Guest Post: RARASAUR!!!!!!

Got a letter from Rara today asking me to publish this post because Grayson has had trouble getting internet access. Feel free to re-blog or send to anyone who knows Rara and her plight.

I skyped with a dinosaur!

How I’ve missed this icon on the blogosphere

The Space Between

There’s a cold science to the warm observance of art. Fancy galleries and museums all over the world apply careful calculations to the placement of viewing-benches and lights. It is a detailed symphony of diagonals and distance, measured to accompany the artistry and elevate the experience of beauty. At a certain angle, from a certain number of steps away, even your favorite masterpiece could look unappealing, or downright ugly, or worse–simply quiet. Can you even fathom the travesty of such a fate? To have something silenced by the space between when it could have spoken to you and shared its ageless secrets with the very insides of your soul? Such is the power of distance.

explodingdog.com

explodingdog.com

Anything can look gross from up close, but if you look even closer, most things become wondrous once again. It is an issue of science and the computations required to discover the perfect perspective.

For someone like me, life is as much about the observations as it is about the experiences. (It’s not that I don’t have a little adventurer in my heart–it’s that I have a giant scientist sitting on top of her.) I am constantly calibrating my perspective–growing and shrinking the space between myself and my observations with a dexterity evolved from life-long practice. The decision to look closer or step farther is a crafted science I learned from my father, but the act of doing so is an art I picked up from my mom. I continue to study the science, and act the art into existence. The goal is not to change reality, hide from truth, or eradicate the acknowledgement of all the world’s bad–but to shift a paradigm and to remember that everything under the sun has a place and purpose.

Rara quote

How it affects us on the outside is often unavoidable, but we can control how it speaks to our insides. We can translate it–changing what is whispered into a language that creates our best selves, and a landscape of our best possibility. Language is our legacy, after all–and, much like perspective, is a melody of science and art.

Today, the sun set over me. Her rays warmed the air and her shimmering power stilled the clouds. Fragments of orange and silky webs of red-purple shot around in all directions, kissing the ground with pink light. The sun herself glorified in the show–radiating inward as much as outward–reveling in her great celestial roundness and yawning into her cosmic nap.

Below her, on the dusty plateau around me, a baby jackrabbit chased a pale green apple, paying no mind to the schedules of stars. He tried to capture the fruit, but its size was too great for such small eager hands and it would simply roll away. The little rabbit didn’t seem to mind the chase–the treasured green prize was more than worth a weary hunt. A hundred feet above his tall ears and grand adventures, a bird flew in circles, stretching her wings and enjoying this brief moment of time where her wingspan was larger than the sun. She sang loudly, and her whistled song was about her freedom from everyone and her ownership of all the world. No one contested her tune or argued her claim, because no one could. Hers is a freedom that lives in her heart and an ownership of possibility that lives in her mind–and she is the only one who has power or providence there, in her insides, where the truth of her lives.

I mimicked her whistle and she approved–acknowledging my heart’s freedom with a proud slant of her head. I nodded back and caught another glimpse of the little rabbit. He was focused on apples and even less interested in whistled freedoms than in the mapping patterns of magnificent stars. I let myself absorb the secrets of the Sleeper, the Hunter, and the Singer. It required no shift of diagonal or distance because beauty such as theirs needs no elevation. Anyone who looks or listens will experience full measure of their truths–the sun’s faith in the sanctity of cycles, the rabbit’s dedication to the purity of the present moment, and the bird’s reminder that every soul is as free as it believes itself to be. I filled my mind with their wisdoms and carried the inspiration with me–down the pathway, past the guards, through the gates, and into my prison cell…

where I continued to whistle the song of my freedom.

Such is the power of perspective and beauty.

Love,

Rara

animation of sun

Everyday Thanksgiving: April 2014

My dear friend, Rarasaur, is in jail unjustly. Her absence in the blogosphere makes me grateful for all of you who blog, read, and comment. Rara loved these monthly downloads, so I’m dedicating this  gratitude post to her. We love you, Rara. Stay strong and patient. photo(2)

April 2014

Thank you for spiritual teachings on the internet; The Hunt; Trader Joe’s sausage; learning to act my age; giving up competing with younger guys in sports.

