Who is this Jon guy?
Having grown up in a relatively secular household, I remember the day that I discovered the beauty of the spiritual tradition of my birth, Judaism. It evoked a joy and love that has since deepened and grown. This inspires the spiritual direction work I do now. I hope that I can help others find similar fullness in their spiritual pursuits and connection. Our spiritual work may be hard at times; we may have to face difficult aspects of our lives, but ultimately, even in those times, it should be joyful and love-ful.
My particular language is that of Judaism, but as Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi said, there are different vitamins in all religions, and I love learning about them and experiencing these vitamins. I am very interested in alternative and varied ways of connecting to the Divine. This includes earth-based practices. In addition to simply loving being in wilderness, I believe nature can be co-director and offer teachings to the seeker when we listen deeply. You can read more about why spirit in nature here.
Over the years I’ve pursued various training, such as prayer leadership training, nature-based spiritual guiding and of course spiritual direction certification, and I’ve engaged in various practices including men’s work and other ceremony and practices, such as sweat lodges, all deepening this love and connection. They all also help me create a powerful container for people to tell the story that needs to be told at the particular moment. I, like most spiritual directors, believe in the power of holy silence, and deep, holy listening. I have faith that this container draws out what needs to be spoken during our sessions.
I’ve also brought this listening capacity to my long career in information technology. This may seem at odds with such a left-brain pursuit, but I’ve found good leadership in any field requires this trust and vulnerability, and I’ve worked hard at integrating these two sides of my life. Consequently I have been viewed as the listener and pastoral in the workplace.
Please consider looking through my blogs to get more of my thoughts about this spiritual stuff.
All this said, my “quals” are:
I am a certified through the Aleph Alliance for Jewish Renewal and have worked with a director for many years. I am also certified as a “Torah Trek” guide, to help others discover Spirit in nature. I have also trained in prayer leadership also through Aleph. I have periodically led prayer services and regularly chant Torah in the Jewish community in Denver. I welcome all faiths, including those who are not “religious.” In addition to the deep spiritual ceremony through a men’s council, I help run a monthly sweat lodge.
I have had a long career in IT, specifically mostly in geographic information systems, culminating in leadership roles in state government, which I recently left to pursue independent efforts.