I was happy to return to Del Mar this summer for my family’s annual reunion, which we celebrate every 4th of July. Due to the pandemic, however, we couldn’t do many of the fun things we usually do, like visiting the San Diego County Fair (which I still refer to as the “Del Mar Fair” as it was called when I was a kid) and most of our other favorite Independence Day activities were also canceled. Staying home for most of the holiday weekend, I gave thought to the concept of “independence.”

Although it’s obvious that we’re all interconnected in direct or subtle ways, underneath it all, it seems people tend to interpret “independence” as a solitary gateway to their own happiness, freedom, rights, liberty, and peace, often in ways that simply preserve self interests while encroaching on others.

The truth is, all facets of Mother Earth’s order — the physical, natural world and the human world — are completely connected and interrelated, and cannot be separated even the slightest bit. Disorder and aberration in one sector will affect other sectors. If we want to live in happiness and peace, we must learn how to live in balance and harmony with all spheres of our natural environment: the internal and the external, the individual and the social, the physical and the spiritual.

To create true happiness, we must reflect on the interrelationship of all things, see ourselves clearly as one part of the causal relationships within the natural order. To do this we become aware first of the internal mental/spiritual factors we create, then we see how those factors attract to us and manifest various effects in our life experiences, in society, and ultimately in the world around us.

Once this system of causal relationship, of interdependence, is understood on the spiritual level, we grow to see the connections between our inner factors and their causal relationships in our lives and every aspect of our environment. What is unseen inside us, we will attract, and it will be seen outside us. This simple ray of understanding can lead us to true independence, an independence that honors our connection to all others and all that exists in the universe, while cherishing ourselves and looking to no one but ourselves to solve our own problems from the inside out. Some people these days call this the law of attraction.

Speaking of attraction, I can’t stay away from the ocean for too long. It always pulls me back, and I’m glad it does. Above is a southerly view (from Del Mar toward La Jolla) of Torrey Pines State Beach where I loved walking nearly every day.

In other news, while at my mother’s home during our family gathering I found one of the original Taro Gold lotus flower pendants. My buddy Oded is a brilliant Israeli jewelry designer living in Tokyo, and he created the pendant as part of the Taro Gold jewelry collection years ago during my J-pop music days in Japan. Oded owns one of the coolest jewelry stores in Tokyo, on Harajuku Street, called Oz Abstract. Below is a photo he snapped of the first Taro Gold lotus pendant he made. My logo is the shape of a diamond within a lotus flower. To me, it signifies the diamond of wisdom and joy we all possess deep in our hearts, and the strength and beauty that blossoms from our lives as we overcome each challenge that comes our way. As you may know, the lotus flower blooms most beautifully from the deepest and thickest mud, which is a great reminder to make the most of our “mud” and use it to bloom with even greater happiness!


I also want to express my gratitude to everyone who sent well-wishes for my mother earlier this year as she battled the novel coronavirus. She made a full recovery after nearly two months of symptoms. This independence day my family and I saluted her strong character – a shining example of a truly unbeatable spirit. I want to live with as much vigor, courage, and laughter as she does! And I wish you and yours the very best of health and happiness this year and always.