the empty bell

a contemplative sanctuary

Welcome! The Empty Bell is a physical and online sanctuary for the study and practice of Christian meditation and prayer. Our purpose is to learn about the history and practice of the Christian contemplative way as rooted in the Gospels, and to explore its common ground with other ancient Wisdom teachings. We give special attention to the Christian-Buddhist dialogue, to artistic expression of spiritual insight, and to how our spiritual awareness motivates and guides stewardship of our bio-diverse natural world.

Dr. Jonas’s Latest Book:

My Dear Far-Nearness by Robert A. Jonas book cover My Dear Far-Nearness is a ground-breaking exploration of the Holy Trinity as three dimensions of spiritual awareness. The book’s title is a name for God used by the 14th century mystic, Marguerite Porete. The Holy One is both near and far, because God has no location. God is not in any one place on this earth or in the infinite cosmos. This new book is Dr. Jonas’ reflection on 50 years of spiritual exploration, wondering, “What exactly is the Holy Trinity,” and “how can we access the inner life of the Trinity in our spiritual and everyday awareness?”

Learn More… or Buy Now!

Look for a different shakuhachi piece on each page of this website. Press the play button to the left to listen.

Honshirabé – “origin investigation” 
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Featured Talks & Videos

The 2016 Spirit Matters Talk interview about the Empty Bell vision

The 2022 Spirit Matters Talk interview about Dr. Jonas’ new book, “My Dear Far-Nearness: The Holy Trinity as Spiritual Practice

The first Via Lumen interview: The Christ Within: Awakening Jesus’ Non-Dual Interpersonal Consciousness

The second Via Luman interview: The Christ Within: Awakening Jesus’ Non-Dual Interpersonal Consciousness

Upcoming Events…

Sojourn with the Solstice

December 21 @ 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm PST

We will explore spiritual and cognitive practices that reveal deep, transformative portals to the solstice experience.

On the night of the Winter Solstice, Thursday, December 21 at 5PM Pacific, the Myth Salon features the Oracle of Los Angeles, Amanda Yates Garcia, for a night of ritual, tarot, ceremony and deep-diving into one of most sacred days of the year – when the Earth reaches its maximum distance from the sun. It is