Thank you for an editor at a major online publication describing my article as “gorgeous”; Oliver reflecting to me how my compliments prevent interviewees from going deeper; the power of myth; Krishnamurti’s perspective on violence as any form of separation from others; Tera’s nickname “Kozy Kozo.”

Thank you for fresh blueberries, granola, and yogurt; downtown Los Altos on a sunny day; Truth is Love/Love is Truth;

Thank you for the article I wrote getting 10,000 likes on Facebook; an amazing conversation with Dr. Dan Siegel; Happy Feet massage for $20/hour; Jett scoring a goal from half field; all the interactions at the Stanford Compassion Consortium.

Thank you for Stanford catering; new ideas about running a business that is environmentally conscious; being happy at home; not craving for anything new; restaurants with outdoor patios that can handle 8 kids under the age of 7.

Thank you for letting go of socially conditioned definitions of success; reinforcement of the importance of compassion; showering with my son; giving others the freedom to think whatever they want about me; recognizing when I am separating myself from the greater good.

Thank you for alternative medicine; ice cream socials at Jett’s school; Mindset by Carol Dweck; abiding in uncertainty; slow growth.

Thank you for cooking bacon splatter-free in the oven; my wife being home more often; Fox’s love of touch; acting my age; mp3 downloads.

Thank you for books on cd; library holds; the connection between compassion and uncertainty; The Gratitude Summit; learning compassion from critical comments.

Thank you for my parents letting us use the Tahoe cabin; premade meals at Raley’s; Fox and Jett looking out the window quietly for the last hour of our road trip; full action soccer games adjacent to our under 7 league; new ideas for compassionate men articles.

Thank you for playing classic board games like Risk and Monopoly with Jett and Fox; coyotes crossing our path on our hike; Fox saying, “Look, sheep,” when he saw the coyotes; wolf prints in the snow; all the plants and grass that are springing back to life as the snow melts.

Thank you for small, non-chain eateries; train tracks; throwing rocks in the snow; butt prints in the snow; family hikes in the woods.

Thank you for the animated films of Miyazaki; family photos that never change; Fox and Jett remembering their Great Grandmother; mourning my Hawaiian Grandfather; Fred Luskin’s work on forgiveness.

Thank you for the bigger picture of what will we leave our children; realizing that trees and clean air are more important than being able to afford a college education; sleeping bags; croutons; high fives.

Thank you for a day at Great America; Jett’s joy while bouncing on a kid’s freefall ride; giant salted pretzels; Dr. Brooks talk on resilience in kids; awareness of awareness.

Thank you for understanding that compassion breeds resilience, but not visa versa; opening a space to embrace suffering both mine and others: understanding that life is suffering, so to fully embrace life, one must embrace suffering; The Last Temptation of Christ; The Gospel of Judas.

Thank you for the joyful shrieks of kids playing in the shorebreak; bike paths on the beach; watching the original Star Wars with Jett and Fox; discussing the Force with Jett; Jett using the Force to score 4 goals today.

Thank you for Ike’s sandwiches; the film Gravity; touches of silence in meditation; staying local for Easter; so much good stuff to read.

Thank you for playing wall ball with Jett and losing; all the men seeking to become more compassionate who are interacting with me; lunch with my wife at Whole Foods; Cameron Conaway from The Good Men Project tweeting my article out to his 12,000 followers; Rumi quotations.

Thank you for Fox telling us that taco shells are tortilla chips; tv time for the kids to give my wife and I some alone time; swiveling chairs for Jett and Fox to play on; new paper airplane designs; homemade tacos.

EMERGENCY Peace Challenge: Help Rarasaur!

I skyped with a dinosaur!

Rara Spreading Love like Fire

Those of you who know Rarasaur know in your heart of hearts how loving, generous, and inspiring she is. Bloggers for Peace would be a figment of my imagination without Rarasaur who designed both the logo and the Peacecat t-shirt for free.

