Tag Archives: Death

Time doesn’t stop. Our friend, death is cheering us on to live a happy and fulfilling life!


Time doesn't stop. Our friend, death is cheering us on to live a happy and fulfilling life!

Time doesn’t stop. Our friend, death is cheering us on to live a happy and fulfilling life!

I do my best to make the most of every step in my life: childhood, teens, young adult, and adulthood. I cherish every moment, every stage of my life.

I try my best in everything I do: sports, community organizations, education, art, politics, law, business, and most importantly, time with my loved ones. I’m excited to learn more and provide value for others.

I make time to be with my loved ones.

Time doesn’t stop. Our friend, death is cheering us on to live a happy and fulfilling life!

———-

Enter the +positive masters+ universe at www.positivemasters.com for mindset practices, motivational writing, and apparel with inspirational mantras and designs to boost your happiness and counter any stress, anxiety, sadness or anger that you may be facing. ❤️

Leave a comment

Filed under Blog, Creative Writing, E-commerce, Happiness, Life Coach, Mental Health, Mindfulness, Mindset, Motivational, Positive Living, Psychology, Quotes, Writing

Ghostly apparition, don’t worry, we’re not afraid of you.


Ghostly apparition, don't worry, we're not afraid of you.

Ghostly apparition, don’t worry, we’re not afraid of you.

Ghostly apparition, don’t worry, we’re not afraid of you.
There are things you wish you did, things you wish you said.
We appreciate the love you gave and the many things you did.
You are remembered in this world of the undead.

– poem, +positive masters+, Jon Riki Karamatsu, 2/11/2020 –

Enter the +positive masters+ universe at www.positivemasters.com for mindset practices, motivational writing, and apparel with inspirational mantras and designs to boost your happiness and counter any stress, anxiety, sadness or anger that you may be facing. ❤️

Leave a comment

Filed under Blog, Branding, Creative Writing, E-commerce, Poems, Writing

If you can fully embrace the unpredictability of your death, you will truly live in the present and appreciate every moment before you now.


None of us can predict when and how we will die. If you can fully embrace the unpredictability of your death, you will truly live in the present and appreciate every moment before you now.

None of us can predict when and how we will die. If you can fully embrace the unpredictability of your death, you will truly live in the present and appreciate every moment before you now.

None of us can predict when and how we will die. If you can fully embrace the unpredictability of your death, you will truly live in the present and appreciate every moment before you now.
– +positive masters+, Jon Riki Karamatsu, 1/20/2020 –

On Thursday, January 17, 2020, my mom called my cell phone. Her voice was filled with elation and joy, “Mia got the job at Stanford University!” My younger sister Mia is a trauma care doctor, a partner of a group of medical doctors at California Pacific Medical Center at San Francisco, California.

“Oh man, I’m so happy! I’m so happy for her! This is awesome!” My voiced cracked with joyful laughter.

My mom continued, “Earlier, I heard dad cheer, ‘Wohoo!’ probably when Mia told him the good news!” My dad was talking with Mia on the phone before my mom. For those of you who know my dad, this type of celebratory action by him is extremely unusual. He’s normally stoic and logical, fitting for a former electrical engineer who helped build and fix nuclear submarines and warships at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Mia fulfilled a dream of my mom’s mom, my grandma Ellen Sakai. When my two sisters and I were little, she told us that we should become doctors. She emphasized how important doctors were. Grandma also told many of her other grandchildren this.

One Summer, while I attended Summer classes at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, majoring in political science, I was living with her and grandpa Tadao Sakai at their small home on Citron Street, in the heart of McCully, Honolulu, Hawaii. Grandma and I had another one of those talks about whether or not I would become a medical doctor.

“Grandma, I plan to go to law school.”

“Ah, lawyers are dime-a-dozen,” she answered.

“I’m not going to be a regular lawyer, I’m going to be President of the United States.”

I smiled as my grandma laughed away. “No one knows you,” she said while continuing to laugh, “You have to be like Jon Yoshimura (a Honolulu politician who became the Chairman of the Honolulu City Council and had a segment on the local news station called “Ask a Lawyer” where viewers got their legal questions answered.). Why don’t you become a doctor?”

Years later, when Mia participated in the white coat ceremony at the John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Grandma Sakai’s face was filled with pride and joy. So was the expression on my grandma Bessie Karamatsu’s face, my dad’s mom. There was immense pride among all of us, my dad, mom, baby sister Lara, and I. To serve others as a medical professional is a great calling. Every single one of us needs a doctor. We all get sick. We all will die. It’s our doctor who will help us when we face every illness and disease, and ultimately, our death. It’s not just the skills and knowledge that our doctor continuously develops, but the empathic and caring words that he/she says to us that will help comfort our suffering.

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

Just as my sister Mia was embarking on an exciting new path of medical care practice, public speaking, and research and development to create new healthcare services and products at Stanford University, I picked up the book “When Breath Becomes Air,” an incredible memoir by Paul Kalanithi, who at the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon and neuroscientist, was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. And just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Paul’s transformation from a naïve medical student “possessed,” as he wrote, “by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life?”

As I read “When Breath Becomes Air,” I felt a deep sadness on how Paul Kalanithi’s potential was cut short from cancer, which mixed with the happiness I felt for my sister Mia who will be heading to Stanford University, starting this Summer to expand her medical career as a practitioner and researcher. The connection, Stanford University, made Paul’s story and my sister’s story very real, on top of them being the same age. You see, Paul did amazing work for Stanford University before he died. In addition to his work in the operating room as a neurosurgeon, he was a neuroscientist in a lab at Stanford University, where he worked on neural prosthetic technology that would allow paralyzed people to mentally control a computer cursor or robot arm. I kept thinking on how Mia and many other doctors will continue on their trajectory, something Paul would have loved to do.

