Peace is Not the Absence of Conflict

“Peace is not an absence of conflict, it is the IMG_1467ability to handle conflict by peaceful means.” – Ronald Reagan

Since conflict will never go away the most important lesson here is the acceptance of conflict.  Not only outside  conflict but even more important  is the conflict within yourself.

I’m talking about the conflict of… I want to express myself, but oh no society and people will think I’m weird so let me play it safe.  Or how about the conflict of… don’t take too much or don’t make too much because you’ll run out  and there will not be enough for everybody  else and you will be criticized versus… the  universe is abundant U2 can have love, you too can make a fortune or you too can be absolutely healthy.

Conflict will never go away, you cannot have good without evil or evil without good . They depend on each other.   This obviously is an in-depth subject which could be studied for a lifetime. Bottom line is that when we except conflict is inevitable we stop resisting and it stops persisting.  Yeah… Remember that other cliché: what you resist persists? Thoughts to ponder!


If one lights a fire for others, one will brighten one’s own way

“if one lights a fire for others, one will brighten one’s own way.”  Nichiren Daishonin

Up until the age of about 27 I lived a pretty selfish life. By the time I was 25 I had already made a couple million dollars  and  was  living a life of high-adventure and luxurious extravagance in Aspen Colorado. You would’ve thought I had everything and was the happiest guy in the world, but in reality I was very unfulfilled. There was something very fundamental missing from my life .

The first thing I discovered was missing I only found out about when I hit rock bottom  emotionally and was forced to really take a deep look at myself. It was at this time when my twin brother suggested I go back to chanting a Buddhist mantra which we had learned from our mother in high school.

Since the practice also involved reaching out to help others who are in need, It was my first real experience with going out of my way and sacrificing my life to help others and not myself.

It was a major struggle over my lesser ego, but  over the period of about a year or two I began to feel fulfilled, less angry, more happy and it was all because I was lighting a light for someone else instead of myself.

Since then I’ve helped literally thousands of people from the influence of  my music to  the yoga I teach and the books i wright and my greatest joy is indeed to light that fire  for someone else.

Expectedly and return my life has since been protected by unseen forces.  Gifts, beautiful people and blessings come my way on a regular basis and I am eternally thankful for my brother encouraging me and for the decisions I’ve made to lead a life of service.

So I encourage you to open the door for someone else either literally or figuratively and watched your own path brighten each day.

Do You Watch A Lot Of TV? Passiveness and Inertia Are the Enemies of Hope

Wise Man Diasaku Ikeda says:  “Hope is born of difficult struggles. It comes from the courage and passion to spare no effort. too much tv will kill youPassiveness and inertia our enemies of hope. To live one’s life passively and from force of habit is to allow oneself to drift towards unhappiness.”

Every time I get lazy or just do something from the force of habit which doesn’t create much valueI like to read this quote. I’d say without out of a doubt the worst thing in the world that creates passiveness and inertia is television.  While there are some worthwhile programs and inspiring documentaries the majority of all television creates passiveness in anti-value.

Not only does television take you away from your dreams and desires which light your fire and keep you moving forward in this life, but a whole host of physical reactions are triggered, like the slowing down of your metabolism, the accumulation of fat and the turning off of your frontal lobe; the part of your brain that learns and grows.  Of course the effects of too much TV can range anywhere from diabetes, to cancer, to bad dreams to insomnia and lots of other not so nice things.

So when the world is run by the media, televisions and smart devices what is one to do to stay active and create as much value as possible in this lifetime?

First of all in regards to television, I think it’s important to take time for entertainment and relaxation so I give myself one hour per day about 5 days a week to do that.   A friend recently told me she has nightmares all the time and that watching violence on TV only makes it worse. This makes sense, you are what you eat and you think about what you listen to.  So if I watch Netflix or some other TV station I tend to Watch things that are inspiring in uplifting.  Recently I watched CT Fletcher on Netflix, a super inspiring story about sixth time World champion power lifter see T Fletcher. After watching I was inspired to push on in my own dreams and make them a reality quite the opposite a passiveness and inertia. So I think the challenge is really limiting yourself to the hours you watch and of course what you watch.

And secondly, there aren’t a whole lot of things that will get you more motivated then exercise. Life is like a spinning top, things spinningtopin motion tends to stay in motion, While things on the couch 10 do stay on the couch.  If you’re not already on a daily exercise routine, you will undoubtedly fall prey to passiveness and inertia. If this is you, try speedwalking for 30 minutes a day until you feel like you’re ready to do something more like addressing the rest of your body with yoga and weights and maybe some fun activities like biking, Hiking or surfing.

Please feel free to share your insight on how you battle passiveness and inertia.


Stonewalling ruins 90% of all relationships – How’s Your Communication?

