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.

Namaste

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.

THE VISION: A MEDITATION CAFE NEXT DOOR TO EVERY STARBUCKS

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 h2omfloatjax.com

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.