Tag Archives: love

Keep flying with positivity!


When you work hard and put yourself out there, people will judge you, hate you, and punish you harder, but you keep going for the smiles and tears on the faces you’ve helped. Keep flying with positivity my friends!

#goals #work #hate #peace #innerpeace #staypositive #positivity #positiveenergy #aloha #love #compassion #empathy #mindfulness #gratitude #quote #quotes #nonattachment

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Peace Day – September 21, 2017


May peace be with you on this official day of peace recognized by the United Nations, the State of Hawaii and other jurisdictions, and may it always be with you in every moment of your life!

When 7.5 billion of us attain inner peace, the world will be at peace. These pictures are from the 2017 Peace Day Hawaii event on Saturday September 16, 2017 at SGI USA, Honolulu, Hawaii. Hawaii was the first State in the United States to pass a law recognizing September 21st as Peace Day in 2017. I chaired Peace Day Hawaii in 2007, 2008, and 2009.

#peaceday #internationaldayofpeace #peacedayhawaii #peacedayhawaii2017 #peace #innerpeace #september21 #hawaii #unitednations #love #compassion #empathy #mindfulness #gratitude #happiness

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We can spread peace with simple acts of kindness


I’m feeling much happier today, September 18, 2017 after feeling anxiety in my personal life and career for the past 11 days or so.  At 8:00 A.M., I had the first part of my annual physical at the hospital.  Throughout the morning, I was texting my business partners in a different time zone/country.  Then at 10:00 A.M., I took the minutes of the Hawaii Buddhist Council (Higashi Hongwanji, Mission of Hawaii, honda Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii, Jodo Mission of Hawaii, Koyasan Shingon Mission of Hawaii, Nichiren Mission of Hawaii, Soto Mission of Hawaii, and Tendai Mission of Hawaii) as it Secretary for 2017.  After the meeting, Jodo Mission of Hawaii Bishop Emeritus Gensho Hara gave me a gift.  Next, I reviewed and signed an EPA review for the repair and maintenance that we are contracting a Hawaii company to repair and repaint our buildings for Jodo Mission of Hawaii.  Also, I reviewed a trust from a deceased member of Jodo Mission of Hawaii who was the secretary for my political influencer, Governor John A. Burns, and she had left some money for our organization.

When I returned home, I received a couple of good news from my business partner who I was texting in the morning in regards to traction for our project.  Then I opened my gift from Bishop Gensho Hara, and was so delighted to see this glass display of Buddha.  As President of Jodo Mission of Hawaii for 7 years, I was fortunate to have worked with Bishop Hara who served as Bishop for 8 years.  He has shared with my so many teachings of compassion, and touching stories of people who have come to his temple at Lahaina, Maui from different walks of life and with diverse ethnicities.  They sought refuge from life’s problems, and prayed/meditated for strength to attain inner peace.  One 30-something-year-old Vietnamese woman prayed everyday at about 5 A.M. before the large statue of Buddha at his temple, and she’s now becoming a leader of Buddhism on the U.S. mainland.  A middle-aged Caucasian male who was a U.S. military veteran of the Vietnam War would visit him, enjoying the rice that Bishop Hara’s wife made.  He was sad with the passing of his wife a couple of years ago, and ended up shooting himself to death.  It’s these touching stories that taught me the importance of love, compassion, empathy, mindfulness, and gratitude.  When I told Bishop Hara that someday, after I make money, I can do more, he would gently shake his head with a slight smile – I understood his gesture, that even our simple acts of kindness can go very far to touch another’s soul.  We can spread peace, even without money.

#peace #innerpeace #compassion #empathy #love #mindfulness #gratitude #aloha #buddhism #jodoshuhawaii #jodomissionofhawaii #jodoshu #jodomission

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Bishop Gensho Hara and I at the Hawaii Council of Jodo Missions 41st Biennial Convention

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Peace Day with Jeannie Lum


Shedding some tears for peace with my friend and University of Hawaii Professor, Jeannie Lum, a key organizer for Peace Day Hawaii held at SGI USA, Honolulu, Hawaii on September 16, 2017. Peace Day Hawaii briefly recognized me for introducing legislation in 2007 to make Hawaii the first State in the U.S. to  recognize Peace Day on September 21st. I chaired the organization in 2007, 2008, and 2009.

