Everyday Thanksgiving: May 2014

Just got back from the Greater Good Gratitude Summit where we spent a whole day learning about the benefits of gratitude. From better health to Olympic gold medals, gratitude is proven to be one of the most important practices we can incorporate into our lives.

May 2014

Thank you for my brother, nephew, and parents coming to Jett’s soccer game; Jett almost scoring 4 goals; superballs; sunscreen; water balloons.

Thank you for giving up on being cool; RSA animated videos; Fox wanting to play golf; bbq pits at parks; tamales.

Thank you for the joy of getting toy airplanes out of trees; rip sticks; riding on BMX tracks with Jett’s 16″ bike; reading about Atlantis today with Jett; another article published by The Good Men Project.

Thank you for a paying client; sharing an office with my wife; the power of movement in counseling; another transformative session with Gary Heine; freedom.

Thank you for Rara being safe; all the support we are generating through blogging for Rara; protective custody; realizing how the Universe spreads light to the darkest places; Rara getting over 250 likes on her post about being falsely accused.

Thank you for Fox saying, “Ok, Fine!”; realizing that that is a mantra for life; Evangelist calls with The Good Men Project; all the smiles I’m getting from other parents; a deep talk about the importance of emotional intelligence for our children with another parent.

Thank you for white snake lotus movement meditation; changing meditation pillows; Letmerun; teaming up with Ashley at letmerun to spread compassion; being on the Rebel Alliance of compassion for men.

Thank you for Jett’s koala diorama, origami; RSAnimate; understanding purpose, autonomy, and mastery; living purpose, autonomy, and mastery.

Thank you for Alfie Kohn on NPR; having too much to say about raising compassionate boys; Fox wanting to get a bike and helmet for me for my birthday; poetry as gifts; stamps.

Thank you for Temporal Thermometers; children’s Advil; staying at home with my feverish son; Sadhguru’s wisdom; Kumare.Sadhguru

Thank you for BBQ at my parents; hanging out with my cousins; a visit from Dr. Harry Edwards; rice crispies made with salted caramel; wiffle ball in the park.

Thank you for Mother’s Day dinner with my wife; chazuke; ume; $1 ice cream at McDonalds; hot summer nights.

Thank you for high fives with Vaibhavi; Wind in the cypress trees; a long talk about surfing and life with Lawson; Sadhguru videos; getting Ender’s Game DVD from the library.

Thank you for group processing; Kathy’s advice that everything will be ok eventually; Don’s power and softness; Laura getting raw about sexism; Mood Meter sessions with Jett.

Thank you for not getting over-involved in Jett’s soccer practice; playing wall ball with Jett; Bro Alerts; not reacting to getting no reaction from others; recognizing that aversive thoughts are an opportunity to deepen into compassion and equanimity.

Thank you for realizing the importance of mindset; finishing another track of the Raising Compassionate Boys Audio Program; Fox wanting to take a new way to school everyday–partly to spend more time in the car with me; a snail mail letter from Rara; vegan fruit pie.

Thank you for Fox’s “rainbow slide” watercolor painting; Father Richard Rohr’s two hour talk on silence; NVC empathy buddy training with Oliver; all the disrespect I receive to teach me patience and compassion; Vietnamese Garlic Noodles.

Thank you for Jett’s music performance; the joyous courage of children who haven’t been told they aren’t good enough yet; all the time I get to play with Jett and Fox; push up popsicles that don’t drip; my boredom with luxury.

Thank you for Robert Bly; taking initiative on the Good Men Project Men’s Groups; ancient wisdom hidden in myths, tales, and stories; Lisa Nicols talks; peace in Isla Vista.

Fox with AviatorsThank you for Boomerang Bay; aviator sunglasses for kids; pocky sticks; Harvey Jackins and Re-evaluation Counseling; lifeguards at public pools.

Thank you for Jett asking “Is that bad karma?” when someone stole his birthday gift in front of the restaurant we were eating at; three tables representing 3 generations of Hattoris at a Memorial Day lunch; silence; realizing all parts of my life are connected although they seem so different; all the brave men and women SERVING our country in the armed services.

Thank you for Roma telling me to speak from my toes; seeing embodiment as connection to everything; realizing that humility is the path to uncertainty which leads to freedom from knowing; more articles getting published by The Good Men Project; Esalen.

Thank you for Conversations with Compassion with Paul Ekman; Paul Ekman as an agnostic and psychologist admitting that the feelings of peace he experienced sitting with the Dalai Lama were “thick, palpable, and mysterious”; being invited to give a workshop at Bonfire Heights; Fox crying because he didn’t get to hug and kiss me goodnight; Dr. Doty giving me a hug.

“Guru is a four letter word”

Yesterday, I had a double guru experience. My son was home sick, so I couldn’t work. Instead, I finished watching a documentary called Kumare.

kumare

Here is the synopsis of Kumare:

“A provocative social experiment-turned-documentary, KUMARE follows American filmmaker Vikram Gandhi as he transforms himself into a wise Indian guru, hoping to prove the absurdity of blind faith. Instead, he finds himself forging profound connections with people from all walks of life — and wondering if and when to reveal his true self. Will his followers accept his final teaching? Can this illusion reveal a greater spiritual truth? Winner of South by Southwest’s Audience Award, KUMARE is an insightful look at faith and belief.

Watching this film simultaneously engendered doubts about gurus and inspired me to the spiritual powers of ordinary humans. Vikram Gandhi sets out to pose as a guru, but ends up transforming others lives, as well as his own, in the process. Still, I felt a bit jaded.

Then last night, I attended a Conversation on Compassion at Stanford University. A guru I had never heard about named Sadhguru eradicated any doubts I had about spiritual leaders, enlightenment, or gurus.

sadhguru at Stanford

Interestingly enough, Sadhguru started the talk by explaining how he entered spirituality as a skeptic, much like Vikram Gandhi.

“Even if one has the wrong intentions, but travels the right path, one will find the truth.”

Sadhguru acknowledged the skepticism around gurus: “Guru is a four letter work.” He explained that a guru is merely a “live roadmap,” not meant to be worshiped. He also assured everyone that when we are dealing with what is inside us, no one is better than anyone else. We might be in better physical shape than others or more intelligent, but when we look inside, we are all the same.

What most impressed me about Sadhguru was his insistence on serving others (although he didn’t see it as service since we are all one).

“If we do not do what we can do that is a disastrous life.”

“If your heart is full of love, then you can never do enough.”

Hearing these statements, I immediately thought about Rarasaur. It is my duty to help Rara. I will continue to send letters, love, and what money I can afford to help her out.

I hate to personalize this guru juxtaposition, but I couldn’t help but see it as a call and response. I started the day with some doubts, yet within hours those doubts were quickly abated. Part of me feels like I was calling on the Universe to show me a sign, and almost immediately the Universe answered. Coincidence? Serendipity? Destiny? It really doesn’t matter, because I’m a believer.

Do you believe in destiny, serendipity, or fate? Please share.