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.
Hello and welcome to the GuruMojo Podcast #9! I’m your host,
Kenny Jenkins, and I am committed to bringing you the wisdom, teachings, and
practices that I have found to be helpful on my path to becoming a happier,
healthier, and more compassionate person.
GuruMojo is designed to help you find your own path, and take responsibility
for your own spiritual life.
Today I’d like to talk about the power of imagination and
intention, and the realization of your own reality. This is something that I
first heard about back when the documentary, “The Secret” came out back around
2006. It was my introduction to the Law of Attraction, and basically it tells
you that you can have anything you want in the world, just by imagining it. You
want a new house, imagine your new house and somehow, the universe gives you a
house. Now, it’s a little more involved than that, but not much. And if you are
completely new to the idea of the Law of Attraction, it is a great place to
start. Its great if you want to show it to someone who has no experience with
metaphysical concepts or New Age ideas. I was watching it with my mom recently
and was just thinking, “man, this is great! This is perfect!” It’s on Netflix
now, so check it out. The production is a little cheesy, ok, it’s a lot cheesy,
but it’s a great into to these concepts.
That being said, there are a few lacking details to The
Secret. So as I was unable to manifest my perfect life using the techniques
there, they fell to the wayside over the years, and I kept with me a general
sense of how we create our own reality with our thoughts, and have tried to be
mindful of the words I use and the thoughts I think. Having an abundance
mindset as opposed to a scarcity mindset. Like instead of worrying about not
having enough money, saying to myself that “money comes frequently and easily”.
I heard that from Allyson Grey around the same time. Knowing that if you focus
your mind on the negative, the negative tends to manifest or continue.
So just in the last four months or so, I’ve been turned onto
a couple of great resources that fill in some of the holes in the Law of
Attraction concept put forth by The Secret. One of them is the Synchronicity
Podcast with Noah Lampert. Amazing. Go check out Noah. He has been distilling
the teachings of the other great resource I’ve just come across, Neville
Goddard. Neville Goddard taught imaginal practices and that we create our world
through our imagination. He died in 1972, and started teaching back in the
30’s. I’m really amazed that I haven’t heard his name until just recently. But
on the other hand, they say that you only receive this type of information when
you are ready for it. Which in and of itself is mind blowing. And by the way,
that means that if you are listening to this podcast, that you are ready for
this information as well! See what I mean? I mean, strap yourself in! This is
The concept that we create our world through our imagination
is right in line with the Buddhist idea that everything we perceive is a
projection of our own consciousness. It relates to magic in that the word
abracadabra literally translates to “I create as I speak”. There’s Terrence
McKenna’s idea that the world is created by language, literally, springs into
being from our words. I think, therefore I am.
What was missing from The Secret, is the fact that we are
already doing this, all the time. We are constantly creating our reality from
our imagination. Goddard said that there is nothing anyone has ever experienced
that we have not imagined for ourselves. The reason most of us are working jobs
we don’t like or experience trouble and stress throughout the day is because we
have imagined it that way. We don’t have a reason to imaging that today will be
much different from yesterday. And the reason we got into this jam in the first
pace is because we inherited the idea from our parents, form our culture, as
did they, and so on. Call it consensus reality. We have all known ever since we
were kids, that we would eventually have to leave school and enter the “real
world”. That picture was never painted very pretty for us. Grown ups would say
things like, well you have it easy now, so enjoy your childhood, you don’t have
a care in the world, but that will change once you have bills to pay and a
family to support. And they didn’t know any better, they were handed the same
vision for themselves down from their parents. My dad would always say, “If was
any fun, they wouldn’t call it work!” What?! What?! That is so wrong.
Everything should be play, even work, especially work! Jesus said, “unless you change and become like little children, you will never
enter the kingdom of heaven.”
So you have imagined yourself into this very
life, every day of it. And while I’m still trying to wrap my head around the
full implications of this concept, it’s enough for me to accept it without
being able to fully understand it. Did I imaging breaking my arm last year
skateboarding with my son? Maybe, but damn, that’s hard to take. There’s the
whole realm of deep tragedy that surrounds our lives with the suffering of
others, deaths of loved ones, illness, and all those things, and I’m not here
to say that everyone imagined those things for themselves, but maybe they did.
