In all these ways and others, Jon serves not just as a fine spiritual teacher with extensive expertise, but as an excellent role model of what is possible for all those truly seeking spiritual growth.
Thanks for taking the time to read my contribution to Jon’s website. My name is Michael, and I have been a student of Jon’s for the past 8 years.
I spent a lot of time reading this web site, wondering how I could contribute something unique. Jon’s web site does a great job describing his background and expertise as a teacher, as well as his perspective on spiritual growth. However, as I read, I found something important that was missing. Something that I would have wanted to know, back when I was first considering studying with Jon. Something that I imagine you, also, would want to know.
What Jon is like as a person?
I imagine for you, what Jon is like as a person makes a difference.
So perhaps this is what I can contribute. I can offer you three snapshots of what Jon is like to me; as a person; one snapshot when I first met him, another when I began regular study, and another after 8 years of knowing him.
When I first met Jon, the first thing that struck me was the gentleness and peacefulness of his presence, Jon is soft spoken, humble, and simple. The inner peace and physical health most of us are looking for in meditation and yoga, Jon resonates through his presence to others. That impressed me. Unlike other teachers I’ve met, who talked a good talk but did not embody when they were saying, Jon is someone who clearly not only practiced what he taught, but had become a master of it.
As I became a regular student of Jon’s it became clear to me that Jon does not “push” or “insist”. I’ll never find Jon dictating to me what “must be done”. Rather, Jon listens first to his student, understands their unique perspective, and then works with them as a team to help them accomplish their spiritual goals –be it better meditation, yoga, detachment, etc… In this way you can think of Jon acting as a partner in accomplish your goals. As your partner, Jon has a job to do in offering teaching…and we as students, will have a job to do in following it; or not. It’s up to us!
And finally, after I have studied with Jon and gotten to know him over time eight years, I believe you will be surprised to learn, as I was, that despite all the meditation and yogic accomplishments he has achieved in his life, Jon is just a regular guy –as approachable, social, and complex as you or I. Like all of us, he has responsibilities and enjoys his secular interests –interests in carpentry, programming, chemistry, technology, animal care, the environment, and more. However, perhaps unlike most of us, he has learned to place his worldly interests in perspective, and does not allow them to distract him from his own spiritual path.