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Ever had an acquaintance, lover, spouse, friend or family member, put up walls, halt or disable communication?  You know… 3 days to respond to your text,stonewalling completely avoid your email, blow off your phone call or maybe they just look or walk away from you in mid conversation?  Unfortunately this is human nature, as most people are just trying to take care of themselves.  Absorbed in their own affairs and problems, most people simply don’t have the capacity to communicate or care for anyone other than themselves and their immediate family members, if that.

The only problem is that Stonewalling is the worst thing you can do in any relationship and according to scientific studies by Dr. John Gottman accounts for roughly 90% of all divorces.  But stonewalling and its effects are not exclusive to marriages and extends into all relationships from acquaintances to marriages and points to how you live your life in other areas as well.

But I Just Want To Get Rid Of Them

Ok, so you may have a reason to discontinue communication, stay away from someone or they may not be good for your life.  Unless you’re on a dating site or other online site where you’re approached by a total stranger, stonewalling is never a good decision because here’s what it says:

“I don’t have the capacity, nor the courage to respond so I completely decline and resign myself to put up a wall or worse… bury my head in the sand like an ostrich.”

Of course if you can respond with intelligence, compassion, sincerity and honesty this frees you to experience better communication in all of your relationships.

Not enough time?

Sorry, this isn’t an excuse, its a lack of capacity and effort to manage your time.  I don’t give a freak what you look like, how hot you are, how much influence you have or how famous you are, if you can’t respond to someone who is NOT a total stranger where it only takes two seconds of your life, then there is only one reason: FEAR! Because It sure ain’t love, compassion or courage.

Mastering Both Sides of The Equation

Now it’s time to evaluate both sides of the equation because we all have been guilty of stonewalling at one time or another and we’ve all experienced the empty feeling of being stonewalled.  If you’ve been stonewalled, this is the time for compassion and understanding because 99% of the time its not you thats the problem.   Instead of taking it personally try thinking of this person as a dear friend or family member and don’t give up on them.  At a minimum, just know they are struggling with communication, integrity and most likely selfish issues as well.  They may not show it on the surface, but deep down they suffer from anxiety about themselves, perhaps have frequent bad dreams and are eternally discontent.  

And if you have a spiritual practice you can pray for their happiness, which will bring instant relief as you are rising above rather than getting get stuck in the same mud as the stonewaller. 

Why Do People Stonewall?

I’m not broke,  ugly, overweigh, desperate, or selfish, and I’ve devoted my life towards helping the greater good, but I do find myself getting stonewalled even from people in the yoga community, which are supposedly people with higher standards and greater insight into the ways of the spiritual world (supposedly).  So what’s happening here?  Why do people stonewall and what are they afraid of?  

As a stonewaller in my youth, my own shortcomings were due primarily to immaturity and spiritual disconnection.  The fear of course was also directly related to immaturity and disconnection because lets face it, when you’re immature, taking responsibility for your life isn’t exactly your strongest suit nor is connecting to spiritual guidance and becoming integrous with your actions.  

So first we must be self-honest and admit to fear and spiritual disconnection until we can master our minds, choose to communicate and find the wisdom to stay on the side of great friend and trusted ally.  This is where realization links to the lightbulb in your life and allows you to communicate like a master. What do you need to say to honor your heart, your values and help yourself and someone else grow in the process?

How To Communicate To People You Don’t Want In Your Life

If you’re on a dating site and you don’t know the person so you decide not to communicate, this is not stonewalling this is saying I’m not interested or you’re not right for me.  But if you’ve met someone online or offline, entered into some sort of dialogue and you cannot communicate back (when they are obviously requesting info or asking a question) this is stonewalling.  On the other hand, If you feel someone is not good for your life and they are NOT a stranger, for instance…

  • This person is violating your values
  • You have a boyfriend/girlfriend and you’re not interested
  • You’re staying away from relationships and working on yourself
  • You think this person is a bad influence
  • This person brings you down instead of lifting you up

Instead of stonewalling, try communicating your true feelings or challenging them to reflect on their intentions.  For instance:

  • Thanks for reaching out, what are your intentions?
  • We are on the same team, how can we come together?
  • Hey best of luck with everything
  • Here is a course on personal development I recommend
  • Check out this non-profit I recommend you get involved
  • I’m going on vacation with my girlfriend/boyfriend this weekend but will get back to you later.

To become a great person requires great courage; the courage to connect, communicate and be honest instead of putting up walls.  With the courage to communicate, massive changes will occur in your life: better relationships, abundance in health from less stress, abundance in friendships as more people respect and want to be around you, etc, etc.

Hey lets face it, in the end the one with the most friends wins.  No, not Facebook friends you never talk to, I mean people who would come to your funeral or mourn your loss.   How many of these friends do you have?

Any comments or suggestions from your own personal experience are warmly welcomed.