Download The Ecology of Consciousness, six chapters of talks from Jon’s satsangs and retreats in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The Ecology of Consciousness pdf(pdf)


Or, read the individual chapters online here.

1. Entering the Stream
2. Letting Go
3. The Mirror
4. The Willingness to Be Available
5. The Pain of Not Knowing
6. The Fruition of the Path


Opening the Heart

You can’t force the heart to open. It can only open by itself, like a flower. Your heart may feel restricted; even someone with a great deal of presence and openness can still have a heart that feels restricted. So you bring that presence, that awareness that is open, to the heart that isn’t. That’s all. You approach what’s limited with what’s vast, and open-heartedness happens by itself. That’s really what finishes the cycle of karma.

Our Fundamental Nature is Happiness

Trying to find happiness is not possible. Why? Because we cannot find what we fundamentally are. So how do we discover and in a sense become one with what we fundamentally are?

By learning to feel directly “what is” — that is, what’s being experienced in the mind, body and heart — free of judgment, comparison and analysis. Learning to feel directly could also be described as “being one with” “what is”.

This quality of acceptance or compassion is the essence of our shared Heart of Oneness and simultaneously leads to and already is the profound vastness of our true and everlasting Happiness.

Being Listening

It’s very tricky to communicate about the Truth, because what is it that you do in listening or in this moment, reading? How do you make meaning of what you are reading right now?

We don’t even know we’re creating belief structures—or strengthening belief structures or attitudes. How is it possible to listen and not, in a sense, create protection or safety? Can you listen without understanding and have that be all right? Is that actually possible? To just be listening.

In other words: not to listen with the goal of having to understand the concepts and turn them into an intellectual process. We’re conditioned to do that – it’s simply instinctual, animal functioning. So I invite you to listen as being listening. Can you just listen without having to organize what you’re hearing? Can you listen and not have to understand one word? Can you relax in not knowing? Because that is the key to becoming one with the Mystery. The essence of mystery is not knowing. Knowing is a form of protection. It’s safe.

Not knowing has no protection — it’s the essence of Freedom.

Spiritual Unfoldment is Like a Love Affair

There’s the initial enthusiasm, excitement and hope for the future. You’ve had a glimpse or taste of the truth and you feel “I’ve finally found my way — I’m on the right track now!”

But what you don’t realize is that the experience of truth is actually a big fat mirror — and when it begins to reflect our “dark side” or our core unconscious defense patterns then we’re in trouble! The patina of romance has worn off and we come face to face with our resistance. If we’re new to the “path” we blame our pain on: our partner, our parents, our teacher, the teaching, politicians, etc. We don’t yet see that our resistance is actually the door to freedom.

If we are one of the lucky few who “don’t have a choice” then we muster the courage required to leap into the flame of truth and are then transformed into the Light and Love of Freedom.

The Student-Teacher Relationship

The teacher embodies the truth. We naturally “give” or emanate that which we embody. If we embody peace, then we in a sense give or “transmit” peace. If we embody joy, we transmit joy. If we embody love, then we give love. There is no volition in the giving or the transmission. Like the fragrance of a rose, it simply emanates. If your nose is clean you can smell the flower.

The transmission of truth from teacher to student requires the readiness of the student. Readiness means open, available, free of conclusions or judgments. The experience of transmission, or satsang, is actually the realization that we are not separate. There is no one who takes themselves to be a teacher and no one who takes themselves to be a student. It is then, and only then, that true teaching or transmission takes place.