Robert A. Jonas, Ed.D. (Harvard University), M.T.S. (Weston Jesuit School of Theology) is the author of The Essential Henri Nouwen, (Shambhala Publications), as well as Henri Nouwen (Orbis) and Rebecca (Crossroad). His book, My Dear Far-Nearness: The Holy Trinity as Spiritual Practice, winner of an award from Ilumination Book Awards, was announced June, 2022. For this recent work, Jonas has gleaned insights from almost twenty Christian mystics (from the 4th century to the present). The theology and experience of these mystics is presented in the book’s accompanying website.
Trained as a psychotherapist, Dr. Jonas is an author, father and grandfather, video artist, musician, environmental steward, and retreat leader. A Christian in the Carmelite tradition, he has also received spiritual formation with Buddhist teachers. Dr. Jonas is the director of The Empty Bell, a contemplative sanctuary in Northampton, MA whose website (emptybell.org ) is an extraordinary resource for contemplative Christians and for Buddhist-Christian dialogue. He has been a guest speaker on many spiritual platforms, including Spirit Matters Talk, The Myth Salon, and Maine Jung Ctr. Dr. Jonas is a guest lecturer at the Northwind Seminary, 2020-present.
Dr. Jonas is a member of the Eckhart Society, past member Board member of the Henri Nouwen Society, and Board Chair emeritus of the Kestrel Land Trust in western MA. Jonas is a student of Sui-Zen, the Japanese bamboo flute (shakuhachi). He has played in many secular and spiritual contexts and has played at three Buddhist-Christian retreats with the Dalai Lama, including a performance under the Bodhi Tree in India. Jonas has produced three CD’s of shakuhachi music: “Blowing Bamboo,” “New Life from Ruins” and “Many Paths, One Joy.” “Blowing Bamboo” is available on iTunes, Spotify, and Pandora.