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

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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

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