Welcome to the GuruMojo podcast, number eleven! Where it’s my job to share the wisdom and insights that I have found to be helpful to me in becoming a happier and more compassionate person. GuruMojo comes from the idea that everyone can take responsibility for their own spiritual life. There are so many practices and philosophies out there that it can be easy to miss the ones that may really speak to you and be the most helpful. For me, after some twenty-five years of seeking a higher truth, I have found some things that have brought me so much peace and happiness that I just want to tell everyone I know. Problem is, they don’t want to hear it. So I made this podcast. And if you’re listening now, there’s a chance that you’re a seeker too, and maybe there’s a reason you’re here. I mean, of course there’s a reason you’re here, in general, and a reason you found this podcast as well…

So, let’s get started…. But before we dive in, I’d like to introduce my new sponsor. I’m so happy to announce that today’s episode is brought to you by the good people over at shopgurumojo.com! Hey! That’s me! I’ve cobbled together a little webstore to help spread joy around the universe… That’s shopgurumojo.com. I’ll talk a little more about that later…. But I am really so grateful to the folks over at shopgurumojo.com for sponsoring this episode. Really it’s just me…

So let’s get into it!

I’m so excited to tell you all the great and amazing things I’ve been getting into lately! You may know that I have a long history of getting involved with ideas and practices that typically reside just outside of what our culture has deemed normal. Everything from Buddhism and meditation and yoga to psychedelic plant medicine and visionary art. Veganism?! All that weird stuff that all my family and friends are sick of me blabbering about! So I made a podcast and here we are. At least you can just turn this off whenever you want!

Now over the last year or so, I’ve discovered something really amazing. A few things, actually, that just might be the fringiest of all the fringe things. I’ve been consumed with reading up and studying this stuff and it all started about a year ago when I became aware of the modern practice and use of Tarot cards! Whaat?! I know! And, **spoiler alert!** the name of this episode is Crystals, Tarot, and Magick! So I think you have a pretty good idea where this is headed. We’ll see who makes it to the end!

So… Now we’ll see if I’ve been able pull this all together into something that makes sense….

As I have been practicing Buddhist meditation and awareness for just over 20 years at this point, I have also spent that time studying philosophy and listening to Alan Watts, and reading the Dalai Lama, and Ken Wilber, and stuff like that. As such, I thought I had just about played out all the exciting concepts and methods. Thought that I had pretty much figured it out by learning from the masters. Not that I had attained enlightenment or anything, but I had an idea of what it meant, and how to practice and live with happiness and compassion.

Then, about five years ago, I heard Jason Louv on the DTFH podcast, and heard for the first time that Magick, real magick, had mostly to do with meditation and self-improvement. Uh-say-what?! I had no idea, magick was definitely off my radar, but that got my attention. I started listening to Jason Louv’s “Ultraculture” podcast, which is really great, I haven’t had the urge to start a magical practice, but it is faaascinating. As it turns out, magick is simply the western esoteric practice. I’ve been steeped in the eastern esoterics, like my favorite flavor of Buddhism, Dzogchen, from Tibet. Jason Louve spells it out in his book, “John Dee And The Empire Of Angels,” speaking of magick as being the “Western esoteric tradition” and how it should really be called (quoting the book) it should really be called, “Esoteric Protestantism, that it is indeed the inner esoteric expression of the Protestant Reformation, and that it has played a guiding role in the spread of Protestantism and its ideals throughout the world. –(Ok… Interesting…..)

He goes on to say that – “All religions have an exoteric shell – a system of rules and dogmas for laypeople – along with smaller inner esoteric groups focused on mysticism, individual experimentation with spiritual techniques…. Examples include the tantric schools of Hinduism and Buddhism, the Holy Orders in Catholicism, the Kabbalists in Judaism, the Sufi schools of Islam, and many more.”

In addition to meditation, magick also involves making contact with angels, which is totally wild, of course and sounds like airy fairy make-believe until you realize that they are the same angels that are talked about in the bible. Like the archangels, Gabriel and Michael. They both show up in Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. The same Angels, the same dudes! Angeling around to anybody who will pay them any attention, apparently. These waters run so deep!