I feel like I’m constantly picturing the worst case scenarios for my family and
snapping myself out of some sick daydream of people close to me getting sick or
hurt in the worst way. And as a parent, its my job to picture the worst things
happening or else how will I ever know to tell my kids, don’t put that in your
mouth! Don’t stand on that wobbly thing! I digress…. My point is that for our
purposes here, we don’t need to delve all the way into how we have imagined the
horror shows that pop up for us. I want to talk about imagining all the good
stuff! Abundance. Happiness. Dreams that come true.
Now, to hear more about imaginal practices,
be sure to check out Noah’s Synchronicity Podcast. I’m going to give you a few
of his techniques here, but not all of them. He is a treasure trove of
These techniques are so easy. I’ve started to see results
with even just a little practice.
The main techniques a visualization you do when you are in a
drowsy state. It can usually be that sleepy time when your going to bed and are
about to fall asleep. This state of consciousness is like a bridge between the
dreaming world and your conscious state.
You pick you desire, a wish, it could be anything you want. Money, relationships, a job, a car, literally anything you want to have in the world
You enter that drowsy state, and in your mind, you imagine a short scene, with lots of detail, of having the thing you desire, you already have it. See it as real, if it is a house, what does the furniture look like, what kind of art is on the walls, is it on the waterfront, in the mountains. Details. The imagine how you would feel once the desire is fulfilled, look around and feel the feeling of having it. Wow, this is it, and include the thought, it’s just like I imagined it! Then go to sleep, carry on with your life, don’t give it much thought after that. And watch it unfold in your world. You can start small or go big! It’s fun to test it on small stuff. The trick is believing that it has already come true. If you imagine that it will happen, “someday” then that day will never come, it will always be “someday” Like this bar here in Jacksonville that always had a sign out front that said, “Free Beer Tomorrow” The sign was always up so the joke was that whenever you came in for the free beer, it was always, “nope, that’s tomorrow! So what can I get ya today?” You have to imagine that you already have it. Because you do!
Also, don’t concern yourself with how the thing will come to you. That’s nunya. Nun ya damn business! Just focus on having it already and how does that feel, and watch out! A small thing to practice on is a parking space. I picture the car backing out of the space exactly where I want to park and imagine the feeling of just pulling right in, so happy, so grateful, and it’s just like I imagined it! It’s almost scary how well it works.
The more you do this, the more confidence you get in the technique. Noah also talks about “pressure testing” where the thing you want doesn’t come fast enough, or doesn’t happen just the way you wanted it to. That’s just you testing your own faith in the process. You have to double-down and believe that this is true. You’ll see!
Another technique is the audio version of the previous exercise.
Do the same thing, find your desire, a wish, go into that sleepy state.
But this time construct a scene where you hear the voice of a friend or someone you love saying “Congratulations, you did it” or “Wow its really amazing that you have this great job that you wanted, good for you” keep it vivid in sensory and the feelings you feel. Hearing these words of congratulations and admiration from a friend or loved one reinforces the effect. It cements the reality for you so that you can more easily believe that it is true.
There’s several more techniques that Noah talks about, check
him out for sure, he gives a lot of credit to Goddard, but he definitely has a
lot more going on himself than just that! Also, there’s a lot to be said for
the fact that really, everyone in your life is you reflected back at yourself.
We all come from the same source of pure consciousness, and therefore we are
not separate from each other, but the same one being, pretending to be
separate. So really you are just reminding yourself of these things. As Ken
Wilber has said, didn’t you write all of these books just to remind yourself of
who you really are? The world is a mirror, and if you don’t like what you see,
you can change it. You really can. You just have to believe that it is
So try it out and let me know what you think. Keep in mind
that it is a life practice. It does take practice to get there. I’ve had some
really amazing things happen as a result. For example, I recently led a group
in guided meditation at an event here in Jacksonville. It is something I’ve
wanted to do for a long time, but only recently had I started to imagine
it with these techniques. Then, sure enough, there I was sitting in front of a
group talking about meditation, just like I imagined it! So cool!!! That was at
The Murray Hillbilly, the vegan restaurant I talked about a few episodes back.
They’re doing a Mindful Mic Night on the third Friday of every month now. They
just celebrated their first anniversary and they’ve won a ton of awards!
Definitely check them our if you’re in Jax, especially on the third Friday of
every month for Mindful Mic night!