#peace #innerpeace #peaceday #peacedayhawaii #internationaldayofpeace #aloha #gratitude #love #emotional #honolulu #hawaii

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Peace Day with Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin


With Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin at Peace Day Hawaii 2017 at SGI USA, Honolulu, Hawaii on September 16, 2017. Attorney General Chin and I met at my office when I was Chairman of the Judiciary Committer in the Hawaii State House of Representatives in 2009 when he was First Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for the City and County of Honolulu. Chin made a speech on equal rights. I thanked him for all his work. I’m so proud of him. He’s been defending equality for immigrants from policy moves made by U.S. President Donald Trump. Peace Day Hawaii briefly recognized me for introducing legislation in 2007 to make Hawaii the first State in the U.S. to  recognize Peace Day on September 21st. I chaired the organization in 2007, 2008, and 2009.

#peace #innerpeace #peaceday #peacedayhawaii #internationaldayofpeace #aloha #gratitude #love #emotional #attorneygeneral #hawaiiattorneygeneral #honolulu #hawaii

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Love is cruel in the way it discriminates


Love is cruel in the way it discriminates. Not even our mind can change the determination of our heart.

– Jon Riki Karamatsu, September 13, 2017 –

#quote #quotes #love #loveinterest #romance #brokenheart #brokenhearts #heartbreak #heartbroken #creativewriting #writing

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Our intuition is often right.


Self-explanatory, but a cute way to express my feelings.

#love #peace #innerpeace #mindfulness #intuition #innerpeace #nonattachment #followintuition #gratitude #single #singlelife #singleisgood #moveforward #opportunities #openmind #anythingispossible #universe #messagefromuniverse 

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It’s better to have loved than to never have loved at all


It’s better to have loved than to never have loved at all. Not my quote, but a very powerful and widely used one. Or perhaps, like my first novel, maybe we will find our true love in the realms of the dead? 

#love #romance #romantic #quote #quotes #novel #fiction #reality #life

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Is Peace Forever Elusive?


Is peace forever elusive? It seems, so long as there are humans, there will always be those who hurt others emotionally and physically. Yet, it is the energy of negative people that fires up the power of those who are positive. With bad people, as much as their acts feels terrible, they make the world more challenging and gives the good people a greater purpose. If the world was perfect, we may take things for granted because there would be less bad experiences to compare to, and there would be no need for heroes. So long as there are people who harm others with words or might, it is the hero in all of us who will keep the world tipped towards compassion, empathy, and love.

#peace #innerpeace #love #aloha #good #bad #positive #negative #compassion #empathy #humans #people #quote #quotes #jonrikikaramatsu

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Music Video of Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow


I’ve always been filled with imagination since I was a little kid.  As an adult, I still dream and work hard until it’s hard to believe I’m living things I’ve imagined.  Fiction plays a huge role in inspiring our reality.  And vice versa, writers often infuse reality into fiction. Storytelling has a way of bringing us humans closer because it draws out our emotions.  I believe as adults, we should never stop imagining, and if we have a story, don’t be afraid to share it.  You never know, you may change the world.

Here’s a nice music video of Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow, characters of the Game of Thrones novel and television show.  The song “If You Leave Me Now” by Foxes matches the scenes from this awesome show.  Last Sunday, in Episode 6 of Season 7, Daenerys and Jon’s romance blossomed.  I love romance.  Nothing beats that warm and fuzzy feeling you get when you love someone.

I don’t watch much television or movies that much, but Games of Thrones is the exception.  I also have the books.  They’re so good, and a nice break from work.  Though, Games of Thrones inspires me to work harder.  Author and Executive Producer George R.R. Martin is so inspirational!

#gameofthrones #daenerys #daenerystargaryen #jonsnow #novel #fiction #tvshow #televisionshow #romance #love #drama #action #imagination #stories #story #storytelling #author #georgerrmartin #ifyouleavemenow #foxes

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Sending you positive energy for your passionate endeavors


Sending you positive energy for your passionate endeavors! You never know, anything is possible.

#sendingpositiveenergy #positiveenergy #positivethinking #positivity #positiveliving #endeavors #goals #dreams #projects #career #entrepreneurship #life #love #positivequotes #quotes #positivequote #quote #anythingispossible #goforit 

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Have a great week and fly!


I wish you a great week, to the point you have moments where you feel like you can fly! Here is a fun song, “Fly” by Melano.

#fly #melano #positiveenergy #positivity #positiveliving #mindfulness #gratitude #happiness #joy #love #peace

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Death Does Not Stop, So We Will Never Stop


Death does not stop.

So we will never stop.

Do, we win.

Fail, we win.

Learn, we win.

Win, we win.

-Jon Riki Karamatsu, 8/18/2017-

(Besides practicing business law and entrepreneurship, I am working hard to expand myself and get out of my comfort zone by being vulnerable with my creative writing, fiction writing, nonfiction writing, poems, quotes, and photography, which has given me comfort and joy, and I hope it does for you too.)