I read this book in two sittings. His journey opened my eyes. I was in awe of the work neurosurgeons and neuroscientists do. It wrenched my heart as he struggled with his emotions and logic when faced with extremely difficult situations that brain trauma patients and loved ones of the patients face such as deciding whether to keep a patient alive knowing that the patient could risk losing knowledge of one’s self and everyone and everything around him/her. Without this function, a person loses his/her purpose. The innocence and excitement felt by Paul and his fellow medical classmates were replaced by fatigue, stress, and death after they ventured into their different residency programs at hospitals and medical centers across the country.

Paul’s writing brought me into his world as if I was with him through his every struggle. I loved it when things seemed to be getting better for him and his wife. I chuckled at his humor. When he cried, I cried. I had to pause from my reading numerous times as tears streamed down my cheeks. In fact, I cried as I wrote this article in a Starbucks coffee shop in Waikele, Hawaii packed with people. That’s how impactful Paul’s book has been on me. He wrote it as he was dying, racing against precious seconds. I felt every word of his as if he was talking to me.

In the past, I’ve written numerous times about death and how embracing it can motivate us to be appreciative of everything we have and make the most of our life. However, unless I face my own dying moments, I won’t fully understand what it’s like to be dying, whether it’s quick and instant or slow and gradual. Likewise, none of you will know until it’s your time. Well, Paul, through his writing shows us exactly what he was feeling as he moved towards his death. His experience became my experience. I could see myself in his life and by doing so, I felt myself experiencing death surrounding me. I will forever keep Paul’s book close to me, opening it every time I stress about challenges for my businesses or clients, financial hardship, public ridicule for my failures, and facing prison time for my driving under the influence case, all of which look so small in comparison to dying.

I’ve lost a lot of loved ones over my lifetime. Last year was especially hard with the passing of my aunty JoAnn Matsumoto (My mom’s cousin and a former elementary school teacher), family friend Eric Kanemoto (My soccer coach, Cub Scout Master, Intermediate School teacher for metal shop, and my dad’s close friend. He and my dad coached my soccer teams, led the cub scouting program I was in, volunteered in the parent and teacher association for my Pearl City High School, and worked together on many other projects. They enjoyed talking with each other and the simple pleasures of life), and uncle Glenn Karamatsu (My dad’s younger brother and co-founder of a civil engineering firm in Hawaii). Reading “When Breath Becomes Air” has helped me cope with the deaths of my loved ones.

I love life. I’m extremely grateful to have an opportunity to try many things while I’m alive. I’m super appreciative of my dad, mom, sisters, nieces, nephew, relatives, and friends. And I’m thankful to be able to speak to you. As I move closer towards my death, I hope I’ll be strong, vulnerable, joyful, sad, and loving. After all, I went through it with Paul and felt his breath become air.

Love your life and make the most of it.

Dr. Paul Kalanithi, a neurosurgeon and neuroscientist, wearing his white coat.

Dr. Paul Kalanithi, a neurosurgeon and neuroscientist, wearing his white coat.

——-

I dedicate this article to Paul Kalanithi’s wife Lucy, daughter Cady, mom, dad, siblings, family, and friends.

Paul and Lucy Kalanithi at their wedding.

Paul and Lucy Kalanithi at their wedding.

Dr. Paul Kalinithi, Lucy Kalanithi, and their daughter Elizabeth Acadia.

Dr. Paul and Lucy Kalanithi with their daughter Elizabeth Acadia.

Dr. Paul Kalanithi, Lucy Kalanithi, and their daughter Elizabeth Acadia.

Dr. Paul Kalanithi, Lucy Kalanithi, and their daughter Elizabeth Acadia.

 

I also dedicate this article to my dad, mom, sisters, brothers-in-law, nieces, nephew, extended family, and friends.

To read Paul Kalanithi’s “When Breath Becomes Air,” click here: When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi.

Enter the +positive masters+ universe at www.positivemasters.com for mindset practices, motivational writing, and apparel with inspirational mantras and designs to boost your happiness and counter any stress, anxiety, sadness or anger that you may be facing. ❤️

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Blog, Branding, E-commerce, Entrepreneurship, Gratitude, Happiness, Inspirational, Life Coach, Mental Health, Mindfulness, Mindset, Motivational, Positive Living, Psychiatry, Psychology, Quotes, Writing

You’ve seen enough death to know that your time could be up at anytime. So work hard on how you want to be remembered as, now!


You've seen enough death to know that your time could be up at anytime. So work hard on how you want to be remembered as, now!

You’ve seen enough death to know that your time could be up at anytime. So work hard on how you want to be remembered as, now!

You’ve seen enough death to know that your time could be up at anytime. So work hard on how you want to be remembered as, now!

Accepting your vulnerability that you could die at any time is not something you may want to think about. However, there’s a way you can make it positive. You could look at your future demise as the celebration of your life:

(1) The people you’ve touched with your love and kind gestures;

(2) The positive impact you’ve made on others through your work on a service or product; and

(3) Beneficial content you’ve created for your loved ones and the greater community.

I’ve written down in my life plan, annual plans, and daily plans, the things I want to do for others and the community before I die. I schedule it in my calendar so I can execute most of them before my time is up.

For your fun homework, write down all the things you want to do that will be your legacy for your loved ones and the community. Write down even the craziest things you want to do that would be super impactful, practical, educational, or fun! Next, write them into your life plan, annual plans, and daily plans. Most importantly, schedule them into your calendar and execute on them!

