Spare the Child

He popped into our lives like a bee sting on the foot while running barefoot in the park: sudden, unexpected, and painful.

His name was Richard, but Mum said to call him “Dad.”

I was only 5 at the time.

My first memories of him consist of me yelling, “You’re not me Dad,” over and over. Maybe this defiance started the beatings; I don’t remember. Continue reading

World Peace, Marital Bliss, and Blogging Fame–Not necessarily in that order

Eryn Vorn / Foter / CC BY

“Through compassion, through love, we can solve many problems, we can have true happiness, real disarmament.”–Dalai Lama

I wish I were a superhero who could step into the body and mind of others and force others to step into someone else’s body and mind.

I could have gotten my power after being bitten by a radioactive Tibetan Lama.

You could call me Empathico.

I would use my power for world peace, marital bliss, and blogging fame. Continue reading

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

Good Morning Guru

I was feeling incredible the other morning. Having had a restful sleep, I woke up to the loving triple embrace from my beautiful wife and two happy sons. After breakfast, my sons and I embarked on our daily walk to school. It had rained a bit earlier in the morning, but the sun was out, so the smell of fresh rain evaporating in the morning sun was overwhelming. As soon as we left the condo, my oldest son took a big whiff and giggled, “I smell water, Daddy!” It was perfect “Goldilocks” weather–neither too hot, nor too cold. Little did I know that one small incident had the power to sabotage my entire day. Continue reading