#poem #poems #poetry #quote #quotes #writing #creativewriting #art #author #jonrikikaramatsu #career #law #business #entrepreneurship #love #life #motivation 

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Cyborg She


I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started to watch “Cyborg She” or “Boku no kanojo wa saibôgu,” a romantic movie in which Jiro, a lonely university student meets a beautiful and interesting woman who turns out to be a Cyborg from the future who lacks manners and emotions.

It was really good that I cried at the ending part of the movie.

The movie was written and directed by Jae-young Kwak and starred Haruka Ayase and Keisuke Koide.

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I loved this song, “Yamaoku Shounen no Koi Monogatari” by Nakagawa Izumi from the scene where they go back in time and visit his hometown during his childhood.

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#cyborgshe #japanesemovie #movie #japanesedrama #drama #japaneseromance #romance #japaneselovestory #lovestory #love #harukaayase #keisukekoide #jaeyoungkwak

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Gratitude is a powerful practice.


In life, we will have happy times, but there will be periods of challenges whether it be deaths of loved ones, illness, financial hardship, difficult relationships, bad work environments, spiteful law suits, violence, and/or prison time or penalties because of false or inaccurate statements. Gratitude is a powerful practice that helps us to always be mindful of all the good that we have in our lives. Through gratitude we can proceed through even our darkest days with the things we can control such as time with positive loved ones, exercise, meditation, writing, learning, passionate projects, helping others, and other positive things that keep us high above the things we can’t control, like negative events and people. Gratitude keeps our energy positive with love, compassion, and empathy that helps us rise over anxiety, sadness, and anger. Positivity spreads when we share it with others. Some of the most beautiful pictures of light occur when it pierces through darkness. Likewise, gratitude makes us appreciate the light or good even among darkness. I took this peaceful picture of sunlight glowing around the dark clouds at Haleiwa beach on July 6, 2017. If you have challenging times, I hope this post helps you to still appreciate and enjoy life. May peace be with you. With Warmest Aloha, Jon

#gratitude #mindfulness #innerpeace #peace #love #compassion #empathy #positivity #positiveliving

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Every little moment has potential for something great.


Every little moment has potential for something great.

#gratitude #mindfulness #peace #innerpeace #love #positivethinking #positiveliving #relationships #romance #futurelove #ideas #career #quotes #quote #jonrikikaramatsu 

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Achala 


A sculpture of Achala or the immovable one that I got from our Jodo Shu Hawaii bazaar some years ago that’s on the wall facing my home’s entrance. Achala bears a straight sword in his right hand, and a lariat or noose in his left hand. He uses his sword to cut through ignorance and his noose to reign in those who block the path to enlightenment. I read somewhere that he sacrifices himself from attaining Buddhahood in order to clear the path of enlightenment from evil so we can pursue enlightenment and become Bodhisattvas and ultimately, Buddhas. 

#achala #buddhism #bodhisattvas #bodhisattva #bodhisattvas #buddhas #buddha #buddhas #budhahood #jodoshu #jodomission #jodoshuhawaii #jodomissionofhawaii #enlightenment #love #compassion #mindfulness #peace #waikele #oahu #hawaii #happy #happiness

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May your lives be filled with things that bring you joy!


May your lives be filled with things that bring you joy! Passionate projects, music, and time with loved ones are some of the things I love. When we are filled with joy, so will our world!

#joy #love #peace #worldpeace #passionateprojects #passionate #projects #music #lovedones

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Crazy Goals


When you share the goals you’re working on and people think you’re crazy, you’re either really crazy or about to make history. There’s only one way to find out, you have to do it.

– Jon Riki Karamatsu, June 21, 2017 –

#goal #goals #idea #ideas #crazy #makehistory #plan #work #execute #doit #quote #quotes #jonrikikaramatsu #jonriki #peace #love 

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My 4th Novel


A sprinkle of stars illuminated the sky with layers of blue and purple as a lightly filled tree stood guard near us. Every so often a cool breeze would create a soothing rustle with the showery leaves of the tree. This meditative moment was what the three of us needed. We were looking beyond our embattled past at another world we had envisioned before we met. Now, together as a team, we were determined to get there.

– Jon Riki Karamatsu, Fiction Writing, June 18, 2017 –

#girl #dog #boy #evening #stars #fiction #novel #novels #book #books #love #lovestory #journey #life #lifevents #creativewriting #author #jonrikikaramatsu #jonriki #peace 

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I Will Journey Back For You


From the farthest realms,
I will journey back for you
to warm your spirit.

– Jon Riki Karamatsu, Haiku #63, June 15, 2017 –

#haiku #haikupoems #haikupoem #haikupoetry #poems #poem #poetry #writing #creativewriting #love #author #jonrikikaramatsu #jonriki

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Girl Power!


“My love, you’re riding me so hard.”

“Whatever you do, I can do better,” she replied.

I laughed. “That’s why I love you.”

Girls, you already face more than us boys such as inequality, the pain of bearing children, and a higher risk of being abused or sexually assaulted. So go hard and beat us guys in anything: school, skills, network, business, and whatever you choose. Plus, you don’t need to take our last names – we just want your love.

#girlpower #feminism #girls #females #dreams #ambition #goals #love #robotech #veritech #veritechfighter #creativewriting #writing #writings #fiction #novel #novels #quote #quotes #jonrikikaramatsu #jonriki

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Listen to your heart . . .


#love #relationships #life #career #goals #listentoyourheart #peace #joy #happiness

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Inner Peace = World Peace


Do whatever it takes to have that inner peace: sleep, meditation, self-reflection, exercise, nutritious food, vitamins, nature, ocean therapy, sunlight, aroma therapy, mindfulness, gratitude, forgiveness, goal planning, learning, reading, writing, art, music, movies, massage, hugs, time with loved ones, helping others, and anything that makes you feel good! If all of us are at peace, the world will be at peace! 

#peace #innerpeace #worldpeace #love #compassion #empathy #sleep #meditation #selfreflection #exercise #food #vitamins #nature #oceantherapy #sunlight #aromatherapy #mindfulness #gratitude #forgivenes #goals #reading #writing #art #music #movies #massage #hugs #lovedones #helping

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Kiss Me Until I Can’t Breathe


My heart beats slower.

Kiss me until I can’t breathe.

Time for me to rest.

– Jon Riki Karamatsu, Haiku #62, 5/8/2017 –

#haiku #haikupoems #haikupoem #haikupoetry #poems #poem #poetry #writing #creativewriting #love #romance #author #jonrikikaramatsu #jonriki

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You Can Have It When You Cry


Blue and green aura.

You can have it when you cry.

Wrap you with my love.

– Jon Riki Karamatsu, Haiku #61, 5/9/2017 –

#haiku #haikupoem #haikupoems #haikupoetry #poem #poems #poetry #writing #creativewriting #cry #don’tcry #love # romance #author #jonrikikaramatsu #jonriki

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We too must strive to become a Buddha.


One of my influencers, Shakyamuni Buddha, a human who chose the path of love and compassion, and one of the greatest teachers of self-development who wanted all of us to be happy and peaceful as we face our difficult feelings of sadness, fear, and anger. Gratitude, mindfulness, empathy, and compassion can quell the dark side in all of us and bring out the light. We too must strive to become a Buddha. #buddha #siddarthagautama #siddartha #siddarthabuddha #shakyamuni #shakyamunibuddha #peace #innerpeace #love #compassion #gratitude #mindfulness #empathy 

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Your Love Locked Every Trigger And Opened My Pen


Amira . . . princess.
Your love locked every trigger
and opened my pen.
– Jon Riki Karamatsu, Haiku #59, 5/1/2017 –

(I was inspired to write this haiku poem while writing my 2nd novel based in Iraq during the U.S. occupation. I’m about 79% done with 63,250 words.)

#haiku #haikupoem #haikupoems #haikupoetry #poem #poems #poetry #poet #writing #creativewriting #author #love #romance #romantic #Iraq #Iraqwar #Iraqoccupation #novel #novels #fiction #book #books

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We used to say this song made us feel some type of way.


We used to say this song made us feel some type of way.
It used to make us both feel free.
Underneath the covers you would grab my hand.
You’d say you’d never listen to it without me.

“This Song” by RAC ft. Rostam.

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Succeed, Fail, and Come Back


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Let’s succeed, fail, and come back.  Anytime we take action on a goal, we expose ourselves to attack and even failure, but the rewards are tremendous in that we gain ideas, knowledge, skills, relationships, and heck, even success.  I say succeed until you fail, and fail until you succeed because the comebacks are some of the best feelings ever!

Since I was a child, my parents have always encouraged me to try many things. “If you don’t try, you will never know” was the lesson I learned.  So I participated in many sports, school clubs, and community organizations.  When I grew up, I went after my goals in law, politics, and business.  I even made an effort in my love life.  Did I win?  Yes, many times, but I also had my share of losses.  I’ll tell you a few of my experiences.

When I was attending the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 1995, I broke up with my first girlfriend.  I was so sad that my grade point average plummeted from a B average to a D average at which time I was placed on probation.  If I didn’t raise my grade point average, I would be kicked out of the university.  I went to visit one of the university’s counselors.  “What do you want to be?” she asked.

