About Jay N. Forrest
Jay N. Forrest (D.Min.) is a philosopher, author, and the Education Director for the Spiritual Naturalist Society. He is a Certified Meditation Teacher with Aura Wellness Center, an ordained Humanist Celebrant, and a member of the American Humanist Association. Jay is the author of a number of books including Practical Buddhism: Wisdom for Everyday Life and Secular Buddhism: An Introduction. He is also on staff at the Secular Buddhist Association.
Before becoming a Spiritual Naturalist and a Humanist, Jay was a Pentecostal Evangelical Pastor with The International Pentecostal Holiness Church. In over two decades, Jay was the Pastor or Assistant Pastor of churches in Wisconsin, Missouri, Tennessee, Arizona, and New Mexico. 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 an honorary Doctorate of Divinity.
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 a member of the Spiritual Naturalist Society, the Religious Naturalist Association, the American Humanist Association, the Clergy Project, the International Society for Philosophers, the Western Positive Psychology Association, the Philosophy Foundation, the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers (Jay served in the U.S Army), New Stoa, the International Association of Internet Broadcasters, and the Mind Body Network.
• 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.