineum, and ‘ôkole.
  • Learning to live “faith and patience” on a daily basis
  • Realizing the importance of ‘olu’olu (gentleness) with myself, my body, my sons, my loved ones, difficult others, and complete strangers.
  • Barefoot hiking and all the lessons the land is teaching me from the feet up.

The amazing thing about all these gifts is that I will continue to practice/receive them regardless what the dis-ease does. A malignant tumor has gifted me a change of lifestyle, diet, perspective, and heart. I can honestly say that I am filled with gratitude for everything that cancer has given me.

Diet

Ate a lot of Chipotle salads lately since it was Halloween and I had to get food a number of times on the run. Otherwise, I’m really enjoying my raw foods diet.

Exercise

Went surfing with my cousins, Mitch and Mathew. I had one of the best sessions I’ve had in years. On one long wave, I felt like I was surfing as well as I did in the late 90s. What followed was a flood of thoughts around my identity as a surfer:

“I could be one of the best surfers out here if I started going on a regular basis.”

“That guy thinks he’s good, but he doesn’t know how to use his inside rail.”

surfing with MitchWhen we got back to the car, we started talking to the father and son parked next to us. The father proceeded to go off on how he’d been surfing since the early 80s. He went on and on about board design and how he surfed the same board in 2 feet to 15 feet waves. At one point, he said, “You guys should check out a surf spot called 26th Avenue. It’s a great spot for you.”

Part of me wanted to tell him that I’d been surfing 26th Ave. since 1981, but I stayed quiet.

When we drove off, my cousin said, “He was a nice guy.” Although part of me wanted to question why he felt the need to assume a position of expertise when he clearly wasn’t  a very good surfer, I had to agree with Mitch–he was a nice guy.

Right before I met my cousins to drive over the hill to the beach, I had been listening to an Adyashanti cd where he talks about how he had been attached to his identity as a world-class cyclist. At one point, he got a 6 month debilitating illness that left him “weak as a puppy.” He felt relieved that he didn’t have to maintain the strenuous identity of a cyclist, but when he started getting his health back, he found himself “training” again, as if he were heading to the Olympics.

Life then sent Adyashanti another debilitating disease. I took this as a sign and started to give up all my attachments to my identity as a surfer. When I think about it, what lies at the core of needing to be seen as a good surfer or a world-class cyclist  is a forgetting of who we really are.

When I step into lôkahi (unity/unbrokenness), I don’t need to be anyone special or prove myself to others because we are all one. We are all the sinner and the saint. We are the Buddha and the CEO. Or as Jayeshbhai puts it, “I want to see everyone as myself. I want to see myself in everyone.”

Relationships

Had a great weekend with the boys. We are learning to accommodate each other on our needs. I felt like I was able to take care of what I needed to do while also allowing them to get their needs met. They even helped do chores around the house before I took them to Bass Pro Shops (my older son loves fishing) and the movies.

Spirituality

Did my prayers before I jumped in the ocean to go surfing. I also asked the ocean permission to enter and waited for a sign. A wave slammed the breakwall. It didn’t get me wet, but saltwater caressed my feet and pulled me toward the ocean. I took this as a sign and ran out as the sea receded. I then proceeded to catch three nice waves one right after another.

Everyday I experience the importance of including nature in my prayers and practices. Doing my prayers barefoot in the park is getting more challenging with the colder/wet weather, but I can’t imagine saying my prayers in the house anymore. We’ll see what happens when the El Nino storms start rolling in.

Kūkae (BM)

10/27

7:00 AM Sediment no blood

7:29 AM Small BM with blood and sediment

10/28

12:30 AM Blood and lots of sediment.

6:40 AM Blood and sediment. Small BM

7:28 AM Medium/Large BM little or no blood

8:30 AM Medium/Large BM no blood

6:30 PM Sediment

10:40 PM Blood and Sediment.brown in color

10/29

11:30 PM Blood and sediment

6:15 AM Blood and sediment with small BM

7:15 AM Blood and sediment with medium BM

1:30 PM Sediment Auburn in color

3:30 PM Small BM with blood and sediment

6 PM Small BM with blood and sediment

9 PM Blood and sediment auburn

10/30

6:30 AM Blood and sediment with dark small BM

8:40 AM Sediment and small BM

10:40 AM Tiny sediment auburn

7:40 PM Sediment with small BM

8:30 PM Blood and Sediment.with small BM

10/31

6:10 AM Blood and Sediment.

7:00 AM Blood and Sediment.with medium BM

5:30 PM Blood and sediment

8:20 PM Huge BM with blood and sediment

11/1

1:11 AM Large BM

6:30 AM Sediment auburn

9:30 AM small BM

3:30 PM Blood and sediment auburn

5 PM Blood and sediment

6 PM Blood and sediment

6:30 PM Blood and sediment

7:40 PM Blood and sediment

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I Sing the Body Electric

Just got back from an intense weekend at a retreat for counselors and coaches. This month we are focusing on Shame and Love, so on Saturday night we did some naked counseling. Picture 100 people completely naked counseling each other on body shame, beauty, and acceptance. It was an eye-opening experience.

One of the most important things I learned was that we are whole. Clothes often make us look incomplete, inadequate, or ugly, but when we see each other completely naked, we get to see the beauty of a whole person. Everything makes sense. My skinny legs, penis size, angular face, and lack of body hair all make sense when seen together.

When we just focus on one particular part, however, we can find all kinds of inadequacies, ugliness, and reasons to hide. People got up in front of the whole group and talked about their breasts, the color of their skin, and the size of their penis, but when we saw them for who they really were, it all made sense in a very beautiful way. One woman asked us to see the spirit of who she really is, beyond her body. I saw the beautiful spirit of who she really is IN her body, in her smile, in her tears, in the quivering of her voice.

What if we looked at our lives as a whole? We often see the individual events of our lives as ugly or dark. Can we see these events as part of the overall beauty? Can the darkness be a shading that lead us to the Light? I’ve had this intimation before:

On the way home, I stopped off at Adyashanti’s Satsang. Adya echoed the point about wholeness:

“When you come to the core of consciousness…consciousness becomes a completely unified field.”~Adyashanti 1/19/14

At this core of consciousness, no boundaries exist between consciousness and whatever we are experiencing. If you think about it, our clothes are a boundary. Our judgments are a boundary between us and others. Our insecurities are a boundary between us and our true selves. Lies are a boundary between us and the Truth.

Here’s to breaking down the boundaries in order to come to the core of consciousness.

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

When was the last time you were completely naked in front of others physically or metaphorically? Did it help you find freedom? Please share.

Christ’s Mass with Adyashanti

This weekend I attended Adyashanti’s Christmas Intensive. It was a very intimate event with singing, poetry, satsangs, and hugs from Adya.

The main topic of Adya’s talks was the Christ story. Adya sees the Christ life as a teaching, as a model of a very special kind of love–redemptive love.

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son”

This is the type of love we are talking about. A love that will sacrifice one’s only son to not only death, but brutal, torturous death through suffering. As a father, I have a hard time even thinking about this type of love, which makes it all the more divine.

At the Last Supper, when Jesus tells his disciples, “As I have loved you, so you must love one another,” this is the type of love that he is asking for. A love that does not transcend suffering, but rather embraces it in it’s entirety. A love willing to sacrifice to redeem others.

This selfless love is the way to God, Nirvana, or, in modern terms, Happiness.

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.

If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”~Dalai Lama

I know it is not New Year’s Resolution time yet, but I am resolving today to start abiding in this type of love. If Jesus could let himself be tortured and crucified, if Buddha could starve himself then sit under a tree all night, if the Dalai Lama can sit in meditation for 4 hours everyday to cultivate compassion for the world, then I think I can start sacrificing for those I love. I can stop reacting to the attacks of others with ill will and retaliation. I can love beyond my own egoic needs and desires.

I hope you get to experience this type of love this holiday season. Have a Happy Holidays.

Love, Kozo

“Let us abide in a humble and loving heart. Never forsaking the Divine knowledge beyond all distinction, nor the infinitely loving heart of God which is our own.”~Adyashanti

 

 

Everyday Thanksgiving: October/November 2013

This is my archive that I will post at the end of the month. Note that some of the things I am grateful for have not happened yet, but I am creating the reality of them happening through gratitude.

I learned a great thing about gratitude this month. Gratitude needs to be given without expectations of returns. I started gratitude practices because I read that they bring prosperity and wealth into one’s life. It turns out that this is true, but the ideas of prosperity and wealth are not what we usually associate with these words. Gratitude practices are deeply embedded in the acceptance of the present AS IS. We are already wealthy and prosperous if we are grateful. Hope this brightens your day.

October/November 2013

x wing fighter model Thank you for school picnics; jumpy houses; Star Wars (the original); birthdays; mindfulness for children at Insight Meditation Center.

Thank you for chicken soup to nurse a cold; ume plums; my son’s squishy cheeks; zafu pillows; ear phones.

Thank you for vegetarian family meals; Japanese yams; carpooling; spinach salads; eyebody exercises; blogs.

Thank you for parent teacher conferences; carbon footprints; friendly strangers; strange friends; the love of my brothers.

Thank you for reconciliation; David Daeda’s gender analysis; David Richo’s NVC;  Curry Up Indian Food; a day in the hills of Marin.

Thank you for the amazing interview with Dr. Ted Zeff; highly sensitive boys; compassionate men; my son’s love; family photos.

Thank you for Dr. Rick Hanson’s generosity; Vipassana friends; free lunch at Google; horchata; flavored water.

Thank you for children’s floss; wooden trains; FastTrak; giving up the need for security in money; photos taken by friends.

Thank you for restarting my gratitude practice; my wife and my new workshop idea; long car rides with my wife; 4 AM meditation; 6 disc CD changers.

Thank you for Goenkaji’s teaching; eradicating sankhara; the Eckarte Tolle book my sister-in-law lent me; The Way of Liberation by Adyashanti; Dharmaseed.

Thank you for a day without conflict; water in a glass; the infinite now; Ender’s Game; empathic main characters; science fiction.

Thank you for Pali chanting; St. Francis de Assisi; putting holds at libraries; Interchange Counseling; Steve Bearman.

Thank you for counseling; clienting; not trying to fix anything; loving my clients; loving my work.

Thank you for sincerity; authenticity; the courage to tell my story; zafu pillows; guided meditation.

Thank you for Bearded Papa; fruit plates shaped like faces; walking through horse stables; Molokai; Jamaica Osorio.

Thank you for Richard Rohr’s insight; Meng Tan agreeing to do an interview; cosmic connections; giving attention to my wife; going down the rabbit hole of my fantasies to discover my need of being wanted.

Thank you for free art projects at the library; playing London Bridges with 20 kids; library volunteers; napping after lunch with my 3 year old; homework club.

IMG_0751Thank you for my nephew’s love for my sons; ping pong with kids; magic tricks; garage playrooms; trading inspirational youtube videos with my nephew.

Thank you for a silent conversation with a cat; non-violent communication with my brother; hugs from strangers; watching a master counselor in action; finding allies serendipitously.

Thank you for writing my bio and having the courage to share it with others; understanding from those who thought I might offend; a trajectory towards heaven; Fort Mason in SF; farmer’s markets on Sunday.

Thank you for a beautiful day at the beach; gender talks with my new friend A.S.; revealing my heart and getting smiles in return; caring for others; learning to feel adequate.

Thank you for discovering a new sangha at an Adyashanti discussion group; the amazing story of parental love and non-attachment  I heard today; getting the boys to school on time today; the cheeky slow driver who made me realize how silly it is to rush; the saying “sin happens whenever we refuse to keep growing.”

Thank you for my son’s meltdown to teach me about compassion; all the supportive comments I received from my lovely blogging friends; the hug my son gave me after the meltdown; more than a year of knowing Rarasaur; one of the parents who texted me empathy.

Thank you for the Family Feast at my son’s school; homemade Acai shakes; happiness from doing good; fierce gentleman.com; Fr. Richard Rohr agreeing to a live interview for the Compassionate Interviews Series.

Thank you for a wonderful interview with Meng Tan; the Star Wars exhibit at the Tech Museum; my son’s understanding that Darth Vader is not a “bad guy,” just a hurt person who hurts others; X-Wing fighters; “Trust your feelings, Luke” advice from Obi Wan Kenobi.

stormtrooperThank you for the film I Am; sleeping in the living room with my son; all the compassionate men out there; Dyson Blade handdryers; the excitement of the holidays.

Thank you for closed city parks that we got all to our selves; anyone who cleared out all the poison oak near the creek; chocolate covered pretzels; massage chairs at Costco; Macklemore’s song “A Wake.”

Thank you for the smoked turkey by my step father; mashed potatoes from Mitch; all the cousins playing with my sons; the wonderful emails I got from new friends on Thanksgiving; a family gathering without any reactions or negativity.

Thank you for a wonderful play date with Natalia; the beautiful warm weather; tennis in the park; stealing snacks from my kids; school starting again.

Thank you for Frozen; my 3 year old’s crush on both the princesses in Frozen; Olaf from Frozen; Popcorn in a movie theater; frozen yogurt in November.

Re-Authoring Our Lives

This weekend at Interchange Counseling Institute, Steve Bearman introduced us to Narrative Therapy. We learned how to help clients re-author their predominant stories by “thickening” marginalized stories. We often get caught in one story that dictates our perception,self-worth, and mood. Examining the cracks in this predominant story often lead to awareness of a more preferable story.

“What limits people is that they don’t have the fucking nerve or imagination to star in their own movie, let alone direct it. Yuck….It’s a wonderful time to be alive. As long as one has enough dynamite.”~Tom Robbins

Part of this weekend was writing and sharing our bio. When I wrote my bio, a book on my bookshelf that I haven’t read yet haunted my peripheral vision–Radical Honesty. I wrote my story leaving nothing out. When I shared this story with a group of three other counselors-in-training, I buried my face in the printed copy almost out of shame. I revealed how I had spent a large part of my adult life hurting others. How I had stabbed loved ones in the heart with my words. How all this hurt I brought into the world created a karmic tidal wave that almost drowned me. I ended with how hitting rock bottom allowed me to set my sights for the heavens.

When I finished reading, I peeked up to see three smiling faces. It felt like I had confessed all my sins to a compassionate God who had nothing but love for me. One of the group members gave me a hug. Another called me courageous. What I realized is that often the tragedy of our lives is actually a story of hope and redemption. Below are a few quotes from wise people who have a similar take on re-authoring.

  • “The Art of Suffering goes together with the Art of Happiness” “No Mud/No Lotus”~Thich Nhat Hanh
  • “Before the ‘truth sets you free’ it tends to make you miserable.”~Fr. Richard Rohr
  •  “Many of your greatest successes you thought were failures. And many of your greatest failures, you thought were successes.”~Marianne Williamson

To be sincere does not mean to be perfect. In fact,the very effort to be perfect is itself insincere, because it is a way of avoiding seeing yourself as you are right now. To be able and willing to see yourself as you are, with all of your imperfections and illusions, requires genuine sincerity and courage. If we are constantly trying to hide from ourselves, we will never be able to awaken from our illusion of self.~Adyashanti

I’m hoping you can re-author some of your stories. I feel a lot lighter since I did the exercise. Here are some suggestions:

  • Can you see part of your story as a preparation for a launch? Is a low point simply the loading for an acceleration towards the good, like stretching a rubber band right before you let it fly?
  • Is hitting rock bottom laying the foundations for a rebound in the right direction?
  • Is the tragedy of your life a glimpse into the comedy of life in general?
  • Is your need for “closure” an opening to a new way of loving or acceptance?

In no way do I want to disregard your story. In fact, narrative therapy does not try to erase the predominant story; instead it offers a new angle to view one’s life. A marginal story is meant to transcend and include the predominant story.

You’ve probably seen this before, but if you haven’t, ignore everything above and hit play.

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

Have you ever re-authored your predominant story? What did it do for you? Please share.

Accidentally Insulting Adyashanti

This has been quite a month. From getting blindsided by Marianne Williamson to being empowered by Thich Nhat Hanh, I can’t remember a time in my life so full of growth and discomfort. And the hits keep coming…

Last weekend, I attended a day-long retreat with Adyashanti. Of all the spiritual teachers I follow, Adyashanti is one of the only ones that refers to his own Awakening. I never hear the Dalai Lama or Thich Nhat Hanh talking about “when I became enlightened,” but Adya refers to this moment of clarity all the time. I find this comforting and valuable wisdom.

Here are some jewels of wisdom from Adyashanti:

  • Seeking is not about what we don’t have; it is about what we have forgotten
  • “Make sure you are always your own best student”
  • In regards to serving others, “if you start with the small stuff, the bigger stuff has a way of finding you.”
  • A realization of unity liberates uniqueness and true individuality. Jesus and The Buddha were highly unique individuals.
  • Adya also gave us all a mantra: “Love Well.” He instructed us to ask this mantra as a question. While doing the dishes, “am I loving well?”