“I want to be a lawyer,” I answered.

She looked down at my grades on the transcript and then she looked back at me. “Do you like working with people?”

“Yes.”

“Why don’t you become a social worker?”

I was quiet. I wonder what my expression may have looked like?

For the next couple of years, I attained mostly all “A”s for every semester except for a few “B”s here and there.  I brought by grade point average back up to a B average and graduated from the University of Hawaii at Manoa with a B.A. in Political Science.

In 2001, I ended up attending Gonzaga University School of Law and graduating with my J.D., passing the Hawaii State Bar Association’s examination, and today, I’m a lawyer.

In politics, I ran for a Hawaii State House seat in 2002 for a community I was unfamiliar with.  I was told that I would likely lose because two of the so-called front-runner opponents were well-known and professionally established.  I was only twenty-seven years old, just out of law school with very little experience, and no name recognition.  Plus, the demographics were not in my favor, and another opponent was young like me with a similar background so we would cancel each other out.  However, I had typed out my strategy and platform for bettering Hawaii many years before while in college so I was mentally prepared.  My front-runner opponents bragged about their experience while I focused on what I was going to achieve for our community and the State of Hawaii.  To counter my opponents’ name recognition, I walked door-to-door around my district 3 times, which was about 20,000 visitation of homes until I burned holes in my pants from the constant rubbing of my bag filled with brochures.  I won the House seat by a good margin.

Years later in 2010, I ran for the Lieutenant Governor’s race and loss, but the newly elected Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Keith M. Kaneshiro recruited me to become a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney and Legislative Liaison because he had watched me in action as the House Judiciary Chairman as I took on very controversial issues like same-sex marriage while he was an attorney with my Senate counterpart, his good friend who I had some disagreements with but I alway tried to be professional with him.

In 2015, I resigned from the Honolulu Prosecutor’s office because of a driving under the influence charge, which I have won the civil side of the case in 2016 because of false information and wrong-doings by the police, but still awaiting an appeal from the higher court on the criminal side of the case after a district court judge ruled that my testimony was not credible, which did not make sense because I didn’t testify in the trial.  Despite it being a traffic crime, he sentenced me to prison with maximum fines and community service, much more than what I’ve seen when I litigated criminal cases such as assault.

Instead of worrying about my legal woes, I dedicated 100% of my efforts into the private sector.  I had ended my Internet retail business in 2012 after 10 years but I was still involved with a couple of business partners in an event production company since 2014.  I then helped to build a night club, assisted an agricultural company in its goal to build a value-added agricultural processing plant, joined a team to build an aviation company, partnered with another group to build a consulting company for foreign investors, and several other projects.  Meanwhile, in my role as a litigating and transactional attorney, I took on a few clients who were undergoing a business partnership split.  In my 2 years since leaving government, I experienced a business partner who took all the money and left the rest of us with nothing, another who didn’t sign an agreement that would give me a tiny share of the company after I helped build it, and another who had child custody legal issues so the company was placed on hold.  To some, these losses could be seen as a failure.  I may have not made money from these ventures, however, I gained a lot of skills, built new relationships, and have come up with ideas for when I make my return to these sectors.  There are many “wins” within such failures.

On the bright side, the aviation company and consulting company for foreign investors are moving forward with business partners that make a great team, and I’m still working on my creative writing projects and taking on some legal work.  With any start-up company, there is a risk of losing time and money, but there is also the opportunity to create new services and products that will generate more jobs and revenue for our community.  It is for these reasons that I continue my journey in these arenas.

Both “success” and “failure” are just as important.  Wins are fun, but if we always got what we wanted in life, we wouldn’t appreciate it as much, and life would become boring.  For it is the experiences of the journey that makes us appreciate the wins.  We gain ideas, knowledge, skills, and relationships regardless if we succeed or fail, therefore, by the looks of it, we still win even when we lose.

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Gratitude Prayer and Meditation.


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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!

20170421_004724#gratitude #prayer #meditation #peace #innerpeace #domesticpeace #worldpeace #buddhism #compassion #love #happiness

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Walk with me, I want to show you my world.


“Walk with me. I want to show you my world.”  We left the Japanese garden filled with pink cherry blossom trees that lined along the beautiful clear stream. The green grass carpet that was similar to the type at luxurious golf courses, turned into dirt, rocks, and weeds. I led Kaylee into the forest as the sun began to set behind the tall tree-line. It became darker as we proceeded further into the forest, but golden rays from the sun seeped through the many branches high above. These spotlights guided us along the trail.

