For over twenty years, Jake has focused on the study of the contemplative and mystical traditions of world religions. This includes years of experiential education and practice while living in different countries, including stints at Christian, Buddhist and Zen monasteries. His understanding of various religious beliefs and spiritual teachings enables Jake to foster inter-religious dialog and interfaith understanding between groups and individuals.
Jake has a gift for taking seemingly deep and unapproachable concepts from different religions and explaining them in a practical way. This enables those listening to his lectures or taking part in retreats to open up to a new understanding of religious/spiritual books, teachings, and theologies without all of the institutional baggage they normally contain.
Ultimately, he teaches that The Beloved does not belong to any one religion or spiritual system. Jake also understands that world religions can provide sincere seekers with different paths toward The Beloved. Unfortunately, once religions become institutionalized and hierarchical, they become increasingly corrupted, which due to patriarchal bias, usually means by the hubris of men.
When Jake works with people at retreats, one of the most important ideas that he tries to instill in them is that a retreat should not be an escape or vacation from our “real life,” but an all-embracing work that either introduces us to or deepens our journey into the essential nature of our existence. Many times Jake has overheard participants at various retreat centers across the world exclaim somberly when their time at that place was over, “I guess it’s back to the daily routine now.” Though, in wakefulness there is no daily routine, merely life and the vital work that beckons us to engage with it at every moment.
In order to prepare for entry onto any authentic spiritual path, we need to clearly see our social, cultural, and religious conditioning and become aware of our delusional egocentric realities of competition, greed, pride, nationalism, hatred, prejudice and desire. Once we are cognizant of our loud unconscious hypnosis by the socially constructed world, we can become silently vigilant to our innate wholeness and the reality of The Beloved’s love for us. It is our willingness to work beyond our comfort zones that allows us to stretch towards new altitudes of understanding.
Any overnight or multi-day retreat that Jake facilitates, regardless of its main subject, will also engage the following concepts and practices in varying degrees: contemplation, nature walks, wholesome meals, ambient music, and seasonal reflection. He feels that each of these ingredients are crucial to creating a holistic atmosphere of physical and spiritual nourishment.
Please Contact Jake about leading a retreat or giving a lecture with regards to Sacred Wisdom.