I like to do a gratitude prayer to the universe in the morning, followed by a meditation. I start off by lighting a pair of candles on a display with stones and an oil diffuser. Then I start an app on my smartphone that plays soothing sounds of water and calming instrumental music.
In my gratitude prayer, I express my thanks for my loved ones, the ability to experience life, useful things I have, the beauty of nature, and much more. Throughout the day, I would continue to be thankful for many things.
I meditate by clearing my thoughts and breathing slowly. After some minutes in emptiness, I envision what I will accomplish for the day.
To practice this, all you need is ten minutes, but you can always go longer. It’s a good way to start your day with positivity and clarity. Sometimes I do a gratitude prayer and meditation at night or whenever I need to stabilize my soul after facing some challenges. There are studies that show how gratitude and meditation practices reduces stress and benefits your overall health. Have fun with your gratitude and meditation practice! Aloha!
#gratitude #prayer #meditation #peace #innerpeace #domesticpeace #worldpeace #buddhism #compassion #love #happiness
The light is so much brighter when we’re in the dark. For it’s darkness that makes us appreciate the light. The challenges of life and the evils of humankind should make us even more grateful for what positive things we have in our lives, and the many good people there are among us. Let the force of darkness motivate us to maximize our daily practice of love and compassion.
Sending my warmest aloha,
Jon Riki Karamatsu
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Stretch or Stretchy Boy as we like to call him is slowly fading out. He’s more relaxed now compared to earlier so he’s spending his last moments at home. I’ve been sitting by him this afternoon and this evening. I don’t want him to go, but I know it is near. Through him, I appreciate life, and make an effort to be mindful of all the good things I have in my life, especially the simple pleasures of life like being around those you love. For Stretch, he was always so happy to see us, enjoyed walks, going to the beach, and his favorite foods. He reminds me of the importance of loving others in the purest form as he demonstrated it towards us. I love Stretch with all of my heart.
Gratitude – My Favorites as of 10/6/2016
- Spending time with my mom, dad, sister Mia and brother-in-law Mike, niece Elyse and Sophie, sister Lara and her fiancee Ross, family dog Stretch, and all my relatives.
- The time I spent with my late grandparents Tadao and Ellen Sakai and Maurice Toshio and Bessie Karamatsu.
- Loving love.
- Hanging out with my friends.
- Writing down my goals.
- Networking with positive and ambitious people.
- Drafting my plans and strategies for my goals.
- Writing fiction. I still need to get a novel published.
- Watching movies. I wish I could produce movies. Maybe someday.
- Building new companies by sharing ideas and skills with other entrepreneurs.
- Playing law and politics for creative business ventures.
- Listening to music and producing music events.
- Traveling to different places around the world.
- Tasting great food.
- Exercising, especially running outdoors while listening to EDM as I strategize on my goals.
I’m so lucky to have you in my life. Here’s a song that reflects how I feel in my heart: “Thankful” by Feki.
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Stretch is such a kind and loyal member of our family. My dad got him as a little puppy in 2001. He was recently diagnosed with cancer, but fortunately, his walk and appetite has gotten better, and my mom said he even barked recently. When I dog-sat him just about month and a half ago, he ran out of the gate and down the street, which forced me to take him for a walk. I think he knew that that moment was the last time he would be able to run like that. I love him so much.
We humans can learn a lot from dogs such as unconditional love, loyalty, and mindfulness. Dogs appreciate the present moment, one of the key teachings in Buddhism, in that we must have gratitude for our lives, loved ones, and opportunities. With gratitude, we can overcome the challenges of life, and achieve peace and happiness for a great majority of our precious life.
Below is a cute Shiba Inu puppy.
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There’s only one you.
Love yourself and love others.
Live with gratitude.
-Jon Riki Karamatsu, 9/14/2016-
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