At first when I heard that John Dee, (read Jason’s book!) back in the 1500’s was receiving magical messages from angels, my eyes started to roll a little bit. What?! I mean if you’re not already into it, it sounds crazy when you hear something like that. But if you consider yourself Christian, Jewish, or Muslim, you may have forgotten that you already take for granted magical angelic messages that form the basis for your own religion. It’s not something we think about much, but those are supposedly the same angels. If we will believe those stories from our own religion, shouldn’t we consider that maybe those angels did happen to speak with some other people at some point? It shouldn’t be so unimaginable. At any rate, we’ve already basically agreed that there are beings from dimensions other than our own who, at times, have communicated with us.

There are so many parallels to the practices of these different religions and magick. If you have ever seen a Catholic mass, it is a finely tuned ritual, not so different from a magick ceremony. There are special robes to wear, dab yourself with some holy water, candles are lit, incense may be burned, there’s chanting or singing, an invocation of spirit, and ceremonial objects, with the mass culminating in the celebration of the Eucharist, where through ritual, bread and wine are transformed into the flesh and blood of christ that is then eaten and drunk up by the parishoners. That sounds crazy, btw… My wife is Catholic and she tells me that the bread and the wine are literally tranformed into flesh and blood, it is not a metaphor. And for the record, I have attended hundreds of Catholic masses.

What strikes me as so appealing about magick, is that it encourages a daily meditation practice, so that when there is something that one wants to manifest, one has the mental clarity and acute focus of awareness that it takes to successfully perform the ritual to make the thing happen. This falls into line with what I’ve been learning about manifestation. And it also occurs to me that a magickal ceremony that has a defined outcome, will in fact, act to reinforce the mental states needed to affect the outcome itself. You have to be clear on what you want in order to perform a ritual, and in performing the ritual, you are putting it out to the universe as your intention, and the confidence you must have in the process even to begin any such ritual is the knowing part of manifestation where you feel as if the thing has already been attained. As I understand it, having only begun to study it, the physical act of the ritual or ceremony is thoroughly more powerful than just practicing manifestation as a thought exercise. (Check out episode 9 for manifestation techniques….)

Ok, so I had this vague idea that magick was more about meditation and self-improvement back a few years ago, I didn’t deep-dive on it at that point, but it was there. Then about two years ago, I started listening to the Synchronicity Podcast with Noah Lampert, (also discovered him on the DTFH), talking about manifestation and Neville Goddard, but then he would mention tarot cards. And I was like, what?! This guy sounds like he knows what he’s talking about with all this self-empowerment and manifestation, and now what? Tarot cards?!!! I had never been exposed to tarot. It would only rarely even show up in a movie or something. It seemed silly to me. But the more he would talk about it, I began to get a sense that the cards were being used as a tool to spark the intuition. I became intrigued. I checked out some tarot podcasts and landed on Tarot Bytes, by Theresa Reed, The Tarot Lady. I highly recommend following her on IG @thetorotlady.

As it turns out, tarot is deeply spiritual. The cards are filled with symbolism that, when you have settled your mind and become present, can allow you to intuit answers to any questions you may have. They say that the tarot cards depict every situation that a person can find themselves in. Every life struggle or triumph is in there! The way the cards are designed is brilliant. There are many attributes and associations with numerology, astrology, the elements, and kabbalah. Now there’s a can of worms! I’m not 100% on board with astrology yet, but kabbalah amazes me. It has also been said that the study of tarot, in and of itself is a spiritual practice. That’s kind of where I am with it. It is a part of the stock and trade of magick as well.