I grabbed Kaylee’s hand and pulled her with me off of the walking path. We cut through ferns and brush. I made sure I took the brunt of the leaves and stems that rubbed against us. Once we got out of the wild growth of the forest we reached a large circular patch of wild grass with small yellow flowers scattered throughout it. In the center was a green mound, like a miniature mountain. I smiled at her. “We’re here.”

Her eyes fixated on the grass hill. She turned to me with a grin. “How did you find this place?”

“I needed to escape. They show us what they want us to see. But oftentimes there’s beauty hidden. Sort of like what society expects from us. So I walked out of the beautiful man-made park and found this. I meditate on top of that grassy hill regularly.”

Kaylee kicked off her sandals. “Let’s go!” she blurted. She ran ahead towards the mound. I chased after her, but had to stop when my wallet flew out of my front pocket. I picked it up, placed it back in my pocket, and continued running after her. Her light white dress flew up with the breeze as she skimmed through the many yellow flowers. I got close to catching up to her but she beat me by a couple seconds as we hopped onto the top of the little mountain. We breathed in and out heavily from our sprint. I bent over with a hand on each knee. From the side of my body I felt an impact, and ended up falling onto my back with Kaylee on top of me. I took a couple of breaths that I had lost from the fall. “Why do you always do this to me?”

She laughed, “I like to knock you down and be on top. It’s a new era. It’s time for us girls to run the world.”

I chuckled. “Yes. You girls are intimidating. That’s why I was scared to meet you.”

“You were?”

“Very.”

“Well I’m glad you got the courage to approach me.”

“Me too.” I felt a few small drops of water land on my arms. I looked at the sky, which looked pinkish with the remaining light of the sun glowing onto the puffy white clouds that formed above us. “I think it’s going to rain. Do you want to go under the trees?”

She shook her head in disagreement. “Let’s stay here.” More clouds moved above us and they unleashed their reserves on us with many huge drops of rain. Our clothes became so drenched that they wrapped the form of our bodies. Still on top of me, Kaylee’s wet dangling hair dripped water onto my face. She gently pushed my bangs that covered my eyes to the side, and slowly lowered her face towards mine until our lips met.

 

 

 

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Our Meal For Tomorrow (僕らのごはんは明日で待ってる)


I went on my own to see the movie “Our Meal For Tomorrow” (僕らのごはんは明日で待ってる) based on the novel by Maiko Seo at the Hawaii International Film Festival on April 4, 2017 at Regal Dole Cannery Stadium 18 Theatre, Honolulu, Hawaii.  I saw my Uncle Glenn and Aunty Jo Ann Matsumoto at the movie too.  It was very good!

Bokura_no_Gohan_wa_Ashita_de_Matteru-p1

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Stories Within Stories


I jumped into my old gun metal truck and drove to my late night hang-out, a coffee shop on the top of the hill above my house, after one of those weeks that furiously flew by. I pulled into the parking lot, and right in front of the coffee shop was a prime parking space that was positioned almost directly in front of the main entrance. I pulled the brake and shut off the engine. While patting the dash of my truck, I sent my thoughts of gratitude to it, “Thank you for taking care of me.” I counted this moment as my tenth win for the day.

I pulled my brief case from behind my seat and exited my truck, locking it with my key. My  remote control had long been discarded in a drawer within my personal office. It’s just something I didn’t care to fix after all these years.

I entered the coffee shop and paused by the display glass filled with sandwiches and pastries so I could pull out my smart phone from my front pocket of my jeans and open the app for the coffee shop, which I used for my transactions since you could get rewarded a free drink after a certain amount of purchases.

“Hey Riki, how are you?” asked Kelly, a cute barista with a mixture of Asian and Caucasian ethnicity who I’ve gotten to know over my many visits. She was always so welcoming.

I walked up to her cash register. “Good to be back at the office.”

“What will you get tonight?” Just as I opened my mouth to speak, Kelly blurted, “Wait, let me guess.”

I chuckled. “Alright.”

She closed her eyes and then opened them with a wide smile. “Hot, medium, Green tea latte?”

“Yes. I swear you have a gift.”

“Well, it’s either that or your hot, medium, plain old green tea. So my odds are pretty good in guessing your drink. Tonight you look a bit stressed and that’s when you go for the sweet stuff.”

“You’re really observant. I have to finish drafting a couple contracts for a friend.”

“Got to get paid right?”

“I don’t know. I only get paid if my friend gets paid.”

A frown formed on Kelly’s perplexed facial expression.

“If the deal doesn’t go through, I get nothing for all the work I do.”

“Damn.”

