Kobe & Gigi.

Some of us won’t grow old

Some of us will die too soon

They will not see another beautiful sunset

They won’t see their children grow

Their death is a tragedy

But an important lesson for us all

That life is short

Too short to hold grudges

Too short to be cruel

Too short to hate

Hold the ones you love closely tonight

For we truly don’t know what lies ahead

Show gratitude for your life

Show love to all

 

RIP Kobe Bryant, Gigi Bryant, & the 7 others who lost their lives today

You all will live on within your family & friends

 

 

Paving My Own Path.

Culture wants me a certain way

Break under the pressure

Bend my values

Ignore my instinct of compassion

Indulge my ego

Feed my darker side

How do I pave my own path with such pressure?

Constant flashing lights

Tell me to eat foods against my values of health & compassion

The talking heads on the screen tell me to fear the world

They have enticed me my entire life to choose greed, hatred, fear & apathy

Dividing me into a million labels

For me to fear the other

Not today

I will choose another path

Paved with compassion, understanding, & love

This is the path of the peaceful warrior

A path that doesn’t fight greed, anger, & hatred

It just focuses on growing peace by showing compassion, love, & understanding to all

True Compassion.

If you can show compassion to Hitler, Stalin, & Genghis Khan

You know true compassion

For compassion & love isn’t just for the innocent

But for those who harm other beings

Violence, judgment, & hatred will not bring peace

Only compassion will

Bring awareness that hatred lives within all human beings

Including ourself

If we truly want peace we must seek to understand

For love is the absence of judgment

You are Divine.

Divinity is found within all

Even if they don’t realize it

Buried under years of conditioning

Fear, anger & greed cover the jewel that is your true nature

To be kind

To help

To love

Wisdom is the process of unlearning

Unlearning old habits & beliefs that hold back us from touching true joy

Allowing us to see our true nature

Breaking Free of Status.

I have worked many jobs

None defined me

I have been a dishwasher

Yet managed corporate accounts

I have cleaned toilets

Yet managed a sales territory

I have taken out many of trashes

Yet have a college degree

Money & status do not define who we are

Our salary, benefits or lack of do not determine our self worth

Unless we allow them too

Ranking ourself & others by salary

Worrying constantly about how we portray ourself to others

Let’s break free today

The mental suffering of what others think of us isn’t worth it

The Battle Within

Divinity is found

Within you and I

But also ego

All humans have this battle within

Dark & light

Devil & angel

Ego & divine

Grow the divine fertile seeds with love & compassion

Acknowledge the ego

Bow to it

Feed it carefully

Feed it with understanding

Care for the darker side

For in caring for the dark we grow the light

Darkness, Transformation, and Redemption.

The darkest moments of my life led to the most transformation. The darkness brings self-reflection, awareness, and focus.  This is only if we do not numb the pain with alcohol, drugs, and/or overeating. When a family member suddenly dies or a relationship ends, we can have moments of pure awareness and clarity on what led to this moment in time.

My first experience with this transformation was when I was honest with my ex-fiance about my infidelity. She left me the following day. At first, I numbed myself with distraction but when her parents moved all her stuff out of our studio I was forced to sit in a dark & empty apartment. My first reaction was to run away and move to a new place. Luckily I chose to stay in my empty studio. The following weeks I cried every night in sorrow. Pain, suffering, and anxiety filled each moment until one day I picked up a book called “Buddhist Bootcamp” by Timber Hawkeye. Suddenly I was meditated 1 hour a day, reading, writing, eating healthier, and working out every day. I quit smoking and significantly cut down on drinking alcohol. My days were now filled with joy instead of sorrow. This all took place from March-May 2015 in San Luis Obispo, CA. Since then I have fallen back into old habits, relearn lessons, and also had new transformations from suffering. I began a journey of self-love, peace, forgiveness, and acceptance; a journey I am currently still on (and always will be). There is no destination on this path, only the love of the journey itself.

The famous Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh says “No Mud, No Lotus”. The beautiful lotus flower grows in the darkest and muddiest environments; I truly believe humans are much the same as the beautiful lotus flower. The right environment for growth usual consists of awareness, compassion, and love while we are suffering. Once we learn how to suffer, we suffer much less. Suffering can actually be the most transformative process of life if we allow it to be.

Through the darkness, we can transform ourselves and become the light to see out of the darkness. We accept the darker side of ourselves (and the world) with compassion, understanding, and peace. In this practice, we feed the light while accepting the dark. This allows for peace instead of war. The key to transformation is to sit with ourselves through the pain instead of distraction or numbing the pain. The coldest winters of my life have always ended with a warm inviting spring. All is impermanent, even the darkest of times.

 

With Aloha,

Johnny Hoffman