Love you! Sending positive energy to you!

With Warmest Aloha,
Jon

+positive masters+ is an e-commerce store at www.positivemasters.com that provides mindset practices, motivational writing, and apparel with mantras to boost your happiness and counter any stress, anxiety, sadness, or anger that you may be undergoing.

Shop at www.positivemasters.com during our Holiday Season Sale of 50% off and free shipping for the entire store from 11/29/2019 to 12/11/2019!

Leave a comment

Filed under Blog, Branding, Creative Writing, Inspirational, Life Coach, Mindset, Motivational, Positive Living, Quotes, Writing

My love, it’s been years since I’ve seen you.


My love, it's been years since I've seen you.

My love, it’s been years since I’ve seen you.

I still see you smiling at me, trapped in a time when we seemed to have everything.

It’s like I’ve lived another life since then.

I only have days left in this world.

I can’t wait to hug you. I love you.

– +positive masters+ , Jon Riki Karamatsu, 11/18/2019 –

+positive masters+ is an e-commerce store at http://www.positivemasters.com that provides mindset practices, motivational writing, and apparel with mantras to boost your happiness and counter any stress, anxiety, sadness, or anger you may be facing. We offer free shipping for purchases of $50 or more! 🛍️

Leave a comment

Filed under Blog, Branding, Business, Creative Writing, E-commerce, Entrepreneurship, Love, Love Story, Quotes, Writing

Creative Writing, a Remedy for Stress, Anxiety, & Sadness.


Counter stress, anxiety, and depression by writing in you diary, journal, or blog. Write a novel or nonfiction.

[The following content is from a blog post I wrote at www.positivemasters.com, an e-commerce store that provides lifestyle practices, creative writing, books, apparel, accessories, and fashion to boost your happiness and counter your anxiety and depression.]

Creative Writing, a Remedy for Stress, Anxiety, & Sadness.

You’re grieving the latest round of loved ones who passed away, a close family member and a dear family friend, both with caring and happy personalities, and both Positive Masters. You’re putting out fires fueled by personality clashes in a non-profit organization you’re leading that’s suppose to promote inner peace. Phone calls and emails get thrown at you from your business partners and vendors, telling you everything that’s going wrong. Payments aren’t coming in from your clients while your attorney defending you for your driving under the influence case is needing his payment. Oh, and for that driving under the influence case, the court threw the book at you for not being a good role model as a politician so you’re facing five days in jail. Business events, charities, and parties with alcohol was your escape from your stress back then. In your inner circle, a close friend is in the lowest point of his life and another is going through a painful divorce. On top of this, you’ve got so many things to do on a couple of other start-up business projects that gives you anxiety. When you stop working, your dark monkey mind haunts you at night and as soon as you wake up, telling you everything that could go wrong.

Your muscles tense up, your heart beats harder, and your breaths become shorter. A part of you wants to fade out. You picture Luke Skywalker meditating on the large, flat rock on a cliff on a remote island on the planet Ahch-To. His spirit is being astral projected to the planet Crait to face-off the entire First Order to defend his loved ones, until his energy is depleted, and ultimately, he fades away with the sun setting in Ahch-To to be one with the force, leaving the rest of us to live on, facing the dark side without him.

So you go into your office, close your door and meditate. After a few minutes, you feel a cozy sensation, like you’re being hugged. It’s from the presence of your grandparents on both sides of your family.  Both of your grandmothers radiate loving warmth to you. Your mother’s father who was very close to you, gives you extreme comfort, like he did when he was alive. His positive energy is so strong, no words are needed, just his presence. Then you hear the words from your father’s father. You don’t hear it, you feel it. “Jon, it’s just money. You can make more. It’s just five days in jail. I’m investing in you. Keep going.”

“I miss you so much. I love you,” I tell them as tears stream down both of my cheeks. I feel their warmth slipping away to the chill of the air from my air conditioner. My breaths are now deeper and longer, relaxing my body, and most importantly, relaxing my soul.

I pack my loyal robots, slipping my smartphone into the pocket of my cargo shorts and placing my laptop into my favorite backpack that I’ve been using since my days in law school, and headed off on my usual path to my neighborhood coffee shop to get back to work on my vision.

#creativewriting #writing #quote #quotes #motivationalquotes #positivequotes #story #writer #fiction #novel #nonfiction #stress #anxiety #sadness #death #starwars #stressremedy #anxietyremedy #sadnessremedy #keepgoing #mindset #positivemindset #psychology #therapy #counseling #psychologists #psychiatrists #apparel #fashion #shirts #tshirts #streetwear

Leave a comment

Filed under Blog, Books, Branding, Business, Creative Writing, E-commerce, Fashion, Happiness, Life Coach, Mental Health, Positive Living, Psychology, Quotes, Writing

The darker I go, the more I grow.


The darker I go, the more I grow.

I talk to parts of me I didn’t know.

Sparks light up everywhere, causing a glow.

I’ll come back stronger a thousand-fold.

– Jon Riki Karamatsu, Poem, 5/26/2019 –

I dedicate this poem to all of you going through your challenges. It came to me in my meditation. I greatly appreciate my darkness because it always generates sparks of inspiration, ideas, and plans that I’ve executed on since I was a kid. Go deep into the depths of darkness and use the dark energy to create light!!!

