Jizo and Chibi – Bring Home a Piece of Inner Peace.

Who is Jizo?

Jizo is revered in Buddhism as the protector of all those who suffer. When we wear a Jizo pendant, we may feel more grounded, whatever the day brings, as we awaken our Jizo-nature.


Who is Chibi?

Chibi is Japanese for “little one” and represents the child in all of us. Chibi reminds us to care for our inner child by placing it in the care of Jizo.


Who is Valerie?

Valerie Johns is a mindful psychotherapist, writer, and artist. She created this site introduce you to Jizo, to share her Blog for Inner Peace and encourage you to cultivate that peace by wearing her Jizo and Chibi jewelry.


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How to resist Halloween candy with meditation

Sugar.  Childhood obesity.  Adult onset diabetes.  Makes one anxious.  Feeling discomfort?  Have something sweet.  Then, beat yourself up. Get “control” of it.  Then, eat it again.  And again.  Try to stop.  Can’t.  If this sounds familiar, you are so Not Alone.  Me, I ask Jizo to hold the Craving Child inside me safely, just for this moment.  Just For This Moment.  No craving is permanent, even the ones I have been feeling lately.

I usually don’t walk down candy aisles.  Usually.  A couple of weeks ago I was in a big name drug store to pick up some sundries and I ran smack into an aisle of Halloween candy, side by side with an aisle of, yes, Christmas candy.

We are entering the trifecta of Food Pain:  Halloween, Thanksgiving and then the onslaught of Christmas cookies, gelt, parties, Shoulds, ‘have just a little’ and then a little more and a little more.

I saw these little orange pumpkins.  They screamed at me like a candy from when I was a kid, aptly named Screaming Yellow Zonkers, a rendition of Cracker Jacks.  Now, I am haunted.  Each day the thought of these orange pumpkins — pure corn syrup — that taste like candy corn — visit my mind and distract me.  They are calling to me like the kid in a cartoon I saw called The God of Cake on a site called Hyperbole and a Half.  The author, Allie, nailed the craving kid beautifully.  Seriously, read her if you are craving candy or cake.  Your inner kid, your Chibi, will thank you for the mirroring experience.  Here’s her depiction of the cake-craving child:


The cravings that the pumpkins, pictured below, elicit is Insane.  Having meditated for a while, I watch cravings come and go.  I don’t judge them, usually, and I generally don’t act on them.  Still, the cravings are there.  Sometimes.  As an executive for food conglomerate told a writer for the New York Times, “I feel sorry for Americans, they don’t stand a chance against the junk food industry.”  The food is engineered to cause us to want more.  And, no I can’t eat one.


So, what do we do about Halloween cravings in the short term?  Notice them, tell someone you are craving sugar, and then, please, eat an apple or just sit with the craving until it passes.  No craving is permanent.

Try the meditation for circum-respiration that I wrote.  If that fails, there is always Overeaters Anonymous meetings, where the majority of members will not be eating Halloween candy, just like most members of Alcoholics Anonymous won’t be drinking for the holidays.

Anxious moments will always be part of our path.  Blocking our development by caving into cravings doesn’t help.  In OA they say, “I put my hand in yours and together we can do something that we could never do alone.”  In Buddhist teachings, we call this sangha:  community.  If you are feeling alone with your cravings, there are places you can go.  I promise you will be welcome as a member of the tribe, whatever your favorite Halloween candy is.

Meantime, should you encounter a craving, meet it with kindness and curiosity.  Sit with it.  Ask Jizo to hold that part of you safely.  See what happens.




We Are All a Little Broken… Don’t get over it

We all are a little broken. And that’s okay. Really, it is.

In “The Art of Happiness” the Dalai Lama confided to his interviewer that he had a huge regret. He then shared a very sad story. The interviewer asked him if he ever got over it. The Dalai Lama was surprised. “Get over it? No… why would I expect to get over it.” (my paraphrase)

Perhaps a lot of our suffering comes from the expectation of Getting Over Things. The cost of this expectation likely accounts for more lost time at work, with family, and in life in general than cancer, alcoholism and the common cold put together.

Read more →

Surrendering Narcissism? It Hurts So Bad

Ever get into a huff that things are not going your way? Are you hurt when you don’t feel understood, and then think that there is either a) something wrong with you or b) something wrong with the person who hurt or insulted you?

We toss the term narcissistic around like a ball. We insult people by calling them “raging narcissists” because, sometimes, when narcissism is pierced, people yell, scream, rant, toss out sarcasm or even calmly blame you for wronging them.

Plenty of books appear on shelves and iPads about how to leave a narcissist. But I could not find a single one about how to love one or awaken to the notion that you ARE one, or at least just a little bit of one, yourself.  Read more →