Richard Rohr: The Compassion Interviews

The Compassion Interviews is a project of mine at PeaceInRelationships.com. I am trying to interview the most compassionate people I can find to supplement the lack of compassionate role models in the media. With 10 interviews completed, I have to say that this project has changed my life. I’m realizing that compassion is the key to not only happiness, but also success and peace.

Father Richard Rohr is a Franciscan friar and blogger for the Huffington Post. Author of over 30 books including Falling Upward and From Wild Man to Wise Man, Father Rohr has spoken around the world about Christian contemplative practices, male spirituality, radical compassion, and silence. He is founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
In this interview we discuss:

  • How we cannot just wish to be compassionate
  • How to enjoy life by experiencing it at depth
  • How technology can be an instrument for our liberation
  • Why now more than ever wise elders are needed
  • How powerlessness leads to real power
  • The six big issues that the dualistic mind cannot process or deal with—love, death, suffering, infinity, God, and sex
  • How Scripture supports Christ as a meditator

Monthly Peace Challenge: The Neuroscience of Peace

bannerTo help inspire the Bloggers for Peace (B4Peace), we will have a Monthly Peace Challenge. To participate, tag your post with B4Peace and make sure you copy your URL to the Linkz collection. Anyone who completes all twelve Monthly Peace Challenges in 2014 will receive a Free B4Peace T-shirt. Yes, I’ve decided to offer the second annual Bloggers for Peace T-shirt as a prize. I envision a day when we will all gather for a Bloggers for Peace Conference donning our various Bloggers for Peace T-shirts.

For the first Monthly Peace Challenge of 2014, I first thought about resolutions, but resolutions are usually destined to fail and make us feel bad about ourselves. So I’ve simplified the challenge. What one thought will you focus on this year to bring more peace?

Neuroscience tells us that “neurons that fire together wire together” which means that we actually change our brains by what we think. Changing our brains changes our thoughts, behaviors, habits, and destinies.

Decades before fMRI brain scans, Gandhi said,

“Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, your values become your destiny.”

So I’m just asking you to post one thought that you will focus on this year. Call it a mantra, a resolution, a pebble in the pond of your consciousness that will send out ripples of peace throughout the year.

You can use these websites to pretty up your thought:

For example, my thought for the year is:

Abide as the Stream of Love photo

“Abide” is a word that I am focusing on in meditation. It means:

  • To remain in a place
  • To continue to be sure or firm; endure
  • To dwell or sojourn
  • To put up with; tolerate
  • To wait patiently for: “I will abide the coming of my lord” Tennyson
  • To withstand

“Abide as the Stream” is a term Dr. Rick Hanson gifted me with in his essay Eddies in the Stream. In his essay, Dr. Hanson explores the intersection of neuroscience, quantum physics, and enlightenment. To abide as the stream means to sit in the field of infinite potential, “fertile noise,” or “quantum foam.”

When I am able to “abide as the stream” during meditation, I feel an overwhelming sense of connection with all beings that I can only describe as love. So my thought for the year is to “abide as the stream of love.” I want to spend as much time as possible realizing this thought. What thought do you want to realize this year?

Don’t forget to link to at least one other B4Peace post and add your post to the Linkz collection. Here is how:

  • Copy your URL to the Linkz collection. You’ll find the link below. It’s the drunk blue frog smiling for peace. Click on it and follow directions.
  • Go visit this site to read and comment on other posts related to this Monthly Peace Challenge.

Thank you for spreading the peace. {{{hugs}}} Kozo

FREE Bloggers for Peace T-shirt

bannerCONGRATULATIONS! You have completed a year of Blogging for Peace. I hope writing and publishing your peace posts brought you as much peace as it brought me. In gratitude for your heartfelt sincerity, dogged perseverance, and radical honesty, I would like to give you a free Bloggers for Peace T-shirt.

Cat Animation

I’ve decided to use Peace Cat for the 1st Annual Bloggers For Peace T-Shirt. Shout outs to Rarasaur and Grayson Queen for designing and creating Peace Cat.

If you completed all 12 Monthly Peace Challenges, then email me your name, address, blog name, and shirt size (Small, Medium, Large, X-Large, etc.). My email address is everydaygurus@gmail.com

If you did not complete the 12 Challenges, but would like to have a Bloggers For Peace T-shirt, then email me and I will send you an address to send a check or money order. I’m thinking $20/shirt which includes shipping and handling.