So yeah, that’s this episode. Coming up I’m going to be
doing more interviews. Talking about herbalism and visionary art. Definitely
more to come…
Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram as gurumojome, and
gurumojo on FB. Also I’m relaunching the Patreon with more cool stuff. Some
binaural beats, guided meditations, trippy music and whatnot, keep an eye out
for that at patreon.com/gurumojo.
Hello and welcome to the gurumojo podcast number seven! 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, more compassionate
On this episode, I want to give you a basic rundown of what
Buddhism is. For me, the Buddhist teachings have been the main practice, the
main influence that have helped me to grow as a more compassionate, a more
centered and loving person. And before I knew what Buddhism was, you know, I
didn’t know. It was off my radar. But then as I was starting my spiritual path,
in my early 20’s, I came across the basic teachings and they just spoke to me.
The Buddhist concepts just resonated with me as something that I already
believed without having already put it into words for myself.
So here’s the basic rundown, it surprisingly simple, call it
Buddhism 101, or Buddhism At A Glance. And let me offer this disclaimer: I’m
not a trained teacher, I’ve studied and practiced mostly on my own for around
20 years. I like the idea that a second grader can teach a first grader, I’m
just sharing what I’ve found. And let me also say that I’m not trying to be a
guru, gurumojo is the concept that we can all be our own spiritual guides.
Follow our own paths and find what works for us.
So what is Buddhism?
Well, let me tell you. Or rather, let me tell you what I
think it is. Does it really work that way? I think so. To start off with, I
don’t think Buddhism is a religion. It’s more of a philosophy. Buddhism is a
philosophy that describes the ultimate nature of our human existence. Yes! This
is going to be one of those talks! (Like, “oh brother, here he goes again about
the ultimate naure of our human existence!”) Yeah… Buddhism lays out a system
for living the happiest life possible. It includes a code of ethics. But
there’s no god to pray to or worship. There’s no dogma to subscribe to. In fact
the Buddha famously said often that you should not take his word on it, but
rather discover for yourself what you believe to be true. And who is this Buddha
character? I should probably start there. I’ll just give you the nutshell
version and you can take it from there if you want to know more.
Before he became the Buddha, his name was Sidhartha, and he was
an Indian prince who was born back in 623bc. He led such a completely sheltered
life in his royal palace that when he was a young man, he ventured outside of
the palace and for the first time encountered sickness, old age, and death. He
had literally never seen a sick person, an old person, or a dead body up until
then. Seriously… It hit him like a ton of bricks! Like, “What is all this
suffering? What is death?” Well, he left the palace and gave up his royal life
and became a wandering holy man in search of the answers to his questions about
suffering and the human condition. So to make a long story short, he came up
with the answer. He cracked the code. He had what could be described as a
moment of ultimate realization. An epiphany. An awakening to the true nature of
reality, also known as an enlightenment. What he came up with is known as, “The
Four Noble Truths.” This is the basis of Buddhism. And here they are….
The first noble truth is The truth of suffering, as in “to
live is to suffer.” As we all know, the deal with having a human body is that
for all the joys and happiness, you will suffer. You will hurt, you will
experience mental anguish, you will get sick and eventually die. Period. To
live is to suffer. Got it.
The second noble truth is the truth of the causes of
suffering. And this is huge. The cause of suffering is rooted in our
expectations and our emotional clinging to the outcomes of our expectations. We
think things are going to be a certain way and when it turns out different, we
suffer. We get upset at each other, we get down on ourselves, we resent the
universe for the crappy day we’re having. We experience mental anguish. If
someone is rude to you, it upsets you because you were carrying an expectation
that people would treat you with respect. If you truly expected that person to
be rude to you when you saw them coming, it would not upset you, or even more
accurately, if you were not clinging to the expectation of being treated a
certain way, it wouldn’t upset you when that expectation was not met. See? We
suffer because of our expectations. Ever hear that old pessimist quote, “Expect
nothing and you will never be disappointed?” They’re on to something…. It’s
just when they say it it has that
crunchy little eh- “Expect nothing and
you’ll never be disappointed…. Eh…” That’s the truth of the causes of suffering.
The third noble truth is the truth of the cessation of
suffering. It is the truth that says there can be an end to the suffering. Glad
to hear that! Check.