Rarasaur Peace Cat

Recently, I’ve realized that at every moment, we have the choice to serve ourselves or serve others. Rarasaur spends a majority of her time serving others.

For those of you who don’t know, Rarasaur was falsely charged with a crime she did not commit. With no resources to defend herself, Rarasaur has become a pawn in the criminal justice system.

I am asking you to reach into your hearts and give to help one of the greatest peacemakers in the blogosphere. If you have ever visited Rarasaur.wordpress.com, please donate to her freedom fund by clicking here: http://rarasaur.wordpress.com/2014/05/06/i-didnt-go-to-jail-today-and-other-notes/

bannerI’m also asking all Bloggers for Peace who know Rarasaur to publish a post devoted to Rarasaur that links to this donation page.

We often are unable to see the ramifications of much of the work we do for peace. In this case, every post you publish and every cent you donate has measurable and concrete effects on the peace in the world. Please help Rara now.

May you all find peace and joy. May you be free from suffering. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo Hattori

T-Shirt Love

The Bloggers for Peace T-shirts are in!

Boys with T-shirt

I will start sending them out to all the bloggers who completed all 12 Peace Challenges in 2013 as soon as the lines at the post office calm down from Tax Day.

For those of you who didn’t do all the Peace Challenges last year, but still want a t-shirt, Rarasaur and Goldfish set up a RedBubble site where you can buy one! http://www.redbubble.com/people/b4peace

Peace Cat T-shirt at RedBubbleSo thankful for everyone who has made B4Peace a reality. {{{Hugs}}}} Kozo

The Meaning of [My] Life

The Universe has been conspiring lately to help me realize what the meaning of my life is. It started a few months ago when I posted a Beautiful Blogger Quotation from Broadblogs.

Hurt people hurt peopleI followed this post with a corollary I came up with.

healed people

After starting Bloggers for Peace and counseling clients at PeaceinRelationships.com, I realized that I am a healer. The more I heal myself, the more I am able to heal others. Blogging helps me heal myself, so I can heal others. In addition, when others heal, they become healers–they stop hurting in both senses of the word. Thus, ripples of healing extend out in ways we can’t even imagine.

Then, the amazing Rarasaur commented on my post “How to Win An Argument” with some career guidance:

direction and love image

So I’ve set my direction as a healer who has healed himself with love. I believe in my heart of hearts that this is what I was put here to do.

Have you discovered what you were put here to do? How does blogging help you in your life? Please share.

Label Me A Loving Abuser

My 6 year old son would not get out of bed until 7:45 this morning. We have to leave for school at 8:15. Then he wouldn’t eat his eggs since he was distracted by his Pokemon cards, so I threw the cards in the garbage. This is when his meltdown started. It was 8 AM, so I asked him to put some clothes on which he threw back in my face. This is when my meltdown started. I grabbed him and put him in the car in his pajamas. Then I dragged him without shoes or a jacket in front of the whole school to his classroom. He was kicking and screaming the whole way, which is why I couldn’t put his shoes or jacket on.

The whole time I was seeing tunnel vision. I did not notice all the other kids laughing at my son or all the parents aghast at me dragging him across the rain drenched pavement without shoes. When we got to the classroom, I awoke from my sleep state and realized how much my son was suffering.

Onelove photoIt is International Label Day at Rarasaur’s house, so it only seems appropriate that I wear the label of abuser or bad father which is quite different from the photo I sent Rara with “LUV” scribbled across my forehead. But like I told Rara in the comments, “Labels like the ego are neither good nor bad. They are a necessary step in claiming our identities so that we can give them up to reach a higher consciousness or what Fr. Richard Rohr would call the Second Half of Life.”

One way I’m breaking the label of abuser is by how I treated my son after I realized that I was being irrational. As the survivor of physical abuse, I speak from experience when I say that although the beatings hurt, they were not the cause of the deepest emotional scars. What really tore me up as a child was the lack of compassion from my step-father and mother AFTER the beatings. No one ever comforted me and explained to me why I was beaten. No one put an arm around my shoulder and told me that the beatings were done out of love.