With Warmest Aloha,
Jon

#poem #poems #poetry #poet #quotes #quote #motivationalquotes #motivational #challenges #entrepreneurship #failure #health #brokenheart #death #books #writers #bookreaders #bookstagram #selfdevelopment #selfimprovement #selfimprove #selfhelp #mindset #positivemindset #mentalhealth #psychology #positiveoutlook #personalgrowth #reinventyourself #youcandoit

Leave a comment

Filed under Books, Business, Career, Creative Writing, Entrepreneurship, Failure, Goals, Gratitude, Health, Life Coach, Meditation, Mental Health, Motivational, Peace, Poems, Positive Living, Productivity, Psychology

Death has been a strange friend of mine. I love death as much as I love life because death has taught me how to live.


I think about death every day. It has been on my mind since I was brand new to this world. A time when I could count my age with one hand. I remember thinking about it when my uncle Dwight had died. I asked my dad, “What happens after you die?”

He answered, “When you die, you die, that’s it.”

I went to my bedroom and cried on my bed. With the urging of my mom, my dad came to my room and told me that there’s a nice place where people go to after they die.

Understanding my impermanence has been my greatest motivator ever since. I go all-out on every passionate vision that crosses my mind. I’ve tried so many things because of it. I had some nice experiences and some not so nice experiences, but one thing’s for sure, I have no regrets. I would rather try and fail than to not try and wonder what if I had given it a shot? And for the times I did win, man it’s an indescribable feeling of euphoria where you’re so happy you cry in a higher realm because of all the suffering you went through in order to achieve your goal.

No matter how bad life can be, as long as we’re alive, we can still do a lot of damage. You’ll never know what your limits are unless you push yourself to break them. When you befriend death, you love life more. You don’t waste time on petty things many people complain about. Nor do you hate and judge others. These negative types of people may only realize the most important things in life when they face their own imminent mortality if they are lucky enough to have some time to think before they die.

With this state of mind, death has been a strange friend of mine. I love death as much as I love life because death has taught me how to live.

#death #life #gohard #allout #goforbroke #mindfulness #mindful #grateful #gratitude #thankful #lovelife #onelove #innerpeace #peace #passion #joy #happiness #love #mindset #noregrets #makethemostofit #dream #goforit #quote #quotes #thoughts #spilledthoughts #spilledink #creativewriting #deepthoughts

Leave a comment

Filed under Books, Business, Career, Compassion, Creative Writing, Death, Empathy, Entrepreneurship, Goals, Gratitude, Life, Life Coach, Mindfulness, Motivational, Novels, Peace, Positive Living, Productivity, Quotes, Writing

Darkness is a major motivator!!!


Different things can trigger our darkness such as the deaths of those we love, the deterioration of our body and mind, negative people, negative events, and failure. Our challenges and the fact that we are impermanent can be a powerful motivator for us to make the most of what we have now. Love everything with an awakened mind: the beautiful sky, your loving family and friends, and your passion projects. 😊

#darkness #death #health #business #entrepreneurship #challenges #impermanence #negativity #negativepeople #motivator #motivation #motivationalquotes #awakened #awaken #bepresent #mindful #mindfulness #love #goforit #try #family #friends #passion #gratitude #grateful #thankful #peace #innerpeace

Leave a comment

Filed under Life Coach, Mental Health, Mindfulness, Motivational, Positive Living, Productivity, Quotes, Writing

I’ve got more chapters to write.


When I sleep, I fall into darkness.

Soldiers attack and shoot me.

Dead people come back.

They go about like it’s nothing.

I fight to wake up.

Dark shadows won’t let me.

They chase me.

I tell my sleepy body to move but I can’t.

They’re pleased. Now they have me.

I’ve got more chapters to write.

Every word creates light.

So I write and write and write . . .

until I wake up to the sunlight.

– Jon Riki Karamatsu, Poem, 3/26/19 –

#poem #poems #poetry #writing #writings #creativewriting #storytelling #story #stories #suspense #quote #quotes #reader #novel #fiction #nonfiction #writer #darkness #nightmare #death #ghosts #spirits #dream #afterlife #keepgoing #motivated #hustle #life #business #career

Leave a comment

Filed under Books, Business, Career, Consistency, Creative Writing, Creativity, Entrepreneurship, Fiction, Goals, Journal, Life, Life Coach, Mindfulness, Motivation, Motivational, Novels, Peace, Poems, Positive Living, Productivity, Quotes, Stories, Writing

You never know how much time you have with those close to you.


My friend Mike Noguchi picked me up at Ala Moana Hotel where I was working at after a meeting with a client at Ala Moana Center. He treated me to dinner at Ruby Tuesdays @rubytuesdayhawaii in Moanalua, Hawaii.

On a sad note, a close friend of my family died, my dad’s really good friend. He was my cub scout master, soccer coach, metal shop teacher, political supporter, and a mentor on how to live a positive life. He was always smiling and laughing. He always took my family and I to the airport and picked us up when we traveled. I’m deeply saddened.

#friends #lovedones #gratitude #sad #sadness #life

Leave a comment

Filed under Family, Friends, Life, Love, Mindfulness, Quotes

A Journey Cut Short


A journey cut short.

Long hugs before the sun sets.

This time forever.

– Jon Riki Karamatsu, Haiku Poem #199, 11/22/2018 –

I dedicate this haiku poem to all my family and friends who passed away. Some left way too early for their age. Thinking of my latest friend to go, Richard Minatoya who past away on Sunday November 24, 2018 at the age of 51. He was an attorney and former politician.