The fourth noble truth is the truth of the path to
cessation. It is the method to be used to end all that suffering. This is the
big one! This is what we’ve all been waiting for even if we didn’t know it!
Good lord, do you have any idea what in the world could possibly end suffering
of all humanity?! If you’re a listener of this podcast you might not be
surprised to hear that it is, you guessed it. Meditation! That’s right, good
ol’ meditation! Holy Moly Guacamole! Is that what this is all about? Is that
why I’ve been pushing this stuff on everybody who will listen? Ah, yes… The end
of suffering for all beings? That’s it. That’s my jam. Meditation…….. And what is meditation? Simply enough,
meditation is placing your attention on a single object and focusing on that
one thing for a while. Could be an image, a word, a concept, or most simply,
your breath. Breath meditation is what I practice most. Anyone can do it, and
here’s how, real quick. You find a place to sit quietly for ten, twenty, or
thirty minutes. Close your eyes and notice your breath going in and out. Don’t
try to breathe a certain way, just observe the breath. You can focus on how it
feels when it goes in and out of your nostrils, or the feeling of your belly
rising and falling. You will notice immediately that thoughts spring up and
distract you and all of a sudden you’re thinking about what you’re going to do
after you meditate, or tomorrow, or remembering something that happened to you.
The instruction is to just notice that you’ve been distracted and simply note
to yourself, “thinking” and go back to watching your breath. Don’t fall into
the trap of thinking, “Oh, meditation is not for me, I have too many thoughts.”
We all have too many thoughts, that’s the point, notice them and note them to
yourself and gently place your attention back on the breath. Begin again. And
again. After a while you’ll notice that it takes less time to realize that
you’ve been distracted by a thought, and that you start to get distracted by
them a little less frequently. That’s meditation.
The Buddha teaches us that when we quiet our minds and go
within, we learn to loosen the grip our mind has on our expectations. We learn
to realize the moment we start the cycle of being upset by something and are
able to take the time to observe those feelings and let them go because there
is no reason to allow ourselves to get caught up in afflictive emotions thereby
increasing our suffering. Even worse, when we suffer like that, we will usually
inflict suffering on someone else by either lashing out or turning away from
someone, or just moping around. There’s a million ways we spread our suffering
around to others. Misery loves company? You betcha! And so often we are so
self-centered that we don’t even realize that we are doing it.
So, yeah, meditation is the key. A consistent meditation
practice allows one to move more freely through the world. You’re more able to
take things as they come and accept your reality. It’s the serenity prayer,
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can’t change, the courage to
change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” It’s about
having that serenity to accept the things we can’t change. And good lord aren’t
there a lot of those things?! And like the Buddha said, don’t take my word on
it. Try it for yourself and see if you find it helpful. That was so refreshing
to me as a young man in my early 20’s, after, in my late teens, having drifted
away from the Christian dogma that I had been presented with as a kid. Which is
normal at that age, I later discovered, to question such things, and now I
realize of course, that Christ’s teachings are wonderful and beautiful, and
full of truth. But to hear that the Buddha said, “Don’t take my word for it…”
was something I had never heard at my Southern Baptist church growing up in Jacksonville,
Florida. There it was literally, “If you don’t believe what we’re telling you,
you will burn, burn, burn, for all of eternity. Burning. Don’t ask questions.
We don’t do questions here. Believe or burn.” I’m 100% sure Jesus did not mean
for it to be that way, but that’s another story for another time. Turns out
that questioning and debate are a big part of Buddhism. They actually have a
tradition of debate among the monks and masters over the details of the
Ok. Four Noble Truths, check… What else is Buddhism besides the Four Noble
How ‘bout The
practice of “doing no harm.” That’s a good one. There’s the concept that
says if you can not help someone, then at least you should do them no harm.
Sometimes for me that could mean that if I don’t agree with someone and I think
they are being unreasonable, instead of trying to force them to see things my
way, instead of throwing it in their face about how wrong they are, I just let
it go. And I can never really know for sure if maybe I’m not the one who’s
wrong and being unreasonable. And what’s the harm anyway of who’s right about
whatever we’re arguing about. I mean unless we’re arguing about which wire to
cut to disarm the bomb in some mission impossible scenario. I mean that’s an
argument that’s probably worth having! But what are we really so upset about?
Help others if you can, if you can not, then do no harm. For heaven sakes, we’re
all suffering enough already as it is!
Then there’s reincarnation. Ooooh,
boy…. That’s big one. It took me a while to warm up to this one. And I’m not
here to persuade you that reincarnation is real. You don’t have to believe in
reincarnation to benefit from a daily meditation practice and the wisdom of the
Four Noble Truths. And really who can be sure? The real deal is that we all get
to find out when we die. So really, it’s neither here nor there, but it is a
Buddhist belief that I want to touch on here while I’m trying to demystify
Buddhism. I was finally won over on this concept by an eloquent and scientific
explanation of reincarnation by the Dalai Lama in one of his books. But the
essential line of reasoning is this: We can observe through meditation that we
are not our bodies. We have human bodies, but that is not who or what we are,
since we can observe our bodies, we are not that. We are not what can be
observed. We can also discern that we are not our thoughts. Again through
meditation, we can see that our thoughts spring up sporadically. We can’t
control them, we can either cling to them or not, but we can observe our
thoughts, so again, we are not what can be observed. We are not our bodies, we
are not our thoughts, what are we? We are pure awareness. We are that which
observes. Quietly, peacefully, watching the movie that is our lives as it
springs to life right before our very eyes. This awareness has also been referred
to as “the witness.” As it simply witnesses everything without judgement. Pure
awareness. And this awareness is part of a continuum. Every moment of this
awareness depends on its previous state, it is created out of and depends upon
its own previous state. Now follow me on this. That previous moment of
awareness depends on its previous moment, and so on. A continuum of previous
states. In that way, our awareness is timeless, it stretches endlessly back in
time and in the same way, it goes forward, endlessly. It can have no birth if
every moment is dependent upon the previous moment. And at this particular
moment it has taken up residence inside your human body. We don’t know how or
why, but it has. And when this body dies, the pure awareness will continue, and
it will continue to find its way into another form, another birth, and do it
all over again, just as it has already done countless times.
A really beautiful concept relating to reincarnation says
that we have all been reborn so many countless times, that everyone you meet,
at one time or another, was your mother, (and you have also been their mother)
and by that notion, every person deserves your love and compassion and respect
as your mother does for having loved you and cared for you. (They go on to say
that even if you don’t have a great relationship with your mother, that at the
very least, she loved and cared for you enough to make sure that you were born
and cared for properly because you couldn’t have made it this far otherwise.) So,
And there’s the concept that we are reborn through the whole
gamut of lesser animals so that when you finally achieve a human birth, this is
your big chance to become enlightened, so don’t screw it up! Other animals
don’t have that chance.
So yeah, reincarnation. Take it or leave it. It either is or
karma. Ohhhhhh, karma. So misunderstood. The word Karma literally means
action, and that’s physical or mental action. And all the actions we take leave
a sort of a mark on our soul if you will, a residue that has come to be known
as karma. We accumulate of karma, both good and bad, based on our thoughts and
actions. Karma is like your spiritual credit report. If you’ve ever checked
your credit report online, which of course you have, (or else what are you
doing with your life?! Check your credit report!) If you’ve ever checked your
credit report, some sites have like a little gas gauge that has colors on it
red to yellow to green. I wish you could check your Karma report online! On
second thought maybe I wouldn’t want to see it. Anyway…
There are three components to how karma is created. The one
most people are familiar with is the physical action. When you do something,
either good or bad, it creates karma. Whether you’re robbing a bank or helping
an old lady across the street, you’re accumulating karma.
The second aspect is your intention. Whether or not you did
something on purpose or by accident, whether or not you just had the intention
but did not follow through, also influences the old karma-meter. Like if you
had the idea of robbing the bank, but didn’t actually go through with it, you
will still get some karmatic residue built up depending on if it was just a
passing thought, “Oh, I might want to rob a bank someday,” or if you spent
months planning it and obsessing over every detail only to chicken out at the
last minute. That has an influence. So that old saying about the road to hell
being paved with good intentions? Not true. It sounds cool and snarky, but
having good intentions is very important.
The third aspect of karma is how you felt after you did the
act. If you did rob that bank, but deeply regretted it afterwards, you would
incur slightly less bad karma than if you robbed that bank and were super
stoked about it afterwards. And I’m oversimplifying to illustrate, and for
sure, I don’t mean to belittle any bank robbers out there who may be listening.
I know it’s tough out there, and things are complicated, but at least you’ve
found this podcast and maybe that’s a good thing. So there’s intention, action,
and then how you felt about it afterwards. The actual Buddhist teachers say that the effects of karma are
reflected through many, many lifetimes, and that “instant karma” is not a
thing. Like if you’re walking down the street and you say something mean to
your girlfriend and immediately trip over something. That’s not a thing, but I
don’t know, it seems to happen all the time, doesn’t it? Or is that just me?
It is believed that your karma influences you next birth and
what kind of life you may be born into. Like if you were greedy and
self-centered in this lifetime, you may be destined to be very poor in the
next. I’m really simplifying it of course, it’s not just some cosmic cookie
cutter stamping out lifetimes, but who am I to say?
Then there’s Enlightenment. Now we’re
talking! What is enlightenment? The term “Buddha” means “the awakened one” When
the Buddha had his realization about suffering and the human condition and the
Four Noble Truths, that is considered to have been his enlightenment. But it
goes deeper than that. Included in that realization is the fact that we are all
one. We are not only interconnected socially, but we are truly one, not
separate. It’s the concept that we are not our bodies, we are not our thoughts,
we are pure awareness, and that pure awareness is one thing, we are not all
separate pure awarenesses. I’ve heard it described this way. Picture a bright
light, like a bare light bulb, and imagine you’re holding a piece of cardboard
in front of it blocking the light. Then imagine that there are a bunch of tiny
pinholes in the board letting through little beams of light. We are like those
little beams, appearing to be separate, but we all come from the same source,
in fact we are all the same light, only appearing to be separate. It is the
concept of nonduality, and it pertains to every single thing we can perceive.
We are not separate from anything or anyone. A beautiful concept that I love is
that when you are lying to someone, you are disrespecting that person by
pretending that you are separate from them, so really what’s the point. You are
really only lying to yourself. And because of this concept, I’ve long held the
idea that if you lie to someone, they know they are being lied to. They may not
call you out on it, and they might not be sure of it themselves, but on some
level, they know. So stop lying everybody! Sheesh… And speaking of being one
with everything, I’ve heard Jack
Kornfield quote Alice Walker so many times, “But one day when
I was sitting quiet and feeling like a motherless child, which I was, it come
to me: that feeling of being part of everything, not separate at
all. I knew that if I cut a tree, my arm would bleed. And I laughed and I cried
and I run all around the house. I knew just what it was. In fact, when it
happen, you can’t miss it.” Yes. That
really is it! We are all one thing. And there’s also the joke about the Buddhist
monk ordering a hot dog and he says, “Make me one with everything.” Yep, a
buddhist dad-joke. Who knew?
Now, Speaking of Enlightenment leads us to
Nirvana. Nirvana is the release from the cycle of reincarnation. They
say that after you finally awaken to the true nature of reality, that when you
die, instead of being reincarnated once again, you instead return to the source
of pure awareness. That’s Nirvana. Now there is the option of becoming a Bhodisattva.
Not to muddy the waters too much, a Bhodisattva is someone who has taken a vow
that upon their death, they will refuse Nirvana and instead choose to be reborn
so that they may return to help others become enlightened, over and over again
until all beings have been awakened. That’s a lot. There’s many different
versions of the Bhodisattva vow, but it is basically something like, “Beings
are numerous, I vow to save them all.” Funny part about that is, as Jack
Kornfield like to point out, you pretty quickly realize that they don’t want to
be saved! Especially your family and friends! It’s so true, the best you can
really do is to work on yourself and be kind to people, be compassionate and
available, and that helps them. If you can ease anyone’s suffering even a
little, that helps. That’s why I’m doing this podcast.
Another remarkable thing about the Buddha, is that he was
able to teach for so many years. While we don’t have exact dates, it is
generally agreed that he started teaching around age 29, and died in his
eighties. So right around 50 years of teaching, which is remarkable when you
think that Jesus was only able to teach for a few years before he was killed.