So the way tarot works is that the images on the cards are used to spark your intuition. You begin a session by centering yourself and quieting your mind, as we do in meditation, then you ask a question, or the person you’re reading for asks a question. (You can pull cards for yourself as well as for other people.) You mindfully focus on the question as you shuffle and then you lay out a number of cards; there are different configurations you can lay them out in, called spreads, like the celtic cross, or a past-present-future spread. Then you look over them and see what images catch your eye, and ask yourself how these images might apply to the answer to your question. For example, the first card in the deck is called “The Fool” and is usually shown as someone embarking on a journey, often on the top of a cliff or a hill with one foot stepping off into thin air. The fool usually has a travel pack over their shoulder, all of this indicating the start of a journey, a new beginning, a bit of naivete. The fool is not wise, but has the sense of adventure needed to undertake new ventures. This can be encouragement for someone asking about starting a new business, but with a warning not to jump into it without some due diligence, some looking around for where you might want to land. Or take the ten of swords, in one popular deck, it shows someone lying face down on the ground with ten huge swords sticking out of them, its gruesome. But it can mean the end of a season of life, depending on the question, it could be the end of a career or a partnership. It can tell you the something is coming to a conclusion that might be painful, but that always will set you up for a new beginning. Or it could just mean back pain. It depends on the question.

What I really like about tarot is that it will almost always have that positive slant even after some doom and gloom. Also I like that it is your own interpretation that is most relevant. Each tarot deck comes with a guidebook that describes the meanings of the cards, but those are only a guide, there’s nothing rigid. As Theresa Reed always says at the end of her podcast, and yes, I’m saying this from memory, “…nothing is set in stone, the cards tell a story, but you write the ending.” What she is saying is that a prediction made in a reading should be interpreted as what will happen if nothing changes. What the cards offer is the insight into where things are headed so that if you don’t like that outcome, you can change your actions and change the result. A great place to start if you’re interested in tarot is Theresa’s podcast, “Tarot Bytes” they’re quick 10-15 minute episodes, all about tarot, if you start from the beginning, she explains everything and if that sparks more interest, then I highly recommend her book, “Tarot, No Questions Asked.” There are literally hundreds of decks out there and most of the ones I’ve seen are really beautiful. I’m currently in love with my Thoth deck created by Aliester Crowley, and stunningly painted by Lady Freida Harriss. The images are truly magical to behold, both beautiful and disturbing. Everything in a card is available to spark your intuition from the facial expressions of characters and different objects, to shades of color, or the way someone’s hand is posed. Something that stuck with me from a lecture I watched on YouTube of world-famous magician, Lon Milo DuQuette, is that when your mind is quiet and everything is still, the answers to a question are all around you, you can read them in tarot cards, or tea leaves, or just in the room around you. It’s like all of creation is telling you the answer if you would just quiet down and listen. So as far as that goes, the illustrations of tarot may be more helpful in sparking that awareness than deciphering shapes in a jumble of spent tea leaves.

Which will bring me to next thing I want to talk about…. crystals. Oh, crystals. I love crystals so much that I’ve started a shop online, you remember, the sponsor of our show, shopgurumojo.com. I’ve had this idea of having a little store where I can share books that I recommend, and maybe sell cushions for meditation, but you can get all that stuff on Amazon, and competing with Amazon seems silly. But what you don’t get on Amazon is a lovingly curated crystal collection. Oh my gosh…. Let me back up.

I started hearing about crystals on Noah Lampert’s Syncronicity podcast, just like the tarot cards. My interest was sparked. Then I remembered that my old favorite metaphysical shop here in Jacksonville,  the Midnight Sun, is about filled with crystals! I didn’t know the significance. I always thought they looked cool, and growing up at the beach, I’ve always liked hunting shark’s teeth, and loved finding some fossils here or there. Well, on Noah’s podcast, he interviewed his sister, who has an amazing crystal collection. And what do you know? Each different crystal has metaphysical properties associated with it. Again, interest peaked, I headed out to Midnight Sun to see what was what. I bought a book that I thought was going to help me understand how crystals are formed in the earth and to help identify which one was which. So I bought what seemed to be the most substantial crystal book on the shelf, “The Book of Stones” by Robert Simmons, and Naisha Ahsian. I couldn’t have been more wrong, or more impressed. This Book of Stones is not a boring, old encyclopedia of crystal identification, but rather it’s a huge, dazzling,  esoteric treatise on the metaphysical properties of crystals!

