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Ari Halbkram is an entertainment and business brand consultant, A&R manager, podcaster, filmmaker, and writer. Visit his site to learn more.

On Gratitude, Ep. 4: Inciting Happiness with Mark Melchiorre

Get to know
Mark Melchiorre:

Find Mark on Instagram (@markmel)

Incite Happiness, Mark’s Documentary about Lama Marut: Stream on AmazonBuy on Amazon |

Mark’s music: The Like Magnets

A funny thing happened on my way to releasing this episode, which features a discussion with my friend and mentor, Mark Melchiorre. Mark and I recorded this last summer, back when the weather was nice enough for us to sit outside and commune about some pretty big ideas while surrounded by nature. Mark, is a musician and filmmaker, and also yoga instructor and buddhism teacher, and it was under Mark’s tutelage that I first studied and developed a practice of mindful meditation and buddhist ideology, all of which eventually lead me to a deep appreciation of gratitude, and ultimately, the formation of this show. Without Mark, none of this would happen, and I would be MUCH worse for it.

Which brings me back to the funny that happened since we recorded this conversation: I fell off the proverbial wagon, at least where happiness and gratitude are concerned. You’ll hear me mention at one point that one of the most impactful lessons I learned from Mark was that putting oneself on a path toward happiness requires, above many characteristics, the commitment to building a discipline around thought and action. Somehow, I allowed my discipline to slip, and I found myself in a place where anxiety crept back in. Finally going back and editing this conversation was a real reminder that discipline works. SO MANY of the lessons I’ve learned from Mark have worked, but only after I’ve trusted them to do so.

Mark is not one to mince words, which is something I truly appreciate about him. At several points in the conversation, I try to soft sell some of the more heady and complex concepts we discuss, but every time Mark points out that the concepts themselves are quite simple and easy - it’s rather the narratives and hurdles we construct in our minds that give us such difficulty in overcoming. It’s in this way that Mark is offering something more akin to philosophy than spirituality or religion. 

Let’s get into it, because I’m really eager to share this conversation and its big ideas. Mark ends with some pretty powerful suggestions for leading a more mindful and grateful life, including a great reminder of the power of a sincere “hi, how are you?”

Here now is a discussion with my friend, former touring colleague, mentor, teacher, and dharma buddy for life, Mark Melchiorre, on gratitude.