“It’s the nature of what I do.” If only she knew that I didn’t get paid even when I closed some deals with a couple of former business partners I had. I didn’t fight for anything that was owed to me, I just cut my losses and simply moved on.

I flashed my app on the screen of my smartphone in front of the scanner fronting the cash register. After a “beep” sound, I tapped a button and returned my phone back into my front pocket of my jeans.

“Well, I wish you the best on that deal. Have a productive session.”

“Will do. Thank you.”

I proceeded over to the counter where other customers waited to receive their orders. After a few minutes, my order was called by the barista who made my beverage, a young man named Todd with surfer blonde hair.

I strolled over to my favorite corner of the coffee shop where the counters rode along the windows, and lined up beside it were a number of high stools. I placed my briefcase on an unused stool next to me to my right. I pulled out my laptop from my briefcase and fired it up. I opened up a partial draft of one of the agreements I was working on for my friend. I stared at the words on the screen, which began to blur as I dozed off into another world. When my vision cleared up, I was no longer sitting on a stool in front of the window in my regular coffee shop. Instead, I was leaning back on a black leather couch in the more trendy coffee shop with dimmer lights that I’ve become so familiar with over my eight years of writing and reading this scene over and over.

Across the shop I saw Ken sitting at a small square table in front of Kaylee. He had already given her a chocolate cupcake in his attempt to liven up her spirits. He looked just as nervous as I had envisioned. I smiled and giggled quietly because I knew that he was changing the course of the future between the two of them. If only Ken and Kaylee could know how much a part of me has always been with them. Every bit of their pain has been mine, and every time they’ve experienced joy, I’ve felt it just the same. For it’s through their journey that I’m finding my way. If they can make others feel what I’ve felt, then I’m certain many others will find their way as well.

“Excuse me. Excuse me.”

I snapped back to reality and saw a young college-aged Asian girl standing next to me. “Is it okay if I plug my laptop into the outlet?” she asked and glanced under the counter. I followed her eyes and noticed the outlet just to the left of my leg.

“Oh yeah, sure. Go ahead.” I moved off my stool and stood to the side as she plugged in her laptop and returned to sit at a table behind me.

I got back onto my stool and returned to staring at my draft of the agreement on my computer. The minutes kept changing to higher numbers on my clock located near the upper right corner of my laptop, and still, I didn’t write anything new. “Screw this,” I murmured under my breath. I closed the document and opened up my query letter that was addressed to a boutique literary agency based in New York City. I took out my headset from my briefcase and played the songs from my playlist. I bobbed my head to a catchy song “Something Like This” by The Chainsmokers and Coldplay as I proceeded to re-write my query letter.

– Super Short Fictional Story by Jon Riki Karamatsu on March 26, 2016 (This super short fictional story is connected to my first novel that I started in October 2006 and completed in January 2014) –

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How Super Can I Become?


Trembling without love.

How super can I become?

Losses become wins.

– Jon Riki Karamatsu, 2/23/2017, Haiku #54 –

Here’s a song “Forever in Silence” by Solstis that helped to bring out my emotions and words to this Haiku poem, which I was able to write in seconds.

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The light is so much brighter when we’re in the dark.


The light is so much brighter when we’re in the dark. For it is 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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Path to true love may start with your BFF


Path to true love may start with your BFF. With Valentine’s Day near, here is a nice CNN article on how important it is to have an intimate partner who is also your best friend. According to the article, “Friends enjoy spending time together, share similar interests, take care of each other, trust each other and feel a lasting bond between them. It isn’t a coincidence that these all happen to be qualities that also define successful intimate relationships.”

http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/13/health/relationship-date-best-friend-partner/index.html

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Goodbye Stretch


Thank you for all of your warm thoughts and comments for Stretch. He passed away this morning at his home around 9 AM, 1/19/2017 after my dad had a chance to comfort him by talking to him and petting him. I last saw him alive late last night. I got to talk to him, let him, and rub my nose onto his nose. A couple of times, I placed my face next to his face and told him how much I loved him, and how much our family loved him. This is the last picture I took of Stretch as we kept him warm with the roof of his dog house. This morning, my dad and I carried him into the car, and with my mom, we took him to the veterinarian to be cremated. With heartfelt thanks, I send my love to you all.

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Stretchy Boy


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.

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Stretch


Our family dog Stretch isn’t doing too well. Today may be his last day with us since my dad is planning to take him to the veterinarian. He’s been coughing out blood, threw up his food last night, hasn’t eaten today, and his breathing is getting worse. The cancer has taken its toll. The blood might be filling in his lungs. Through it all, he never complains. Stretch is 14 human years old so he is on the older side for a dog. It’s so hard to see him suffer. Stretch has such an unconditional love.