As the day drew to a close, I raised my hand to ask a question, and Adyashanti called on me immediately. I asked about Adya’s description of Awakening. After awakening did one have to re-mind oneself daily, moment-by-moment to release arguments with self, other, life, and God?

“It is like being human. Do you have to remind yourself to be human?”

To which I replied, “Sometimes…”

“Bad example. It is like breathing, do you have to remind yourself to breathe?”

“No, but I’m thinking about the story of how Buddha reacted to hearing the news that his former kingdom had been destroyed and everyone was killed. He apologized to his followers for not being himself. I imagine that he must have felt some aversion and craving on this day.”

“It is a nice story, isn’t it? It makes the Buddha more human,” Adyashanti replied.

Then he talked about a zen master who broke down wailing during a dinner with some students when he received a call that his wife had died.

Some students lost faith in the master, but the senior student told them that they had missed one of the master’s deepest lessons.

I liked the story, so I felt the courage to ask Adyashanti about my Vipassana revelation, “I envision that awakening will not erase all our personal suffering, but will rather increase our sensitivity to suffering in general–that all life is suffering. This is where the service comes in. We realize that all beings are suffering, so we want to serve others to end their suffering.”

“Maybe. I felt like that in the beginning, but then it changed. Later, I did my Satsangs for different reasons. Now, I feel like I’m doing them because that is what I do” (these are rough paraphrases of what was actually said).

“Merely doing,” I said. I was trying to equate Adyashanti’s statements with the Buddha’s description of enlightenment as “merely thinking (cognition)” without judgment, attachment, or aversion, but Adya didn’t seem to catch the reference.

Turns out my question was the last of the day. While helping stack the chairs after Adyashanti had left, I felt an odd disconnect with the other participants. No one seemed to want to look me in the eyes.

On the drive home, I realized that some may have taken my statement of “merely doing” as an insult to Adyashanti. One could argue that I degrading all his teachings, retreats, and satsangs as merely doing. This wasn’t my intention, of course, and what was really impressive is that Adyashanti took no offense–not even a flinch or a pause. He embodied what Deepak Chopra claimed changed his life: Don’t be offended ever again.

So it was another lesson learned. Seems like I have a penchant for insulting spiritual leaders. Not sure if this is a good or bad thing. Perhaps it is merely doing.

Funny enough, after my question, we only had a few minutes left, so Adyashanti suggested we sit in silence. Everyone started rustling around to get ready to sit in silence.

“No not that kind of silence,” Adya stopped us. “Since that happened, the squeaking of chairs, which was the preparing for silence…Every once in a while it is good to look at even the most innocuous kinds of conditioning. Just the suggestion that we might sit in silence, if you notice how the conditioning goes, some special situation must be met to sit in silence. The way I was was was not enough; therefore I have to adjust and move and prepare for silence which as far as I could tell you were all already in…Is it true that any condition need be met for me to recognize the silence that is here now.”

The silence that ensued was palpable. Guess we were merely being silent.

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

Do you have a mantra? Have you insulted a role model, mentor, teacher, or spiritual leader before? Please share.

Everyday Thanksgiving: August 2013

“It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.” ~Brother David Steindl-Rast

Although I missed a few days, this daily gratitude practice continues to bring joy to my life. I feel like someone gave me a golden ticket when I learned about daily gratitude. I offer this golden ticket to you.

August 2013

Thank you for seat turtles again; a family reunion with my Kauai family; the generosity of my Aunty Shirley; Koa wood; Jaina’s home-made desserts.

Thank you for a beautiful home to come home to; Waialae Country Club Kale Salad; documentary on Hawaiian Medicine I saw on the plane; the excitement I feel to get back to work; the Sheraton Waikiki.Boys in Waikiki

Thank you for sleeping together in one room; Imahara’s fruit stand; double meditation days; inspiration from so many sources; the parasympathetic nervous system.

Thank you for Obon Festivals; Misoyaki Salmon; fake tattoos; kokua; the Zen saying, “Nothing left out.”

Thank you for the variety of fresh fruit available in California; how my sons pee together at the toilet; mattress covers to catch the mistakes of my 3 year old; vitamix shakes; Victoria sharing the wonderful Milton quote.

Thank you for my six year old’s love of water after coming back from Hawaii; patience with myself; coconut water; Rarasaur’s post on Black Box Warnings; my wife’s positive attitude. Continue reading