#haiku #haikus #haikupoem #haikupoems #haikupoetry #poem #poems #poetry #poet #poets #quote #quotes #writing #creativewriting #writer #writers #author #authors #life #death

Leave a comment

Filed under Creative Writing, Death, Haiku, Poems, Writing

Farewell Richard Minatoya


I’m saddened by the passing of my friend Richard Minatoya, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney of Maui County and former Councilman of the Kauai County Council. He is pictured in the middle. Richard passed away on Sunday November 18, 2018. He was 51. We worked together when I was serving as Deputy Prosecuting Attorney and Legislative Liaison of the Department of the Prosecuting Attorney of the City and County of Honolulu. In addition to work, I enjoyed socializing with him and our mutual friends. I will cherish the memories I had with him.

Kauai Prosecuting Attorney Justin Kollar, Hawaii Prosecuting Attorney Mitch Roth, Maui Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Richard Minatoya, Honolulu Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jon Riki Karamatsu, and Honolulu Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Tricia Nakamatsu .

The Team: Kauai Prosecuting Attorney Justin Kollar, Hawaii Prosecuting Attorney Mitch Roth, Maui Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Richard Minatoya, Honolulu Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jon Riki Karamatsu, and Honolulu Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Tricia Nakamatsu at Hawaii Legislative Opening Day on 1/21/2015.

Deputy Prosecutor Richard Minatoya addresses the Hawaii Supreme Court in the Baldwin Auditorium in Wailuku in August 2017,

Leave a comment

Filed under Death, Friends

Romanticize Life


My future me smiled.

More to do before you’re dead.

Romanticize life.

– Jon Riki Karamatsu, Haiku Poem #188, 11/6/2018 –

#haiku #haikus #haikupoem #haikupoems #haikupoetry #poem #poems #poetry #poet #poets #quote #quotes #writing #creativewriting #writer #writers #author #authors #novel #novels #fiction #story #stories #storytelling #artist #art #death #life #mindset #positivemindset #mentalhealth #keepgoing #keepmoving #moveforward #staypositive

Leave a comment

Filed under Creative Writing, Haiku, Poems, Writing

The light will push through.


Something’s happening.

A feeling, a buzz-like high.

The light will push through.

– Jon Riki Karamatsu, Haiku Poem #138, 6/27/2018 –

No matter how hard life gets, whether it be financial hardship, a death of a loved one, or a broken heart, we have to do our best to see all the good we have in our life. Day by day as we work at our projects, we get better and a bit closer to our dreams. In person and through social media, we can support one another. We’re in this together.

I took this picture in Waikele, Hawaii on 10/30/2018.

With Warmest Aloha,
Jon

#haiku #haikus #dailyhaiku #poem #poems #poetry #poet #quote #quotes #writing #creativewriting #writer #novels #entrepreneur #entrepreneurship #business #career #motivational #motivationalquote #mentalhealth #thinkpositive #positivemindset #inittogether #youcandoit #goforit #goforbroke #gratitude #thankful #mindful #mindfulness

Leave a comment

Filed under Business, Career, Creative Writing, Empathy, Gratitude, Haiku, Happiness, Life, Life Coach, Mental Health, Mindfulness, Motivational, Poems, Writing

Condolence Speech for Bishop Yubun Narashiba


Condolence Speech for Bishop Yubun Narashiba

Bishop Yubun Narashiba had a huge presence at Jodo Mission of Hawaii. Huge presence. On March 3, 1985, he became a reverend here at the Betsuin.  On September 1, 1987, he was assigned to Koloa Jodo Mission in Kauai. He returned back here at the Betsuin on November 1, 1997.  Bishop Narashiba served as our temple’s religious leader and a member of our board of directors.  He was also serving as Bishop of the Hawaii Council of Jodo Missions since September 16, 2017, the religious leader of our statewide organization.  This last go around was Bishop Narshiba’s second stint as our Bishop since he was also Bishop from September 1999 to September 2003.

I’ve known of Bishop Narashiba since I was a boy coming here at Jodo Mission of Hawaii with my grandpa Maurice Karamatsu, grandma Bessie Karamatsu and my immediate family. I became closer with him as a young adult after I became a member of the Jodo Mission of Hawaii’s Board of Directors in 2006 as First Vice President, taking my grandma Bessie Karamatsu’s board seat after her passing that year. I got to work even closer with Bishop Narashiba after I became president of this organization in January of 2011.

What was really impressive about Bishop Narashiba was his ability to do so many things from religious services, welcoming members and guests, office and administrative work, handiwork to fix minor repairs on our premises, labor work by helpings us set up and breaking down our otoba for obon service and our yagura for bon dance, traveling to Japan to for training or to meet with leadership at Jodo Shu headquarters, representing our organization at the Hawaii Buddhist Council with leaders of other sects of Buddhism, and attending community events.

Like many of you, it’s hard to believe Bishop Yubun Narashiba passed away.  He was still young, and it happened so suddenly.  I feel like he’s going to step up to the podium right now and speak to us with his warm smile.  In many ways, he’s still with us because he left such a wonderful impression on us.  He lived with compassion, empathy, the Eightfold Path, and all the Buddhist teachings.  He lived it.  Besides being with us spiritually, his legacy is also all around us. When you see all the wonderful improvements of our temple, social hall, and apartment building, think of Bishop Narashiba. He played a large role in fixing and beautifying our facilities.

Bishop Narashiba lived by example through his love and compassion.  We are so lucky to have experienced the time we had with him.

Bishop Narashiba, thank you so much for being a part of our lives.  Aloha.

20180902_122433.jpg20180902_095242.jpg20180902_102535.jpg20180902_103503.jpg20180902_112302.jpg

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Buddhism, Friends, Writing

Racing Against Time Part VIII


I’ve always been racing against time. Sometimes, I just need to pause and taste it. Death will keep coming for us. Every now and then, we need to laugh at it.