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President Barack Obama & First Lady Michelle Obama


Yesterday President Barack Obama made his farewell address. I’m very proud to see history being made in that President Obama is the first African American U.S. President, and also the first U.S. President from Hawaii.

My favorite moment from President Obama’s farewell speech was when he thanked Michelle for being his best friend and wiped away a tear from his eye.  I admire the love between the two of them.  Having a loving, smart, and compassionate partner like Michelle is what many men yearn for, including me.  Here are some of my favorite pictures of Barack and Michelle, clearly showing how much they love each other.

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My dream is to take you by the hand and dance with you on stage in front of tens of thousands of people as I play a set.


My dream is to take you by the hand and dance with you on stage in front of tens of thousands of people as my friend DJ G-Spot and I play a set. This fun song “Recess” by Golden Coast would be one of the songs in my set. I’m not sure who you’ll be but I got a target date of 2017 or 2018!

Love Festival Hawaii 2014

Picture of the high technology and special effects stage at the 16th Annual Love Festival Hawaii on 9/27/2014.

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2017 New Year’s Jodo Mission of Hawaii President’s Message


 

2017 New Year’s Jodo Mission of Hawaii President’s Message

Dear Members,

Akemashite Omedeto Gozaimasu! Wishing you a Happy New Year! For 2017, my wish is for you to be filled with happiness a great majority of the time.

In a perfect world, we could wish for happiness all of the time, but when we think about it, without some suffering and challenges, life would become boring and we would not have the experiences that make us appreciate life even more. When we fail, we appreciate our efforts and all the ups and downs, so when we do succeed, it’s oh so sweet and wonderful. Even the impermanence of life, the fact that our time is limited in this living realm, encourages us to appreciate the present moment, so we cherish our time with our loved ones, work passionately on projects that excite us, and absorb the beauty of nature such as the sun setting into our beautiful blue ocean. We develop a deeper gratitude through our understanding of impermanence so even when we lose a person we love; we are able to generate positive energy by all those wonderful moments we shared with that person, and it’s this energy that encourages us to live life the best that we can with the precious time we have before us. Thus, suffering and challenges can be a fuel for our happiness through our practice of gratitude. When you combine gratitude with all your positive practices of the Eightfold Path – Right Understanding, Right Purpose, Right Speech, Right Conduct, Right Livelihood, Right Endeavor, Right Thought, and Right Meditation, you will be filled with joy.

With Warmest Aloha,

Jon Riki Karamatsu

President of Jodo Mission of Hawaii

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Guns Make It Easy


 

Guns make it easy.

Anger can pull the trigger.

It can’t kill your love.

– Jon Riki Karamatsu, 12/27/2016, Haiku #52 –

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Leaving Flowers to Wither


I always go home,

leaving flowers to wither.

Love frozen in time.

– Jon Riki Karamatsu, 12/27/2016, Haiku #51 –

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Picture Your Eyes As I Fall Asleep.


“Picture your eyes as I fall asleep.

Tell myself it’s all right, as the tears go by.

I wish I could feel your face.”

Nice song “Oceans Away” by Arizona.

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How Can I Love You?


How can I love you?

You live only in my words.

Yet you are so real.

– Jon Riki Karamatsu, 12/17/2016, Haiku #47 –

 

 

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Red Roses Are Fake


Red roses are fake.

They don’t know the messenger.

Seek the gardener.

– Jon Riki Karamatsu, 12/6/2016, Haiku #45 –

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Raindrops


You need me to help.

I walk with you in the storm.

Raindrops hide the tears.

– Jon Riki Karamatsu, 12/6/2016, Haiku #44 –

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You Will Always Be With Me


My breaths may be shorter,

but my dreams with you are longer.

You see, either way, you’re still with me.

Soon it’ll be my time to go,

but my memories of you will come with me,

so even though I’m not here, you will always be with me.

– Jon Riki Karamatsu, December 6, 2016 –

[My friend Michael Oasay and his love for his wife Yvonne inspired me to write this poem. She told me how he was loving and supportive of her and her children for five years before they started dating. I thought that was so romantic, so I put it into writing in just a few minutes early this morning after I visited Mike at the hospital the night before. I knew Mike since I was in elementary school and Boy Scouts. His family and my family have been friends since our childhood. Mike is battling cancer, which is in a bad stage right now. Even though I know what’s before us, I’m hoping for a miracle. Mike’s such a wonderful person demonstrated by his unconditional love for others. I strive to be more like him. Please be kind to one another. I love you all. Love, Jon]

 

 

 

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