Robert A. Jonas, MTS, EdD, founded The Empty Bell ( in 1993 as a sanctuary for Buddhist-Christian dialogue. Trained as a psychotherapist, he is now a retreat leader, video artist, musician,
environmental activist, and author (a biographer of Henri Nouwen). A
Christian in the Carmelite tradition, he also received spiritual formation with Buddhist teachers (Insight meditation and Zen). He has been a guiding teacher at the Guild for Spiritual Guidance in Ossining, NY ( and a Board member of the Henri Nouwen Society. He is currently Chair of the Board of the Kestrel Land Trust in Amherst, MA ( He 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. His
CD’s, Blowing Bamboo, New Life from Ruins, and Many Paths, One Joy are available on iTunes.

This profile was last updated on June 1, 2015

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