Name: Karl Grass
Where you live:
I live in Nokomis, Florida which is near Sarasota on the Gulf of Mexico.
What you do as a vocation or avocation?
I provide executive coaching to leaders and individuals who are motivated to be their best. I also facilitate workshops for people who are ready – or getting ready - to make a significant transition in their lives.
Your two favorite books:
Two that come to mind are Pema Chodron’s, No Time to Lose: A Timely Guide to the Way of the Bodhisattva as I will often read from it before going to bed and Carol Pearson’s, Awakening the Heroes Within which I often go back to when considering my own personal growth. I’d be willing to predict that next year I’d have some different picks but these are the ones I currently go back to the most.
Your two favorite songs:
This really got me thinking about so many songs that I hadn’t listened to in a long time. I don’t have two favorites; there are too many to choose from. However, in the spirit of the question I’ll pick the Beatles and Bonnie Raitt as my favorite artists.
Why you are interested in spirituality?
I’ve always wondered about the nature of reality. I think spirituality helps us explore this question more fully and in a more satisfying way. Moreover, I think it offers the best opportunity for leading people to a better life.
Your favorite quote:
“What you are is what you have been. What you'll be is what you do now.”
- Siddhartha Guatama
Your favorite web sites:
I don’t really have one. When I was writing Compassion Haiku it was www.howmanysyllables.com!
There are so many people to admire and Gandhi comes to mind immediately but I am going to go with Benjamin Franklin. His life and his contributions are incredible and often go unnoticed – which was fine with him. One of his attributes was to stay in the background and let others claim credit for his ideas. In fact, despite creating numerous inventions he never patented any of his ideas. His motivation was more driven by service. As he wrote in his autobiography,
"... as we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours; and this we should do freely and generously."
I could go on and on about his service to others, his long list of practical inventions still in use today, and his lifelong dedication to self-improvement. Suffice it to say that I think he rocks.
A spiritual lesson you hope to learn?
The lesson I am most focused on is realizing there is no permanent, singular, and independent self.
A place in the world where you feel spiritually "connected?"Being outdoors, in natural settings, is where I feel most connected. Jasper, Canada is a special place for me and one where that sense of peace and harmony is abundant.
Editor's Note: Karl is author of Compassion Haiku: Daily insights and practices for developing compassion for yourself and for others . You can reach Karl and/or read more about his work via Facebook page "Compassion Haiku," via Twitter @compassionhaiku, or via his web site: