We had the good fortune of connecting with Jamar Rogers and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jamar, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
Since I experienced a lot of childhood trauma, I grew up to be very rigid and controlling. My interpersonal relationships suffered because I didn’t know how to give or receive love, and chronic stress had my nervous system in a perpetual state of fight-or-flight. Basically, I was a mess.
Once I learned how to mindfully experience my breath, I began to make friends with my mind; peace became a state instead of a trait.
I then realized that many people in marginalized communities have had the same childhood experiences that I had. Meditation seemed so abstract and unattainable for the folks in my community I spoke with. I felt that I had a responsibility to share what I’d learned about mindfulness: how it can shrink your amygdala and increase gray matter in your brain. How a daily practice can lower blood pressure, cortisol, heart rate and skin temperature (for those hot flashes). How it can make you a better listener because you’ve learned how to be present. Since I was such a hothead, I’m excited to show my community how breathing techniques have made me calmer and more responsive than reactive.
My teacher, davidji, talks a lot about transformation; we transform the world by transforming ourselves. By showing others how easy and accessible meditation is, I’m able to show, firsthand, how good transformation feels.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’ve been a professional musician since 2009. After a stint on a couple of reality shows, I was fortunate enough to be signed to a label to release an album. I toured and performed and did all of the things that were supposed to make me happy, but something was still missing.
I was a crisis meditator, only connecting with my breath when I was stressed and overwhelmed. During COVID, I made meditation a daily practice for me, and after competing 285 hours of study, I became a certified meditation teacher.
Now, I’m able to incorporate music in my guided meditations and use my voice in a different way. Starting over is never easy. Transition feels like a sort of purgatory; you don’t know where to stand. But my meditation practice has encouraged me to stay calm as my teaching career takes off. Every time I connect with a novice meditator and show them how easy it is to watch their breath, I’m reminded that I’m doing what’s right for me. It simply feels right.
And maybe this is the biggest transition of them all: depending on my intuition as much as I’ve depended on logic. I’m learning that the heart is my internal GPS. It never steers me wrong—as long as I’m willing to listen. And I can’t listen until I get quiet enough to hear it.
And that’s why I show others how to get still enough to hear what that inner voice is telling them.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’m all about the peace, baby.
When friends come into town, I like to do a little morning meditation at Dockweiler Beach. From there, I’d recommend a little brunch at Republique on La Brea. A little stroll through the Peace Awareness Labyrinth and Gardens on W. Adams is a nice way to let the food settle. Afterwards, we’d do a little shopping at at Zoey’s Vintique (a local, Black-owned vintage shop) and grab a coffee from LA Grind (another Black-owned shop). I’d love to finish out the day with an old movie at The New Beverly Cinema, the 1920s theater owned by Quentin Tarantino.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
In The Meantime Men’s Group help those living with HIV find housing and work. The supervisor there, my friend, Gregory Wilson is an author and activist. He’s gotten countless of young people off of the streets and into treatment and care. I think he definitely deserves a shoutout.
Website: the jamar Rogers.com
Other: TikTok: @jamarrogers