I want to thank everyone who participated in Bloggers For Peace this year–even if you just read Peace posts. I feel a shift in the Universe that I hope we can expand upon in 2014.

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

Peace in 2014 (Pi4teen)

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.

Monthly Peace Challenge: Party On, Garth!

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Hurray! This is the last challenge of the year. Those of you who have been here since January have one more post to get your FREE B4Peace T-Shirt! I will continue posting challenges next year for a different prize (to be determined), but this challenge ends an incredible first year of Bloggers for Peace. Before I give you the challenge, I want to thank everyone who participated in B4Peace this year. I can honestly say that you brought more peace in my life which means you brought more peace in the world. Special thanks to Rarasaur who designed the B4Peace logos, badges, and T-shirt (hint, hint).

After last months challenge of loving thy enemy, I want to give you a party.  So this months challenge is to plan a party that will ripple peace to the world. Use everything in your imagination for this peace party. Here are a few ideas:

  • You can hold your party anywhere. Where would you host your peace party? How many people would be at the party?
  • You can invite any guest you want from the past, present, or future. Who will play music at the party? Who will contribute artwork for the party? Who will give speeches?
  • What food can you serve that would bring peace in its consumption?
  • What about a group activity at your party? Would you have everyone at the party participate in one action for peace?
  • Feel free to use images, videos, or music in your post to give others the idea of what your party would be like.
  • What combination of events, people, and place would bring about the most peace at your party? What if you had Bob Dylan perform a duet with Ysuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens)? What if you had a panel on compassion featuring Jesus, the Buddha, Muhammad, and Mother Teresa? Let your imagination run wild for peace.
  • What would you have at your party that would bring more joy, smiles, love, and peace into the world?

Don’t forget to link to at least one other B4Peace post and add your post to the Linkz collection. Here is how:

  • Copy your URL to the Linkz collection. You’ll find the link below. It’s the drunk blue frog smiling for peace. Click on it and follow directions.
  • Go visit this site to read and comment on other posts related to this Monthly Peace Challenge.

Letter to My Enemy Within

Dear Kozo,

Your arrogance and lack of compassion have made more enemies for us than friends.

Your selfishness and lack of empathy have sunk our career, nearly ruined our marriage, and destroyed our reputation.

Despite these failings, I forgive you. I forgive your sharp tongue, your lack of impulse control, and your insecurities. I forgive because I don’t want to be like you–lacking empathy. I forgive because by accepting you, I engulf you. I make your need to be special unnecessary.

I don’t just forgive you; I love you. I love you because by loving you I love all my enemies. I love you because I understand how all your trespasses were a desperate search for love. All your attacks were a cry for help. All your hostility stemmed from a desire to be held.

I will always love you because you are not just a part of me; you are a part of humanity. You are Godliness, Christ Consciousness, and Buddha Nature all at once. You deserve my love like a baby deserves a mother’s love. You will always be my baby. I try to lead by example, so that one day you will be a compassionate man.

With All My Heart,

Kozo

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This post is part of the Bloggers for Peace Monthly Peace Challenge: Love Thy Enemy.

For more information on Bloggers for Peace click on the logo in the right hand menu.

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

Monthly Peace Challenge: Love Thy Enemy

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We only have two challenges left this years, so I’m going to ramp it up.

To help inspire the Bloggers for Peace (B4Peace), we will have a Monthly Peace Challenge. To participate, tag your post with B4Peace and make sure you copy your URL to the Linkz collection. Anyone who completes all twelve Monthly Peace Challenges will receive a Free B4Peace T-shirt.