#time #life #death #mindfulness #gratitude #grateful #thankful #goforbroke

Leave a comment

Filed under Gratitude, Life, Mindfulness

My Last Moments


I stood on the top of the ridge and admired the beautiful green trees swaying far below with the wind. The last of the blue skies were painted over with shades of gray. Ahead, dark clouds were sweeping in like an angry predator. They swallowed peak after peak and kept coming for me.

I calmly inserted my headphones in my ears and played my favorite song. The happy tune brought me a smile. My time here would be over soon, but I was content. All that came to my mind was my mom, dad, sisters, nieces, family, and my closest friends. It’s funny how we spend much of our lives building so much, pushing through all the problems and terrible people that seemed so important to do back then. Yet, in the last moments of our lives, all we think about are the ones who really mattered. Memories of joy with them came blasting in like a movie in fast forward. You see their faces and then you’re gone.

– Jon Riki Karamatsu, 7/25/2018 –

#creativewriting #writing #peace

Leave a comment

Filed under Books, Creative Writing, Family, Friends, Gratitude, Life, Love, Mindfulness, Peace, Writing

Saddened by the death of my friend from a heart attack.


I’m saddened by the death of my friend from a heart attack. I visited him at the hospital before he passed. I dedicate this relaxing picture of tropical plants and trees to him. Going in and out of darkness.

#death #friend #saddened #waikelecountryclub #waikele

Leave a comment

Filed under Death, Life, Writing

Death falls on us now.


Time – Fluffy snowflakes,

falling onto my footsteps.

Death falls on us now.

– Jon Riki Karamatsu, Haiku Poem #123, 4/10/2018 –

#poem #poems #poetry #haiku #haikupoem #haikupoems #haikupoetry #writing #creativewriting #art #expression #mindfulness #time #life #death

Leave a comment

Filed under Creative Writing, Haiku, Poems, Writing

Working @ Coffee Talk!


20180311_133535.jpg

Chaired my board of directors meeting for Jodo Shu Hawaii earlier and now working at Coffee Talk in Kaimuki, Hawaii while my mom attends a meeting for wellness products. I’ve been in the zone for the past week, pulling off nonstop writing and learning sessions of up to 10 hours straight at coffee shops. I snapped out of a low and depressive energy period caused by stress and anxiety – partly because life and death became very real when I had to save my cousin-in-law from choking on food. There’s so much I want to accomplish before I die. I want to play a small role in providing value to others, especially in products and services that can help others find peace. So excited to work!!!

Leave a comment

Filed under Business, Career, Computer, Consistency, Entrepreneurship, Inspiration, Motivation, Writing

End Ourselves With Everything We’ve Got


We know what’s our means and what’s our end. Build up our closure and end ourselves with everything we’ve got.

#tiger #yearofthetiger #quote #quotes #eyeofthetiger #mysign #means #end #death #life

11845-1.jpeg

Leave a comment

Filed under Career, Death, Goals, Happiness, Life, Mindfulness, Motivation, Quotes, Writing

Death and Life Threatening Illnesses


Thinking of my loved ones who passed away, and those of you facing life threatening illnesses. If I spent five days in prison in order to have them back for a moment or to take away your suffering from killer diseases . . . I look within myself to find clarity. Love you all.

#loveones #family #friends #death #lifethreatening #illnesses #diseases #health #quote #quotes #peace #empathy #compassion #innerpeace #love #mindfulness

Leave a comment

Filed under Compassion, Empathy, Family, Friends, Life, Love, Mindfulness, Quotes

Nonattachment and Gratitude


An example of nonattachment and gratitude combined. Two very powerful practices. “My love will always be attached to you, but not my selfish desires. I’m forever grateful for what I had with you. I love you.”

#nonattachment #buddhism #love #romance #breakup #lovedones #death #peace #innerpeace #mindfulness #gratitude #quote #quotes #positivity #positiveliving #writing

Leave a comment

Filed under Buddhism, Compassion, Creative Writing, Gratitude, Happiness, Life, Life Coach, Love, Mental Health, Mindfulness, Nonattachment, Peace, Positive Living, Positivity, Romance, Writing

It Understands Me


My laptop listens.

I spill my thoughts and feelings.

It understands me.

– Jon Riki Karamatsu, Haiku Poem #86, 11/21/2017 –

#haiku #haikupoem #haikupoems #haikupoetry #poem #poems #poetry #quote #quotes #writing #creativewriting #books #novels #nonfiction #dreams #goals #strategy #selfdevelopment #business #law #entrepreneurship #life #death #love #sadness #peace #innerpeace #happiness #macbookpro #apple #laptop #beatsheadset #beats #mindfulness #gratitude

IMG_20171121_165659_582.jpg

Leave a comment

Filed under Blog, Books, Buddhism, Business, Career, Computer, Creative Writing, Creativity, Fiction, Goals, Gratitude, Haiku, Journal, Laptop, Law, Life, Love, Mindfulness, Motivation, Music, Novels, Peace, Philosophy, Poems, Positive Living, Productivity, Quotes, Romance, Stories, Study, Success, Technology, Writing

Claire Wineland – Celebrate life by confronting death


An inspiring article and video clips of Claire Wineland who was born with a terminal illness, and celebrates life by confronting death.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/05/health/claire-wineland-cystic-fibrosis-eprise/index.html

Leave a comment

Filed under Happiness, Inspirational, Life, Life Coach, Mental Health, Mindfulness, Positive Living

How many more sunsets do we have left?