Also, it is believed that there are and have been many
buddhas, and that this particular buddha just happened to be the one that
brought the teachings this time around. And as I like to say, since a Buddha is
an awakened being, that Jesus is one of my favorite Buddhas. Likewise, having said
that Buddhism is more philosophy than religion, it just so happens that a
meditation practice and an understanding of the Four Noble Truths will not interfere
with any other religion you may already practice. The Dalai Lama says to stick
with your own religion, it is important. You can still benefit from a
meditation practice without being a Buddhist, and “do no harm” is pretty
And as a side note, since I’m trying to demystify Buddhism,
I should clarify who the Dalai Lama is. You hear it all over the place and I’ve
made a couple of references to him on this podcast . The Dalai Lama is basically
the head-Buddhist monk of the Tibetan people who have a very rich Buddhist
history, he is their spiritual leader. He has written a lot of great books that
I recommend to anyone.
It is also said that says achieving Buddhahood is often
mistaken for gaining something that you do not already have, because actually,
you already have Buddha-awareness, you have always had it, you just haven’t
realized it yet. In meditation, you can shift your awareness to what I like to
call, “resting in the witness.” Sometimes I’ll use a mental cue and say to
myself, “May I rest in the witness.” Or simply note the word, “resting”. There
you can be with your own buddha nature, which is pure awareness, you merge with
it. The trick of it is that it turns out to be simple to achieve, even if just
for a short time. A meditation practice helps you get there and to sustain it
for longer. You can sometimes try real hard and never get there, but then you
can relax and all of a sudden kind of fall into it, or notice it, and realize
that it was always there, always available, ever-present. The more you
experience this vast expanse of awareness, the more you let go of things that
are much less important. Like somebody cutting you off in traffic. That person
is suffering, let’s get out of their way and do them no harm. They’re having
quite a day. The more you experience your true nature, the more available you
can be for your friends and family and coworkers who are also suffering. If you
can be a calm presence for them, just that can help sometimes.
If any of this resonates with you, it’s because you already
know it to be true. So often when I’m typing out what I want to say on these
podcasts, I realize that I’m really trying to remind myself of these truths. We
need constant reminders of these things or they tend to fall by the wayside,
forgotten, replaced by the constant demands of our daily lives. There has been
for me a cycle of finding these truths and living them every day, studying,
practicing, and for years, it slowly slips away and the books gather dust on
the shelves, and I forget. But as I was told early on in this journey, you
always come back. And I have, over and over again. So keep that in mind if you
find you have drifted as well. And gently remind yourself that it’s ok, this is
all part of a cycle. You come back, you begin again, and again. In this
lifetime as in all the previous lifetimes. And perhaps in the next.
All of these teachings I have received from great teachers
and any of the mistakes I’ve made in relating them to you are my own. Please
take from this what you know to be true, and leave the rest. I like to end
these podcasts with the word, Namaste. It simply means, “the spirit in me
recognizes the spirit in you.” Thank you so much for your generous attention.
Hey, before you go, I’d like to let you know that if you
would like to support this podcast, you can head over to patreon.com/gurumojo.
Most patreon projects offer lots of different levels of support with different
rewards, I’ve set it up with just one level. Two dollars a month. That’s all.
I’m looking to build this into a community of like-minded people. Two bucks a
month gets you early access to podcasts, guided meditations that are not
available anywhere else, and some other surprises along the way. I would really
appreciate it if you’d like to support me in this project. And thank you so
much to my current patreon supporters! You’re the best! That’s
Also, please subscribe to this podcast on iTunes or wherever
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And check me out on Instagram and Twitter as gurumojome, and
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Welcome to the GuruMojo podcast episode number six! I’m your host, Kenny Jenkins, and I’d like to invite you to join me as I try to unravel the mystery of this incarnation, and get to heart of what really matters for us in this lifetime. It’s my job to share with you the wisdom of the great teachers I’ve come across in my search for what is true and good. I’m so lucky to be able to experience so many different things that bring me peace is this life and it would just be wrong for me to keep it all to myself. You know, if I can share just one thing with just one person and they can benefit from that, then I consider this all worth the effort. I’m no expert or zen master by far, by far-far. I don’t consider myself a teacher except that in the sense that it has been said that a second grader can teach a first grader. So basically, I feel like I can tie my own shoes, spiritually speaking, (most days) so maybe I can show you how to tie yours. And to go even deeper, I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know. We all know this stuff, it’s just that we may need a reminder from time to time.
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.