Hurt people hurt people

This might be the toughest Peace Challenge for many of you, but I want to take us out of our comfort zones for true peace. This month, I want you to open your arms to your enemies. Think of a person, a place, a nation, a culture, a religion, a gender, or an ideology that you view as a enemy.

healed people

  • Write a letter to this enemy explaining how you want to make peace. How you want to let bygones be bygones, and start from this moment forward on a new path of peace and understanding.
  • Write a letter from the perspective of your enemy explaining how they feel about the conflict or disconnect. Why are they hurting? How have they been hurt? What makes them want to hurt you?
  • Write a story in which the main character is your enemy. What would they do in the story? Can you make this a story with a happy ending?
  • Construct a dialogue between you and your enemy. Try to express to each other how you feel and what you really want. Can this dialogue remain respectful and open-minded?
  • Post a photo, piece of art, or collage that offers a vision of peace between you and your enemy.
  • Write or sing a love story about two lovers from different sides of your conflict. Can they love each other in spite of their differences? What can we learn from these lovers? Will your story be a comedy or a tragedy?
  • Post a quotation or a group of quotations that relate to loving one’s enemies.
  • As objectively as possible, tell the story of how you became enemies. The goal here is to understand rather than blame. This prompt is for experienced peacemakers.

I know this is a very difficult challenge. I honor your intention to do whatever you can to meet this challenge. Maybe you can just post of photo or a quotation. Please know that I am here to support you in any way possible. {{{hugs}}} kozo

Don’t forget to link to at least one other B4Peace post and add your post to the Linkz collection. Here is how:

  • Copy your URL to the Linkz collection. You’ll find the link below. It’s the drunk blue frog smiling for peace. Click on it and follow directions.
  • Go visit this site to read and comment on other posts related to this Monthly Peace Challenge.

Monthly Peace Challenge: I Have a Dream

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Peace is spreading. Last month’s peace challenge had more participants than any other peace challenge this year! (So many people posted for peace that I have not gotten to all the posts yet. Sorry, I’m a bit behind due to back to back conferences.) We are also adding new bloggers for peace everyday thanks to the Daily Post Blog Events listing. I can feel the momentum of peace shifting. Let’s keep the ball rolling.

To help inspire the Bloggers for Peace (B4Peace), we will have a Monthly Peace Challenge. To participate, tag your post with B4Peace and make sure you copy your URL to the Linkz collection. Anyone who completes all twelve Monthly Peace Challenges will receive a Free B4Peace T-shirt.

It has been a little over 50 years since Martin Luther King gave his famous speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. One of my favorite parts of this speech was when Dr. King visualized what his dreams for America would look like:

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave-owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood…I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

Let’s visualize what a peaceful world will look like. For this month’s peace challenge, I challenge you to publish what your dream of peace looks like. Here are a few prompts. Feel free to use one or create your own.

  • With as much detail as possible, describe a day in a world full of peace.
  • What would the radio, internet, television sound/look like in a peaceful world?
  • Pick a spot in the world today that has conflict and re-vision this area as peaceful.
  • What would all the people who are in active duty to conflict do if we had world peace? How would we alter our spending, resources, and brain power if we didn’t have to worry about war?
  • Describe the world you want your children to live in. How would they feel? What would they be doing and with whom?
  • Pretend you are the only one living who remembers a world without peace. How would you describe how grateful you are to be living in a peaceful world?

Don’t forget to link to at least one other B4Peace post and add your post to the Linkz collection. Here is how:

  • Copy your URL to the Linkz collection. You’ll find the link below. It’s the drunk blue frog smiling for peace. Click on it and follow directions.
  • Go visit this site to read and comment on other posts related to this Monthly Peace Challenge.

Beautiful Blog Quotation—BBQ

While searching for quotations for the Monthly Peace Challenge, I noticed how many wise and inspiring quotations came from blogging friends’ posts and comments. So I’ve started a new series called BBQ—Beautiful Blog Quotations.

Feel free to join the fun.

  • Take a quotation from a favorite blogger
  • Create a BBQ post with the quotation
  • Link back to the blogger you quoted
  • Tag your post BBQLUV
  • Link to other BBQLUV posts (optional)

Hurt people hurt people

I love this quotation from Broadblogs.com blogger, Georgia Platts. It took me a few reads to figure out it wasn’t a typo, but when I finally got the message, it hit me like a left hook. As a survivor of abuse, I have definitely hurt people. Part of my drive towards peace and compassion stems from guilt from hurting so many others in my past.  What really strikes me about this quotation is the compassion it cultivates for both those who hurt and those who are hurt.

If you haven’t dropped by Broadblogs.com, treat yourself to some sexy politics that will transform your views towards men, women, sex, beauty, and media.

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

Have you hurt others due to past hurt? Please share.