About Jay N. Forrest
Jay N. Forrest (D.Min.) is a philosopher and author specializing in naturalism and spirituality. He is a Certified Meditation Teacher, an ordained Humanist Celebrant, and the Education Director for the Spiritual Naturalist Society, writing for the Society and Co-Hosting their podcast Spiritual Naturalism Today. He is the author of a number of books including Practical Buddhism: Wisdom for Everyday Life, Secular Buddhism: An Introduction, and From Christ to Buddha: Reflections on Christianity, Buddhism, and Spirituality.
Before leaving Christianity, Jay did his undergraduate work at Central Bible College and Berean University, and received his Doctorate of Ministry from Trinity Evangelical Christian University. He also received four honorary Doctorate, two in Divinity, one in Religion, and one in Metaphysics. He was first ordained by the International Ministerial Fellowship and later was a minister with The International Pentecostal Holiness Church. In over two decades of ministry, he served as the Pastor or Assistant Pastor of a number of churches in Wisconsin, Missouri, Tennessee, Arizona, and New Mexico. He was an instructor for Harvester’s Bible Institute.
Jay also explored other Christian traditions, being baptized and confirmed as a Catholic at Our Lady Queen of Angels Liberal Catholic Church, and later pursued ministerial studies with Robert Ellwood at the Liberal Catholic Institute of Studies (he completed three years of study). During this time, Jay was a member of The Theosophical Society in America, attending local meetings. Jay was eventually ordained in the Liberal Catholic Church as a Cleric, Doorkeeper, and then Reader by Bishop Lloyd Worley. Later Jay was ordained as a Acolyte by Bishop Orlando Trujillo at the Holy Spirit Catholic Charismatic Cathedral. He also took catechism classes with All Saints of North America Orthodox Church. Jay was the founding pastor of the Gnostic Christian Church. And the host of the Gnostic Podcast.
Jay began meditating as a Christian in the late 80’s. He later discovered Hesychasm, an Eastern Orthodox meditation practice described in the Philokalia. He studied a Christian form of Zen with Brian C. Taylor, the former Rector at St Michael’s and All Angels Episcopal Church. After becoming a Buddhist in April of 2011, Jay began meditating at the Albuquerque Vipassana Sangha with such teachers as Brian Lesage. He later studied Insight Meditation with Sally Armstrong, a teacher at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. Currently, he is a certified meditation teacher, in good standing, with Aura Wellness Center. He also studied Tai Chi Chuan with Master Lin at the Chinese Culture Center. In addition to his formal education, Jay has also taken courses in Buddhism from Harvard University, Princeton University, and the University of Virginia. Because of his growing concern for the environment, Jay has also taken courses in the environment from the University of British Columbia and Dartmouth College.
In addition to his books, Jay has written hundreds of articles for websites, newspapers, and magazines such as The Houston Chronicle, Be Still Magazine, The Cutting Edge, Patheos, and is a contributing writer for the Spiritual Naturalist Society. Jay has also appeared as a guest on podcast such as The Secular Buddhist Podcast, The Next Half by Tony Russell, and Living Your Yoga TV. Jay is also on staff at the Secular Buddhist Association providing technical support for the SBA website.
• From Christ to Buddha: Reflections on Christianity, Buddhism, and Spirituality, Spiritual Naturalist Press (2017).
Guest on Podcasts
• Spiritual Naturalism Today (Co Host)
Jay’s Active Memberships
• The Spiritual Naturalist Society
• The Science of Religion (Edward Slingerland and Azim Shariff), University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada 2017.