How many more sunsets do we have left?

If we could count them, we would change the way we see today, and truly understand how lucky we are to be in every moment.

I would wake up with a smile and love you even more, attack my passionate goals, and always make an effort to experience new things.

Of all the things in the world, my time with you would be the most important.

I would do this every day until the orange glow tells me that I must say goodbye.

At that point, I would hug you so I can cherish every second until my last breath as I fade away into the darkness.

(My uncle Neil Akimoto inspired me to write this who is in a coma after a stroke caused internal bleeding in his brain on June 14, 2017 that is getting worse.)

#impermanence #life #death #sunset #sunsets #haleiwa #hawaii #quotes #quote #quotestoliveby #jonriki #jonrikikaramatsu #creativewriting #writing #uncleneilakimoto

Leave a comment

Filed under Creative Writing, Death, Family, Life, Live Events, Love, Quotes, Writing

Nice talk with my friend in my dream, the late U.S. Congressman K. Mark Takai.


I woke up this morning of Thursday January 5, 2017 from a wonderful dream in which I had a great talk with Congressman K. Mark Takai who I became friends with while I was a student government leader at the Associated Students of the University of Hawaii at Manoa (ASUH) and Mark was a young newly elected politician in the Hawaii State House of Representatives. In my dream, Mark and I were talking in his old townhouse in Waiau, Pearl City on Oahu, Hawaii.  We were smiling and laughing like the times when we first met.

At one point we were lying down and staring at the ceiling as we chatted.  It was like before I got elected into the Hawaii State House of Representatives, which distanced our relationship because I was part of the faction aligned with Hawaii House Speaker Calvin K.Y. Say, a family friend and friend of my late grandfather Maurice Karamatsu.  Speaker Say married the daughter of grandpa Karamatsu’s really close friend Stephen Kotake, founder of Kotake Shokai, an import company, and a leader at Jodo Shu Hawaii with my grandfather.  I became good friends with Speaker Say, and I know that was hard on Mark because his faction was trying to take over the House from him.

Well in my dream, Mark and I were friends like before the whole political faction issue.  Prior to Mark passing away on July 20, 2016, I had called his cell phone and left a heartfelt message for him.  I’m not sure if he listened to it.  I’m hoping that he did.  It’s for this reason that I never felt closure with Mark because I wanted him to know that I really enjoyed our times together and that I cared deeply for him as my friend even though we ended up in opposite political factions.  In my dream, it felt so good because I knew that the politics didn’t matter anymore to him – all that mattered was our friendship.  That was the talk I wanted to have before Mark passed away.  I miss him.

Leave a comment

Filed under Blog, Death, Friends, Gratitude, Happiness, Hawaii, Journal, Life, Politics, Writing

Death and Broken Hearts


Death and broken hearts.

We all experience them.

Upside down feeling.

– Jon Riki Karamatsu, 11/19/2016, Haiku #31 –

Leave a comment

Filed under Blog, Creative Writing, Creativity, Haiku, Journal, Life, Poems, Uncategorized, Writing

Just Breathe With Me


Every child is born into this realm with innocence. As we progress through life, we try to make sense of everything. Good people keep tying to do good, while those with anger, greed, jealousy, and the like, move around them like demons thirsting for power – all validating their actions, all thinking they’re right. In the end, death chases all of us down. By then, the children of tomorrow have become the next wave of love and hate. We’re all just part of this crazy cycle.

So which side are you truly on?

This song projects my frustration with the darkness of this world – “Breathe” by Eric Prydz ft. Rob Swire.

Leave a comment

Filed under Blog, Business, Career, Dance Music, Death, Electronic Dance Music, Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship, Events, Failure, Journal, Life, Peace, Positive Living, Positivity, Uncategorized

Death seeks us because it wants us to appreciate Life.


Death will always seek us. It wants us to acknowledge its presence, and even befriend it. Why? Because it wants us to be aware of our mortality to motivate us to appreciate what we have and what we can do now. So when the time comes, though hard as it may be to leave our loved ones, we can embrace death upon our last breath because we had embraced life.

-Jon Riki Karamatsu, June 30, 2016-

Leave a comment

Filed under Blog, Books, Business, Career, Creativity, Death, Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship, Fiction, Journal, Life, Life Coach, Mental Health, Mindfulness, Nonfiction, Novels, Peace, Philosophy, Psychiatry, Psychology, Uncategorized, Writing

Don’t Give Up.


To my friends going through some tough times – life, love, money, health, death. Don’t give up. We’ll find a way. We always do.

I dedicate this song to you – “Up & Up” by Coldplay.

Leave a comment

Filed under Business, Career, Death, Entrepreneur, Happiness, Health, Inspiration, Life, Love, Mental Health, Music, Peace, Philosophy, Positive Living, Positivity, Psychiatry, Psychology, Romance, Uncategorized

Jon Riki Karamatsu – Haiku #1


I’m neither alive.

Nor am I among the dead.

Emptiness is peace.

– Jon Riki Karamatsu, 5/20/2016 –

Leave a comment

Filed under Haiku, Happiness, Health, Inspiration, Life, Love, Mental Health, Poems, Positive Living, Positivity, Psychiatry, Psychology, Uncategorized, Writing

Kaylee and Ken


Today April 23, 2016, I finished my 15th draft of my Writing Project #1, a fictional story that I created back when I couldn’t sleep on October 11 to 12, 2006. In the story, the young male protagonist Ken whose health is ailing meets a girl named Kaylee in his dreams who suffers from memory loss, regret, and deep sorrow. As his relationship develops with her, he realizes that his strange dreams are much deeper than ordinary dreams. While in the dream world, he discovers a powerful secret about energy that can not only help Kaylee with her memory loss and sorrow, but save his life and bring balance between good and evil. However, by helping Kaylee attain happiness, Ken realizes that he would lose her forever.