Now, if you’re as unfamiliar with these metaphysical properties, as I was, and I mean, I had absolutely no idea that this was a thing! Crystals have different associated metaphysical properties that correspond to different chakras, astrological signs, and emotions, ….they’re each assigned to one of the elements, they’re incorporated into Kabbalah, and lots more.

For example, reading from the Book of Stones, Amethyst is associated with the key words: Protection, purification, Divine connection, and release of addictions. Its element is wind, and its chakras are the third eye, the crown, and the etheric. In the description, Robert Simmons says, “…it is appropriate to view Amethyst as a stone of spiritual protection and purification. It can be an aid to curbing overindulgence and giving up bad habits. It can be used to assist one in quitting smoking, drinking, or drug use. It stimulates the crown chakra and is an aid to meditation, helping one to still one’s thoughts and move into higher states of consciousness. It can clear ones energy field of negative influences and attachments, and can thereby facilitate the creation of an energetic ‘shield’ -a field of spiritual Light around the body that wards off the negativity in one’s environment.” I mean….? Is that amazing or what? So this is all new to me. My mind is blown.

Here’s what they say in the book about Meditation with Stones: … … …(see book…)

These metaphysical associations go deeper. There is said to be a stone being, an actual consciousness that resides within each crystal. Let’s go back to the Book of Stones to the section “Who Are the Stones” It’s just three paragraphs, but I’m going to read the whole thing. ….. …. … …. … (see the book….)

So, yeah. I’m going to leave it right there for now. I would like to mention that Robert Simmons did publish a new book in 2020, called The Alchemy Of Stones, which is a deep-dive into what he was just talking about. I’m just digging into that, but it is amazing. Also, both books are available at shopgurumojo.com. And if you’re interested, check out Robert on YouTube, he actually reads and discusses the first few chapters of the new book, search Robert Simmons Crystals on YouTube and pick up the books if you like what you see.

That’s all for now. And if you’ve made it to the end, wow! Thank you! Please consider subscribing, rating, and reviewing the podcast, it really does help people find it, and I would be so grateful.

And don’t forget to check out my store over at shopgurumojo.com for some amazing crystals. I’m just getting started and I’m looking into having some tarot decks and some books available as well. And check me out on Instagram @gurumojo.crystals.

Thank you so much for tuning in. I wish you all the best.


GuruMojo Podcast #10 Yhang Quintero: Kava, Healing, Ayurveda, Plant Medicine, Connecting, and Community

010 Yhang Quintero

Welcome to GuruMojo Podcast number ten! I’m your host, Kenny Jenkins, and it is my job to bring you the wisdom and insights that I have discovered along my path to becoming a happier, and more compassionate person. GuruMojo is a concept that acknowledges everyone’s ability to take charge of their own spiritual life by deciding which ideas resonate with them.

When I sat down to talk with Yhang at Wildcrafters, it was March 9th (2020) about a week before the pandemic started to hit here in the US. It wasn’t quite headline news, but it was getting there, so it might be kind of weird to hear a conversation that doesn’t mention it. Things have changed so much in just a few months.

Currently, as I record this intro on June 7th, we are seeing this country try to come to grips with so much racial injustice. It has barely been two weeks since George Floyd was murdered by police in Minneapolis. Even calling it “racial injustice” seems too sterile to me. It belittles the reality that in this country, white cops are murdering black men all the time, and have been for hundreds of years. Is that right? Yes, HUNDREDS of YEARS. It makes me angry and it makes me sad. But what can I do about it, I’ve wondered. It does seem like this wave of protests is getting attention. With everyone having a phone and social media, this is getting more attention than ever before. That technology is why we can see so many of the murders taking place at all. Now we can see with our own eyes that this is happening when before all we had was the officer’s word against the victim’s word and they can’t talk because they’re dead. And the cops say it was justified and that’s the end of it. For HUNDREDS of YEARS!

As Martin Luther King said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” I believe that to be true. So many things that were terribly wrong with our moral compass have started to be corrected over time. When you look back over history, things we take for granted now would never have been talked about, much less put to a vote. Gay marriage, most recently, was not talked about as an actual possibility just 20-30 years ago. Interracial marriage was illegal in some states until a Supreme Court decision in 1967, and that’s me! My wife and I are an interracial couple and to imagine that when we got married in 2001, it would have been illegal just 34 years previous. We have two kids that wouldn’t exist if that was the case!

Women didn’t have the right to vote in this country until 1920! And Looking it up I see that they weren’t allowed to vote in France until 1944, 1952 in Greece, and in Switzerland, women were not allowed to vote until 1971! Really?!!

So the arc of the moral universe is indeed long, but to say that it bends towards justice, which it does, is not to say that we merely have to watch it and do nothing. I’m starting to realize that you just can’t “set it and forget it”. We need to do something to help it along. I found a great resource through Jack Kornfield that I’ll share. On jackkornfield.com, he links to an article called, “75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice” It’s a good read even if you are not a white person. Anyone who is wondering what they can do to help may find some good ideas there.

Also, Jack has started to stream his Monday Night Dharma Talks from the Spirit Rock Meditation Center. Get on his mailing list or check out the spirit rock FB page for more info on that.

Now before I play this conversation with Yhang, I want to offer up a really helpful breathing exercise that I’ve been using recently. It is great for calming anxiety, and I use it throughout the day just as a good grounding exercise. Also, I’ll use it if I have too many thoughts in my head when I’m trying to get to sleep at night.

What you do is to slow down your breathing just a bit, to where you have to control it. Use whatever count seems right for you, but you breathe in slowly and hold your breath at the top of your breath, then let it out and exhale slowly and then hold your breath at the end of the exhale. You can try it with me now. Go ahead and breathe in for 12345678, then hold your breath for 12345678, exhale 12345678, and hold 12345678, in 2345678, hold2345678, out 2345678, hold 2345678.

And that’s it. If you do that cycle for 10 breaths, your blood pressure goes down, you feel better. Do 20 or 30 breaths and see if it works for you. Keep the timing so that the exercise is a gentle one, don’t over-exert yourself, take it easy. Life is already hard enough.

And now that you are hopefully grounded and chill, sit back and enjoy this conversation with the amazing Yhang Quintero….. And be aware that as this is a conversation between two adults, so there is always the possibility of adult language….

All right! Come check out Yhang and the crew down at Wildcrafters in Jax, or if you don’t live in Jacksonville, maybe check to see if there is a booze-free bar in your city that you can support!

And don’t forget to check me out on Instagram @gurumojome and maybe consider supporting the podcast on Patreon.com/gurumojo

Thank you so much for your attention, I know it is precious.


005 GuruMojo Podcast, Meditation, David Nictern on the DTFH

This episode elaborates on a piece of great advice given by meditation teacher, David Nictern, when he was interviewed by Duncan Trussell on the DTFH Podcast.

003 GuruMojo Podcast, Headspace App, Sensory Deprivation, My Vision for the Future of Meditation

All right! Podcast episode 003 is here! I recently tried out sensory deprivation via float tank! In this episode I’ll talk about the experience, spoiler alert, it was amazing! I’ll also discuss my vision for the future of Meditation. Check it and let me know if you’d like for me to cover any specific topics or questions.

Thanks very much,

Kenny J.

001 The Gurumojo Show

Episode 001 of The Gurumojo Show. Hey, It’s my first podcast! Here’s a quick run-down of some of the key information in the first few blog posts. I discuss why we meditate, giving examples of its benefits and naming some highly successful people who meditate from different walks of life. I also describe simple instructions for anyone to try and begin this life-changing practice. Thanks for tuning in!

Don’t forget to breathe!

Kenny J.