About Jay Nelson Forrest
Jay Nelson Forrest, D.Min. is a philosopher, author, and the founder of Bodhidaoism. As a philosopher, he has specialized in naturalism and spirituality. He is a Certified Meditation Teacher and an ordained Humanist Celebrant. He is the author of a number of books including Practical Buddhism: Wisdom for Everyday Life, Secular Buddhism: An Introduction, and Spiritual Naturalism: Spirituality Within the Bounds of Science. His latest book is Spirituality Without God: An Introduction to Bodhidaoism.
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, a teacher at Cornerstone Christian Academy, and the Education Director for the Spiritual Naturalist Society.
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 hosted 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 on April 11, 2011, Jay soon began meditating at the Albuquerque Insight Meditation Center 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 was 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, Living Your Yoga TV, and Co-Hosted Spiritual Naturalism Today. Jay is also on staff at the Secular Buddhist Association, providing technical support for the SBA website.
• Spirituality Without God: An Introduction to Bodhidaoism, Center for Bodhidaoism (2018)
• Spiritual Naturalism: Spirituality Within the Bounds of Science, Spiritual Naturalist Press (2017).
• From Christ to Buddha: Reflections on Christianity, Buddhism, and Spirituality, Spiritual Naturalist Press (2017).
• Secular Buddhism: An Introduction, J.F. Books (2016).
• Humanism, God and the Bible, J.F. Books (2016).
• Practical Buddhism: Wisdom for Everyday Life, 5 Minute Dharma (2015).
• Does God Exist?: Evaluating the Evidence for God and the Bible, Forrest Publications (2015).
• Gnostic Christianity: Reviving an Ancient Christianity, Christianos Theologia (2010).
• Christian Theology: Biblical, Devotional, Spiritual, Innovative,Christianos Theologia (2008).
• Biblical Counseling: And the Self-Esteem Heresy. Christianos Theologia (2008).
• The Deeper Life, CafePress [out of print](2004).
Guest on Podcasts
• Bodhidaoism - An Evidence-Based, Eco-Friendly Religion
Archived / Past Podcasts
• Spiritual Naturalism Today (Co Host)
• The Jay Forrest Show Archive (Host)
• 5 Minute Dharma Archive (Host)
• Nature Is Sacred Archive (Host)
Jay’s Active Memberships
• The Spiritual Naturalist Society
• The Science of Happiness (Dacher Keltner and Emiliana Simon-Thomas), The Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley, 2018.
• Philosophy and Critical Thinking (Deborah Brown and Peter Ellerton), The University of Queensland, St Lucia QLD 4072, Australia, 2017.