Jett at school

Photo of Jett Post-Meltdown

So I told the teacher that Jett would be late and we went back home. At home, I let my son pick out his favorite shirt. I washed his feet, fully aware of the religious connotations of this action, and warmed up his half-eaten breakfast. I explained to him how sorry I was for taking him to school in his pajamas, but also how sad I was that he refused to listen to me. I told him that I loved him, but I needed his cooperation if we were going to get to school on time. I also told him how to handle any teasing that the other kids might dish out today. I will make sure to check in with him after school and honor any shame he felt in front of the other kids at school.

Being a compassionate man is hard. Raising compassionate boys is even harder. Social conditioning and past scars take constant vigilance to overcome. The good news is that compassion is a skill that can be learned over time. We can heal ourselves and heal others in the process.

Although I am not proud of my actions today, I am thankful for the growth I displayed and the hug my son gave me when he finally got to his classroom.

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

Have you transcended your labels? How? Please share.

 

 

Beautiful Blogger Quotation: Rarasaur

quotation from Rarasaur

I’ve been wanting to use quotations from Rarasaur ever since I started BBQ. Today, I read one of her posts (http://rarasaur.wordpress.com/2013/11/05/did-the-captain-of-the-titanic-cry/) that floored me. It changed my view of love, relationships, and life.

I’m asking anyone who reads this to try to be the person Rara is talking about–be someone who believes in others regardless of all their worst moments. If we can do that, world peace is a piece of cake.

This post is part of 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)

BBQ logo

forpeace6

BBQ: Tracy from FEC-This

Tracy Quote

 

They say that hardship brings wisdom. I couldn’t agree more because Tracy from FEC-THis has had hardship and she is one of the wisest bloggers I know. I’m sure you agree after reading the quotation above. For more wisdom check out Tracy’s blog: http://fecthis.wordpress.com/

This post is part of 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)

BBQ logo

The amazing Rarasaur has made a logo for Beautiful Blog Quotations. Feel free to copy, paste, and resize the logo and put it on your blog as a badge or use it in your post.

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

What do you think makes us human? Please share.

Let’s Win!

For those of you who don’t know already, I have a blog crush. Every time this blogger hits publish, my heart flutters. Like the boy who finally gets the nerve to ask the girl who has been dancing all night for a dance, I usually get turned down when I approach these triple Freshly Pressed celebrities. But this blogger has more heart than the average dancing queen, so she agreed to guest blog for EverydayGurus. I can’t think of a more appropriate guest blogger, since this blog is about spreading the peace and her blog is about spreading the love. I’m so honored to present the incredible Rarasaur.

p.s. The related articles links below are my doing, not Rarasaur trying to drum up traffic which she doesn’t need. Please check out the magic in these other posts by the most popular dinosaur on wordpress.

Related Articles

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Video games can be a great framework for solution-oriented thinking, and perhaps my experience with them is to blame for my constant desire for a game plan. When I hear things like, “Let’s reclaim humanity”, I don’t want to talk about how we’ve lost sight of kindness, or the good ol’ days, or oil spills, or human trafficking.

I want to talk about what we can do, right now, to win it back.  Here’s how it’d look different if we treated our big issues like a well-coordinated video game.

THE PRIORITIZATION AND IMPORTANCE OF GOALS

ghostIn a video game environment, let’s say the goal is finding a ghost pirate. A first tier goal would be learning how to sail a ship to the island. A second tier goal would be becoming a pirate so you would be able to sail the ship.

You’re not playing the game right if you make finding grog the whole point. Nor can you seek out the ghost pirate if you skip the first or second tiered goals.

It’s important that you see all the missions, but that you keep the big win in mind– because you don’t want to become so focused on a mini goal that you destroy your ship and thus any chance of finding the ghost pirate.

There’s a balance, and a big picture– and an ever-present list of everything that is important.