The love between Kaylee and Ken will empower us to play a role in making our universe more positive. I dedicate “Us” by Kaskade & CID to all of you.

Leave a comment

Filed under Books, Business, Career, Entrepreneur, Exercise, Fiction, Happiness, Health, Inspiration, Life, Love, Love Story, Mental Health, Movie, Music, Novels, Peace, Philosophy, Positive Living, Positivity, Psychiatry, Psychology, Romance, Uncategorized

Love Songs to Inspire


After 32 days of non-stop work on a development project in Kona, Hawaii and an EB-5 Regional Center based in Hawaii, I’m typing my 15th draft of my first novel that I started in October 2006 that currently consists of nearly 80,000 words, a love story between a young male protagonist and a dead girl that brings forward our fears of being alone, not finding true love in our lifetime, losing the battle against negative people, and dying without resolving the pain resulting from heartbreak and broken families. This weekend, I’m also going to continue working on my novel based in Iraq during the U.S. occupation – a love story that is sure to draw controversy because it is surrounded by violence, something you may either understand or disagree with, depending on where you stand on certain political issues. Nonetheless, the bottom line is that love can guide us through anger, death, and our darkest moments. I began writing my second story in May 2013 and it has just under 44,973 words.

The song “Unconditionally” by Katy Perry describes the emotional depth that the characters in my novels have with with each other despite their flaws and all the craziness around them. Even if the world is burning around them and their fate seems doomed, you yearn for their love to succeed. This music video has a ballroom scene. Likewise, my first story has a climax chapter with a ballroom scene. Such a powerful song.

 

Today, I just listened to the song below “Graduate” by Handsome Ghost and I immediately liked it.  The song connects to my stories because the characters in my novels have enormous obstacles that’s preventing them from being together.

 

“Swept Away” by Christoper Cross is one of my all-time favorite love songs ever, so much so that I wrote it into my first novel. Every time I listen to it, it brings out this warm feeling in my chest, and when I’m alone or writing a love story, it bring so much emotions out of me.

 

“Seeing for the First Time” by Britt Nicole is another song that represents the love that the characters in my novels have for one another.

I hope you enjoyed this entry and the songs!  Take care and may happiness be with you always.

With Warmest Aloha,

Jon Riki Karamatsu

Leave a comment

Filed under Books, Business, Career, Fiction, Happiness, Life, Love, Love Story, Mental Health, Music, Novels, Peace, Philosophy, Positive Living, Positivity, Psychiatry, Psychology, Romance, Uncategorized

Racing Against Time Part VII


“Death is inevitable, and like the period at the end of your final statement, it closes your story in this world.” – Jon Riki Karamatsu, December 4, 2015

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Racing Against Time, Part V


Dear Friends,

I find it interesting that a number of bloggers are wondering about my health or are wondering why death seems to be in the back of my mind.  First of all, I am perfectly healthy.  However, when I was thinking of getting life insurance during this past legislative session, a nurse came over to my office to take some tests right after I had to painfully say “no” to a senator who wanted a bill that had some legal concerns.  Stress can cause a lot of problems.  My blood pressure was high on the first try.  After about ten minutes,  it went down to an average reading.  Then after about another 10 minutes, my blood pressure was much better than the average person.  I have always been a very determined person in goals I really believed in.  However, determination and work needs to be balanced by eating healthy, exercise, and mental relaxation such as meditation, or we can get a heart attack or stroke.  Living unhealthy and/or stress can cause future problems.  Not only must we work hard and do all we can before we die, we must enjoy life and live healthy.  I had one unusual early morning shortness of breath and one early morning pain in my chest this Spring.  That could very well be caused by stress.  Although a number of people believe it was one of those spiritual attacks against me because I am healthy and regularly exercise.

On January 6, 2009, I wrote: “Let’s do all we can to keep the balance tipped towards the positive.  We only have a limited time in this world.  We need to be faster than “death.”  We have to say what we need to say and do what we need to do before it catches up with us because sooner or later, it will.  We can only do the best we can before our destiny is revealed to us.”

When I talk about “death,” I am really talking about life.  Knowing that death can happen anytime, sometimes sooner than we want, that makes it all the more important to live life to the fullest now.  My hope is that we all live a long and happy life.  But life is not always like that.  I have seen so many people die way before their time.  I look forward to everyday.  Even in my darkest days, I try to make the most of life.  So many people are sad and depressed or worse, angry, jealous, impatient, and full of hatred.  There are many people who criticize others.  A number of people hide behind code names on their computers and send negative statements on the Internet.  At the extreme, there are those who harm, rape, and kill.  We must always strive to be positive and that will result in a positive affect on others as well as your soul, mind, and body.  Our impermanence is an incentive to live life the best we can.

I am fortunate to be healthy.  I lift weights, walk, and run regularly.  I try to eat healthy.  I pray and meditate occasionally to relax my soul, mind, and body.  My “Peace”  page on this website lists my strategy to attain peace within ourselves to help us to live positively and healthy.

Like you, I am racing against time, the time left in our lives in this physical world.  My “Farewell” page on this website is another way of me being ahead of my death.  I can thank my loved ones and all of you, just in case I don’t have the last opportunity before my death.  Live positively and healthy!

With Warmest Aloha,

Jon Riki Karamatsu

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized