Jay N. 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, an ordained Humanist Celebrant, and the Education Director for the Spiritual Naturalist Society, writing for the Society and Co-Hosting their podcast Spiritual Naturalism Today. He is the author of a number of books including Practical Buddhism: Wisdom for Everyday Life, Secular Buddhism: An Introduction, and From Christ to Buddha: Reflections on Christianity, Buddhism, and Spirituality.
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.
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 the host of 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 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 also on staff at the Secular Buddhist Association providing technical support for the SBA website.
• The Science of Religion (Edward Slingerland and Azim Shariff), University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada 2017.
• Environmental Studies: A Global Perspective (Teri Balser, Joseli Macedo), Curtin University, Bentley, Perth, West Australia, 2016.
• Sustainability in Everyday Life (Anna Nyström Claesson, Matty Janssen) Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg, Sweden, 2016.
• Climate Change: The Science (Sara Harris), University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada 2016.
• Introduction to Environmental Science (Andy Friedland), Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, 2016.
• ChinaX – Parts 1-5 (Peter K. Bol and William C. Kirby), Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, 2016.
• Buddhism Through Its Scriptures (Charles Hallisey), Harvard Divinity School, Cambridge, MA, 2016.
• Introduction to Spiritual Naturalism (B. T. Newberg), Spiritual Naturalist Society, Houston, TX, 2016.
• The Conscious Mind – A Philosophical Road Trip (Dan Lloyd), Trinity College Hartford, CT, 2016.
• Chinese Thought: Ancient Wisdom Meets Modern Science Part 1 & 2 (Edward Slingerland), University of British Columbia, British Columbia, Canada, 2016
• Tibetan Buddhist Meditation and the Modern World: Lesser Vehicle (David Francis Germano), University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, 2015.
• The Science of Happiness (Dacher Keltner and Emiliana Simon-Thomas), University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, 2015.
• Buddhism and Modern Psychology (Robert Wright), Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, 2014.
• Introduction to Insight Meditation (Sally Armstrong), Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Woodacre, CA, 2014.
• Introduction to Humanism, Kochhar Online Humanist Education, Washington, D.C., 2014
• Positive Humanism, Kochhar Online Humanist Education, Washington, D.C., 2014
• The Ten Gates: An Exploration of Fundamental Buddhist Practices (Thay Phap Hai), Deer Park Monastery, Escondido, CA, 2013
• Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation (Gil Fronsdal), Insight Meditation Center, Redwood City, CA, 2012.
• The Life of the Buddha and His Message (Philip Karl), Nalandabodhi Center, Seattle, WA, 2012.
• Moment by Moment (Thich Chan Phap Hai, Thich Chan Phap Ho, and Sister Chan Bich Nghiem), Deer Park Monastery, Escondido, CA, 2012
• The Story of Zen, Ashoka eDharma Learning Center, Province, MA, 2011.
• Meditation for Life (Martine Batchelor), Ashoka eDharma Learning Center, Province, MA, 2011.
• The Legacy of Chan (Master Sheng Yen), Ashoka eDharma Learning Center, Province, MA, 2011.
• The Buddha’s Teaching As It Is (Bhikkhu Bodhi), Ashoka eDharma Learning Center, Province, MA, 2011.
• The Nonviolent Communication Training Course (Marshall Rosenberg), Center for Nonviolent Communication, Albuquerque, NM, 2010.
• History of Ancient Egypt (Bob Brier), The Teaching Company, Chantilly, VA, 2010
• The Religions of India (Diana Eck), The Teaching Company, Chantilly, VA, 2009.
• Religions of the Axial Age: An Approach to the World’s Religions (Mark W. Muesse), The Teaching Company, Chantilly, VA, 2008.
• From Yao to Mao: 5000 Years of Chinese History (Kenneth J. Hammond), The Teaching Company, Chantilly, VA, 2008.
• Particle Physics for Non-Physicists: A Tour of the Microcosmos (Steven Pollock), The Teaching Company, Chantilly, VA, 2008.
• Great World Religions: Buddhism (Malcolm David Eckel), The Teaching Company, Chantilly, VA, 2008.
• Buddhism (Malcolm David Eckel), The Teaching Company, Chantilly, VA, 2008.
• Certified Pharmacy Technician, Pharmacy Technician Certification Board, 2007.
• Biblical Studies, Ames Bible College, Fort Myers, Fl., 2007.
• Jesus and the Gospels (Luke Timothy Johnson), The Teaching Company, Chantilly, VA, 2006.
• Historical Jesus (Bart D. Ehrman), The Teaching Company, Chantilly, VA, 2006.
• Lost Christianities: Christian Scriptures and the Battles over Authentication (Bart D. Ehrman), The Teaching Company, Chantilly, VA, 2006.
• After the New Testament: The Writings of the Apostolic Fathers (Bart D. Ehrman), The Teaching Company, Chantilly, VA, 2006.
• New Testament (Bart D. Ehrman), The Teaching Company, Chantilly, VA, 2006.
• From Jesus to Constantine: A History of Early Christianity (Bart D. Ehrman), The Teaching Company, Chantilly, VA, 2006.
• Evangelism, Mercy Street Ministries, Alma, AR, 2006.
• Seminary Training, The Liberal Catholic Institute of Studies, Ojai, CA, 2005-2006
• Christian Service, The Order of St. James, Cooper, TX, 2005.
• Herbal Medicine, Barnes & Noble University, New York, NY, 2005.
• Pastoral Ministry, Cathedral University, Los Angeles,CA, 2005.
• Bipolar, Medical Education Collaborative, Golden, CO, 2003.
• Church Planting, Southwestern Christian University Graduate School, Oklahoma City, OK, 2003. 2002
• Church Planting, Vineyard Christian Fellowship, Albuquerque, NM, 2002.
• Legal Concerns, The Universal Priesthood of Christ Jesus Bible School, 2001.
• Bible, The Universal Priesthood of Christ Jesus Bible School, 2001.
• Bible, Goodlettsville Church of Christ School, Goodlettsville, TN, 1998.
• Trinity Graduate School of Apologetics and Theology
• “A Sacred Thirst,” Be Still, issue #53 (PDF)
• “The School of the Spirit,” Be Still, issue #30 (PDF)
• “The Truth About Santa Claus,” Bible Baptist Church of Ballincollig, Ireland.
• “What is a World View?” Free Courses.
• “God’s Inspired Standard,” Free Courses.
• “Is Jesus Christ God?” Free Courses.
• “Counterfeit Christians,” Free Courses.
• 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
• Living Your Yoga podcast by Melissa West on “Aversion.”
• Living Your Yoga podcast by Melissa West on “Desire.”
• The Next Half podcast by Tony Russell.
• The Secular Buddhist (Episode 236) Podcast by Ted Meissner.
• The Secular Buddhist (Episode 252) Podcast by Ted Meissner.
• Talk Geek To Me #24 by DeepGeek
• Spiritual Naturalism Today (Co Host)
Jay’s Active Memberships
• 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
• Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers
• New Stoa
• The International Association of Internet Broadcasters
• Mind Body Network