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.

Everyday Thanksgiving: October/November 2013

This is my archive that I will post at the end of the month. Note that some of the things I am grateful for have not happened yet, but I am creating the reality of them happening through gratitude.

I learned a great thing about gratitude this month. Gratitude needs to be given without expectations of returns. I started gratitude practices because I read that they bring prosperity and wealth into one’s life. It turns out that this is true, but the ideas of prosperity and wealth are not what we usually associate with these words. Gratitude practices are deeply embedded in the acceptance of the present AS IS. We are already wealthy and prosperous if we are grateful. Hope this brightens your day.

October/November 2013

x wing fighter model Thank you for school picnics; jumpy houses; Star Wars (the original); birthdays; mindfulness for children at Insight Meditation Center.

Thank you for chicken soup to nurse a cold; ume plums; my son’s squishy cheeks; zafu pillows; ear phones.

Thank you for vegetarian family meals; Japanese yams; carpooling; spinach salads; eyebody exercises; blogs.

Thank you for parent teacher conferences; carbon footprints; friendly strangers; strange friends; the love of my brothers.

Thank you for reconciliation; David Daeda’s gender analysis; David Richo’s NVC;  Curry Up Indian Food; a day in the hills of Marin.

Thank you for the amazing interview with Dr. Ted Zeff; highly sensitive boys; compassionate men; my son’s love; family photos.

Thank you for Dr. Rick Hanson’s generosity; Vipassana friends; free lunch at Google; horchata; flavored water.

Thank you for children’s floss; wooden trains; FastTrak; giving up the need for security in money; photos taken by friends.

Thank you for restarting my gratitude practice; my wife and my new workshop idea; long car rides with my wife; 4 AM meditation; 6 disc CD changers.

Thank you for Goenkaji’s teaching; eradicating sankhara; the Eckarte Tolle book my sister-in-law lent me; The Way of Liberation by Adyashanti; Dharmaseed.

Thank you for a day without conflict; water in a glass; the infinite now; Ender’s Game; empathic main characters; science fiction.

Thank you for Pali chanting; St. Francis de Assisi; putting holds at libraries; Interchange Counseling; Steve Bearman.

Thank you for counseling; clienting; not trying to fix anything; loving my clients; loving my work.

Thank you for sincerity; authenticity; the courage to tell my story; zafu pillows; guided meditation.

Thank you for Bearded Papa; fruit plates shaped like faces; walking through horse stables; Molokai; Jamaica Osorio.

Thank you for Richard Rohr’s insight; Meng Tan agreeing to do an interview; cosmic connections; giving attention to my wife; going down the rabbit hole of my fantasies to discover my need of being wanted.

Thank you for free art projects at the library; playing London Bridges with 20 kids; library volunteers; napping after lunch with my 3 year old; homework club.

IMG_0751Thank you for my nephew’s love for my sons; ping pong with kids; magic tricks; garage playrooms; trading inspirational youtube videos with my nephew.

Thank you for a silent conversation with a cat; non-violent communication with my brother; hugs from strangers; watching a master counselor in action; finding allies serendipitously.

Thank you for writing my bio and having the courage to share it with others; understanding from those who thought I might offend; a trajectory towards heaven; Fort Mason in SF; farmer’s markets on Sunday.

Thank you for a beautiful day at the beach; gender talks with my new friend A.S.; revealing my heart and getting smiles in return; caring for others; learning to feel adequate.

Thank you for discovering a new sangha at an Adyashanti discussion group; the amazing story of parental love and non-attachment  I heard today; getting the boys to school on time today; the cheeky slow driver who made me realize how silly it is to rush; the saying “sin happens whenever we refuse to keep growing.”

Thank you for my son’s meltdown to teach me about compassion; all the supportive comments I received from my lovely blogging friends; the hug my son gave me after the meltdown; more than a year of knowing Rarasaur; one of the parents who texted me empathy.

Thank you for the Family Feast at my son’s school; homemade Acai shakes; happiness from doing good; fierce gentleman.com; Fr. Richard Rohr agreeing to a live interview for the Compassionate Interviews Series.

Thank you for a wonderful interview with Meng Tan; the Star Wars exhibit at the Tech Museum; my son’s understanding that Darth Vader is not a “bad guy,” just a hurt person who hurts others; X-Wing fighters; “Trust your feelings, Luke” advice from Obi Wan Kenobi.

stormtrooperThank you for the film I Am; sleeping in the living room with my son; all the compassionate men out there; Dyson Blade handdryers; the excitement of the holidays.

Thank you for closed city parks that we got all to our selves; anyone who cleared out all the poison oak near the creek; chocolate covered pretzels; massage chairs at Costco; Macklemore’s song “A Wake.”

Thank you for the smoked turkey by my step father; mashed potatoes from Mitch; all the cousins playing with my sons; the wonderful emails I got from new friends on Thanksgiving; a family gathering without any reactions or negativity.

Thank you for a wonderful play date with Natalia; the beautiful warm weather; tennis in the park; stealing snacks from my kids; school starting again.

Thank you for Frozen; my 3 year old’s crush on both the princesses in Frozen; Olaf from Frozen; Popcorn in a movie theater; frozen yogurt in November.

Good Guys and Bad Guys–Teaching My Children About Peace

Fox in Bath

The Lil’ Buddha

“Daddy, are sharks googuys or baaguys?” my three year old son asked while he was taking a bath.

It’s a legitimate question. I don’t want my son to classify all sharks as bad, but I also don’t want him to pet a shark because he thinks it is his friend. I heard a story of some little girls who got mauled by a bear because they ran up to it thinking it was a Care Bear.

My older son rescued me, “Sharks are not guys, right Daddy? Plus, there are no good guys and bad guys.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