Compassion and Money

At my other website, I’m starting a new series called The Compassion Interviews, where I interview some of the most compassionate people I can find.

The series kicks off with Dr. James Doty, founder and director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) at Stanford University.

In this interview we discuss:

  • Why compassion is more important than money
  • What it is like to be in close contact with His Holiness the Dalai Lama
  • How transcending socially conditioned roles can save the world
  • What we can do today and everyday to cultivate peace, compassion, and happiness in our lives

I’ve included a short excerpt from the interview below that discusses how losing 70 million dollars during the dotcom crash, then taking a company public for 1.3 billion dollars of which he donated all of his shares to charity were two of the best things that ever happened to Dr. Doty.

For the full interview click here:

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

Have you learned valuable lessons through failure or charity? Please share.

Powerful Compassion with Thich Nhat Hanh

Last week, Thich Nhat Hahn spoke to a sold out crowd at Stanford University as a part of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education’s (CCARE) Conversations on Compassion series.

Thich Nhat Hanh

I once heard Thich Nhat Hanh described as “a cloud, a butterfly, and a bulldozer.” Hearing him speak I couldn’t agree more. He is so soft, gentle, and egoless, yet surprisingly powerful. Here are some highlights:

  • “You don’t have to run into the future to find happiness.”
  • “Mindfulness holds suffering like a mother holding a baby without knowing what is causing the suffering.”
  • “Holding our suffering is like holding our own baby.”
  • “You cannot be; you can only inter-be.”
  • “The art of suffering goes together with the art of happiness.”
  • Tell your loved ones, “I know you are there, and I am so happy.”
  • The person who makes you suffer has a lot of suffering in him.

When they opened up the mics for Q&A, I happened to be sitting right next to one of the mic stands, so I got to ask the first question. I told Thay that being a man in Western culture I had been taught not to cry, to take advantage of others weaknesses in sports, and to never show weakness in business. My specific question was “how can we make compassion more attractive to men?”

Thay started his reply by saying that there must be a misunderstanding of what compassion is. “Compassion is not weakness. Compassion is powerful.” He then listed all the ways that compassion benefits the person being compassionate. “Compassion heals our bodies.” It makes us live happier lives. It is good for business. (I apologize for not having direct quotes, but Thay was staring at me while he answered the question, so I didn’t want to be rude and start taking notes.)

Then he said something that resonated with me, “Compassion protects us more than guns, bombs, or money.” He said that we often try to accumulate lots of money to protect ourselves from suffering, but money cannot protect us from suffering. Money can disappear in an instant. What I realized is that compassion is the true refuge from suffering in life.

I have been struggling to make money since losing my job in 2012, but now I realize that all the work I have been doing to cultivate compassion has brought me more than money can buy. I feel confident that compassion will protect me and my family from suffering in a way that money, guns, or insurance can never protect us. I am grateful for the present moment of taking in so much wisdom from amazing teachers. One day, I hope to spread these teachings with others.

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

Where do you seek refuge? Please share.

Digital Dose of Vitamin C

I’m starting a new practice called Daily Vitamin C using Instagram.

I want to post regularly a dose of humanity that will help bring peace and compassion to our world. If you want your daily dose of humanity, follow me on Instagram. If not, you can always see the newest Instagram in the right hand menu bar.

May you be free from suffering. May you find peace and joy.

Thank you for reading, smiling, and or sharing.

Are you on Instagram? Post your Instagram name in comments, so I can follow you.

Blindsided by Marianne Williamson

Tyler Durden: “How’s that working out for you?”

Narrator: “What?”

Tyler Durden: “Being Clever”

For the last four days, I’ve been attending a seminar for entrepreneurs. I learned a lot of tips about launching, marketing, networking, and positioning. So imagine how surprised I was when on the stage walks Marianne Williamson.

Marianne re-framed everything we had learned the previous 3 days. Here are a few nuggets: Continue reading

How to wring compassion out of your child

IMG_0824My 6 year old son wants to quit his Kung Fu class. Last time I drove him to the Kung Fu studio, he threw a tantrum and wouldn’t get out of the car.

I threatened him by explaining how he would not get Christmas or Birthday presents for 5 years to pay off the non-refundable tuition we paid for the whole year.

I shamed him by telling his younger brother what a big boy he was for not “crying like a baby,” even though I am reading Brene Brown’s research on the horrible consequences of shaming.

You see, my son cries more than any child I know. If you mix his eggs with too much soy sauce, he cries. If someone closes the door to his room at night, he cries. If you don’t put enough toothpaste on his toothbrush, he cries. All this crying drove me crazy until I realized why. Continue reading

Auto Peace

I used to be one of the most efficient drivers on the road, which means I was a real a-hole.

God forbid if you ever stopped in the right turn lane and waited for the light to turn green before merging. And don’t even get me started on the “idiots” who would block the right turn lane by not staying close to the center divider.

People who drove too slow in the fast lane were “morons,” but “psychos” who drove faster than I did deserved a ticket.

Jett in car

Don’t forget who is in the backseat while you are roadraging

Continue reading

Can Quantum Physics Save Your Marriage?

Do you get more stressed on vacations than you do staying home and working–especially short 4 day weekends on  large public holidays?

Donner LakeFor the 4th of July, my wife and I took the boys to Tahoe. My wife’s stress level reached Defcon 5. Nothing I did seemed good enough.

Finally, on Friday, she took the kids to the lake and left me at the cabin.  The perennial question most men ask on a daily basis echoed in my head, “What did I do wrong?”

Since I was on a blogging break, I finally had time to catch up on some reading. Thanks to my Kindle, I read 3 books simultaneously which leads to mind-expanding perspectives. I was about half way through Wired  for Love by Stan Tatkin; Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living by Pema Chodron; and How Quantum Activism Can Save Civilization by Amit Goswami. Continue reading

Yoda’s Secret of Compassion


For over three decades, I read the Dalai Lama’s books on compassion, attended lectures by Thich Nhat Hanh, and even did a week long Metta meditation in Sri Lanka, yet I was unable to feel compassion on a daily basis. Looking at the state of the world today, I don’t think I was alone in this inability to practice compassion.

After countless broken relationships and on the verge of divorce at the age of 47, I finally realized what it meant to have compassion. I learned that compassion requires empathy. We can’t sympathize with the misfortune of others if we are unable to step into their shoes and understand their thoughts and feelings. Continue reading

Doing It for the Greater Good

greater good


An article I wrote just came out on the Greater Good website:

The Greater Good is like my Obi Wan of websites. Please comment, like, tweet, re-tweet, and Facebook this article. Thank you in advance for all your support and feedback.

I just got word that some of the people featured in the article will be responding to the discussion board, so feel free to ask any questions on the discussion.

May you be free from suffering. May you know peace and joy.

{{{Hugs}}} Kozo

Heart-Tinted Glasses

heart tinted glassesI’ve always been a judgmental person, so I’ve decided to see the world through heart-tinted glasses. Rather than see people as people, I’m trying to see their heart, not their physical heart, but how much heart they have.

Boy with HeartFor example, although this boy looks disabled, I see him motoring around our library every week. Everything about him reveals a huge heart.

Kids in general have tons of heart, yet we often tend to forget that. We tend to be condescending towards kids, rather than filled with admiration. Continue reading