Makala Kozo Hattori is a healer, counselor, host and writer who was diagnosed with stage 2 colorectal cancer in July 2015. Rather than pursue traditional Western medicine’s allopathic treatments, he chose a path of natural medicine, diet, spiritual practices, and relational healing. “I had a 7 cm tumor in my intestinal track,” Kozo says. “The doctors wanted to immediately start chemo and radiation followed by surgery, but I chose to pursue a path of wellness by following alternative treatments including Hawaiian healing arts. What I found is a healing that went far beyond my body. This dis-ease called cancer lead me to an ease and peace that encompasses all parts of my life including my relationships, my psychological wellbeing, and my spiritual connectedness with Nature, God, and Community.”
Cancer has offered Kozo the opportunity of healing that his body, mind, and soul required. "Cancer, like difficult others, gives me the opportunity to heal, grow, and love in a way that I have never been able to do before its arrival." Cancer has also gifted Kozo with a reconnection to the teachings of his Hawaiian elders. "Cancer brought me back to Aloha, especially Kapu Aloha--sacred love. Kapu Aloha, like Gandhi's ahimsa, always keeps the heart open, no matter what is going on with others. I had to learn to stay in Aloha no matter what, even when faced with a deadly disease. Rather than battle cancer, I intend to love it in the Aloha Spirit. This intimate relationship with cancer modeled for me how to be in relationship with others. When my sons are throwing tantrums, I try to stay in kapu aloha. Rather than judge, I try to find a way to help."
To share his healing journey, Kozo created an online class and workshop
called "Healing Dis-ease with Aloha." As he humbly says, “I am not an expert nor a master. I bring forth and share what has been given to me from my ‘Aumakua, my teachers, and my Hawaiian grandfather. I have been blessed to study aikido, zen, vipassana, surfing, ho’oponopono, qigong, and aloha from a variety of masters. Trying to preserve Hawaiian wisdom, I interviewed kûpuna like Pono Shim, Paul Strauch Jr. and Suzi Kawaiohiokekaikaiona’okalâni Ko. I also created the Compassionate Men’s Interview Series which includes interviews with Thich Nhat Hanh, Rick Hanson, Father Richard Rohr, and Dan Siegel.”
In the spirit of gift ecology, Kozo gives his online class freely along with weekly conference calls to hold a sacred space of healing for anyone who needs it. "Every week I am reminded that we are all connected--my healing is your healing, and your healing is my healing."
Kozo also concentrates his energies and writing on infusing the masculine spirit with greater compassion
. He works full time trying to raise compassionate boys
, and in turn is growing in compassion through his parenting
He is currently writing a book called "The Healing Gift of Cancer." His essays and articles have been published at Yes Magazine, Mindful Magazine, Greater Good Science Center, The Elephant Journal
, and The Good Men Project
Join us in conversation with the remarkable and inspirational healer, and gentle soul!
Five Questions with Makala Kozo Hattori
What Makes You Come Alive?
Knowing that every breath may be the last makes me come alive. Every interaction I have with others may be the last time I see them, so I try to be as present and loving as I can. When I am in a state of love and presence, I feel the most alive.
Pivotal turning point in your life?
There have been many, but I would have to say hitting rock bottom by losing my job, facing divorce, and being diagnosed with cancer. Life pulled the chair out from under me, but it turns out that the fall taught me how to fly. I am so grateful with the wake up call hidden in adversity.
An Act of Kindness You'll Never Forget?
The continued love and support of my wife, my sons, my family, and all the noble friends who I have encountered along this wonderful journey of healing.Also, the wonderful woman who suggested that I attend Awakin Circles.
One Thing On Your Bucket List?
I'm living my bucket list right here, right now. Cancer has taught me that the future is never guaranteed, so I'm living my dreams today.
One-line Message for the World?
"Love All, Serve All"--A powerful reminder of what to do in every moment.