Gratitude is a concept that has been thrown around a lot lately, but I don’t think it has been very well defined or that there has been a clear way in which people are saying you should, “be grateful.” I believe that it is helpful to actively feel gratitude for the very specific things that we might be taking for granted on a daily basis. If you are reading this, for example, you have a lot to be grateful for. The fact that you have managed to access an internet connection means that for sure, you are not lacking some of life’s necessities like, I don’t know, clean drinking water. Let’s face it, we live like royalty compared to most people on this planet.

I love the phrase, “First world problems.” It points out how fortunate I really am. Just the other day I was complaining to a coworker about my new schedule. I chose to work weekends and closing shifts at the restaurant so that I could take care of my four month old daughter during the day. It works out great because my wife works a nine-to-five and we can pass off the baby without having to put her into day care. I was complaining that I don’t get a day off with my wife and that I don’t get as much sleep as I’d like when I realized that, of course, this is exactly what we wanted. I love my life and I’m so grateful that I have a job that is flexible and that my six year old son is starting little league baseball, and we have air conditioning, and can afford to buy organic foods. The list goes on. There is so much to be grateful for!

My gratitude practice includes reflecting on what I am grateful for throughout the day and especially as I lie in bed before falling asleep each night. I run down the list of everything I’m grateful for from my family to my home and my job, and yes, I remember to be grateful for clean drinking water! How is that still a thing?! My gratitude meditation is very similar to a prayer. Some people keep gratitude journals where they write down one thing every day that they are grateful for. You might reflect on gratitude first thing in the morning. Whatever works!

The act of intentionally feeling gratitude is important to our physical and mental well-being. Research on gratitude has revealed some amazing benefits. Feeling grateful reduces stress and can help lessen depression. A daily reflection on gratitude has been shown to increase attributes such as alertness, enthusiasm, and determination. People engaged in the practice tend to get better and more sleep. They are also more likely to help someone else with a personal problem or offer them emotional support. There are also indications that a gratitude practice has benefits related to heart health.

Gratitude can be experienced as an object of meditation, just like the breath. When you feel grateful for something, hold the feeling, observe it like an object. Let’s say you’ve just had a wonderful meal at a nice restaurant and you realize that you are grateful. Hold that thought. Observe it. How does it feel emotionally and physically? Are you feeling happy? Do you feel energized? Explore the depth of the thing you are grateful for. Are you feeling gratitude toward the cooks that prepared the meal? Are you grateful that you have the money to eat at such a nice restaurant? Consider the server who gave you excellent service, the owner of the restaurant who had the vision to bring together the food and ambiance. Go even deeper. Think about the farmer who cared for the ingredients that were prepared and brought to the table. There’s a lot going on that we take for granted every day.

As we improve and strengthen our mindfulness, it is important to direct it at useful mindsets like gratitude and compassion. (I was originally going to write this post on both gratitude and compassion, but quickly discovered that they both merit their own posts.) These attributes further our own well-being in addition to that of our immediate communities, (families, coworkers, and people we encounter every day), and inevitably, they improve the world. As more and more people begin to experience meditation and begin to feel gratitude and compassion, we all become more whole, suffering decreases across the board while happiness increases. The effects are real. I somehow don’t think the skeptics will have read this far, so please, try this for yourself and see if you agree. Don’t take my word for it. And if you see a benefit here, please share what you have found with those people in your life who might need it the most. And be grateful.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I am grateful.

Kenny J.


This will happen. It is inevitable. Meditation cafes will spring up all over the place as the world catches on to the importance of the practice. Picture this: Emma is a busy professional. She is an attorney in New York City, the financial district. She works about a million hours a week at some big-time law firm. Despite that, she takes really good care of herself, she hits the gym every morning, eats healthy, and manages to get enough sleep most nights. During the course of a typical day, Emma will grab a smoothie on the way to work from the gym, meet with clients, meet with the partners of the law firm, you get it, she does lawyer stuff all day. She breaks for lunch and grabs a quick wrap from the corner deli, hits up Starbucks for a latte, and dips into the meditation spot next door for a quick twenty minute sesh to clear her head before heading back to the office. Whoa-whaa?! Like I said, this will happen.

I imagine that meditation cafes will look like day-spas, sleek and modern, with a receptionist to greet you. Would you like a bottle of water? You’ll be shown to a small, private meditation room, large enough to accommodate a comfortable chair or a cushion on the floor. The room is sound proof and you have access to a tablet that allows you to set a timer and control the lighting. You can pull up audio programming like guided meditations, soothing music, or nature sounds. You’ll do your thing and leave refreshed and ready for whatever the world wants to throw at you. You can have a membership or pay by the minute.

Sensor deprivation tank at H2Om FLOAT in Jacksonville, Florida

I’m so excited about the future of meditation! (Ya think?!) There are already “float centers” across the country where you can experience full sensory deprivation. They use tanks that resemble giant futuristic eggs. You float inside in ten inches of highly concentrated salt water solution that is warmed to body temperature. These tanks offer an amazing experience that I am looking forward to trying out soon! I’d like to see these tanks turned upright, without the water, for a seated meditation.

As it is, the “Float” sessions take more time, which makes sense because they offer a much deeper experience. They require the user to shower before and after floating. The meditation centers I envision would include one or two of these sensory deprivation tanks for extended sessions, in addition to the main meditation pods. The idea is to be able to pop in and out quickly getting your fix on a lunch break or on the way to or from work. There would also be a separate studio where guided group meditations could be led by an instructor.

I like the idea of a membership model, like a gym or yoga studio, where you can become a member or pay for drop-in sessions al a carte. The concept behind GuruMojo is to be the preeminent meditation brand. The “Starbucks of meditation” (lol, I know!). Someday you may find yourself dipping into a GuruMojo Dojo for a quick twenty.

Don’t get me wrong. Realistically, this concept won’t fly for another ten years or more. Maybe twenty, maybe thirty! For this to work, meditation will have to be as popular as going to the gym. That’s where I come in. My goal is to introduce as many people as possible to the practice in a way that convinces them to try it for themselves. Meditation is vital. Meditation is for everyone. I’ve got the rest of my life to keep singing that song. I don’t even know how to stop. Why would I?

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. I can’t wait to tell you why I’m thinking about using a cartoon chicken for the GuruMojo logo! Do you even meditate, bro?

Kenny J.


So many people miss out on meditation because they think it is some flaky, mystical, woo-woo nonsense. Others think that meditation is strictly religious and might conflict with their own religious beliefs, (or lack thereof). The truth is that meditation is more sciency than all that. This is brain stuff. Meditation is more like lifting weights for your brain. When you lift weights your muscles get stronger; when you meditate you brain gets stronger. Meditation is really just a fancy name for awareness training. That’s all it is. My mission here is to introduce people to a practical, simple meditation, and to convince you that it is good for you, no matter who you are or what you are in to!

I think it is worth mentioning here that meditation is not prayer. Meditation is a tool that can be used to enhance prayer. It can enhance anything that requires attention and being present. Literally any human endeavor can be enhanced when meditation is practiced alongside it.

In sports, for example, it is widely accepted that the game is 90% mental and only 10% physical. Focus and clarity are what allow players to perform at their highest levels. It’s no wonder that top athletes are turning to meditation. Athletes who have been known to meditate range from basketball legends, Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan, to Olympic gold medal-winning volleyball players, Misty May-Trainor and Kerri Walsh, and even the entire University of Michigan basketball team, led by their coach! These top-performers are serious about their sport, and they realize that meditation is the key to reaching their full potential.

Some of the most successful and influential business leaders have also discovered the value of awareness training. From Ceo’s to top-level entrepreneurs, meditation has proven itself to be an integral key to success. In a world where numerous personal growth practices are debated, meditation is generally accepted as an effective tool. A small sample of this group includes: Marc Benioff of multi-billion dollar giant Salesforce, Arianna Huffington, the founder of Huffington Post who has been meditating since she was a teenager, and Jeff Weiner, former Yahoo exec and current Linkedin CEO, who meditates daily. The clarity of mind and reduction of stress are essential for success in the business world.

And as you can imagine, the world of entertainment is full of practicing meditators at the peak of their craft. Madonna, Ellen DeGeneres, Russell Brand, Katy Perry, Clint Eastwood, Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman, Eva Mendez, Jerry Seinfeld, Gwyneth Paltrow, Lady Gaga, Paul McCartney, Oprah Winfrey, Howard Stern, Martin Scorsese, and … All right, you get it. The list does go on and on. I could have made a similar list of meditating CEO’s and sports figures, but the CEO’s aren’t as recognizable, and the sports list would just be too long.

Whether you are learning a new language, raising your kids, or trying to make partner at your law firm. Meditation will get you further, quicker. If you want to be at the top of your game, whatever that may be, you may want to take note of what is working for other top-performers. The fact that you’ve read this far is a good indication that you are ready to give meditation a try. But you can’t just take my word on it, this is something you have to try for yourself to see if it works for you. Thanks for taking the time! And don’t forget to breathe!

Kenny J.