We need something similar to solve the world. What do we want? In a sentence, what is the big picture goal?  World peace? Happiness? No more hunger? Literacy? An educated world peoples united in our love for mother Earth?

The next step: what tasks do we need to accomplish in order to achieve our goals?

THE CONSCIOUS CHOOSING OF ENEMIES

hqdefaultIn a video game, it’s easy to feel like the bartender is your enemy because he doesn’t supply you with the information you need in the first mission. You’ll be prompted to choose your response– you can thank him anyway, or toss your drink in his face.

In real life, we do a lot of drink tossing. When someone explains that their agenda is different from our own– when someone risks saying that they voted Republican, or that they’re more concerned with the gun control than feminism, or when they feel like farming is the most important industry in the world– we very often burn our bridges with them. We dramatize their status as enemies. We say that they don’t understand, that they’re keeping us down, and that they are standing in our way.

But if you’ve ever played a video game, you know what happens in the next scene.

That’s right, the bartender becomes your best ally. You were kind, and now you have his trust.

There’s no underestimating the power of kindness, and there’s no benefit to seeing bad guys everywhere you look.  We need to stop and think– has destroying opposing opinions, and converting non-believers, become more important than achieving our unified goal?

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF LIMITATIONS

You are powerful, and your strength is infinite. However, not all resources are so grounded in eternity. Money, skills, and time are all in short supply. The truth is, though, most people manage fine without all of them– or even most of them– and in some cases, any of them.

In a video game, it’s not uncommon to come across a village of people who don’t speak your language. You can’t just start talking and expect results. You have to find a translator, or you have to learn the language. You are limited by both skill and time, and it’s something you simply have to accept. Once you accept it, you can change it.

oblivion_skillsIt’s much the same in real life. Just talking doesn’t solve problems because you’re so often speaking to people who may not understand. It’s a limitation, but it’s one we can overcome with patience.

Because of limitations, it’s also not healthy in a game to spread your skill points around. For example, if you have 5 players on your team, and 10 coins that could make someone into a full-blown wizard– there would be no point in giving each player 2 coins that would only allow them a minor magic level. Allocation of your resources is something that a gamer can spend hours on, but in real life– we breeze by. We regularly mis-allocate our limited resources. We throw our money at a cause without really thinking of what it’s doing, or where it’s going. We do the same with our time and skill.

We have to ask ourselves: At what point is donating to awareness taking away from donating to research or charity-to-person action? What does winning a governmental presence do for our big picture if we don’t have one?  Should we be spending fundraising dollars inwards, or in partnerships? Are we preaching to people in a language they don’t understand?

THERE’S NEVER TOO MUCH EDUCATION

Skyrim_TrainingIt’s not uncommon in games to be stopped by people wanting to show you how to sword fight, or make grog, or use intergalactic time portals. It seems random, and fanciful, but it’s really not.

Life has many opportunities for education, too. A gamer never passes an opportunity for education, because you never know when you’ll discover the missing puzzle piece that helps you win the game.

If you think you can’t change the world, educate yourself.  Learn how much impact every one of your actions has, regardless of whether you are the hero or side-kick.

And when you begin to understand that (like a gamer in a game environment) you change your surroundings simply by existing in them– continue to educate yourself so the changes you make push us towards the win.

We can do it!

YouWin

Assuming all things are possible, what is big goal should the world be working towards? Do you have any tricks for seeing friends where ego and fear might make you see enemies? How do you continue your life-long education?

Run Silent, Run Deep

For the next 10 days, I will be underground, off the grid, into the wild. I am attending a 10 day silent Vipassana meditation retreat. The code of discipline states that we cannot bring cell phones, computers, books, or journals to the retreat, so I guess I won’t see you guys until October 20th. boys meditating

I do, however, have some surprises for you. Two amazing bloggers have offered to guest blog on EverydayGurus. I’m asking you to show them the same appreciation, gratitude, and love you share on this blog every week.

Unfortunately, I won’t be able to partake in the discussion, but I will respond to all comments when I return. {{{hugs}}} to all. Kozo