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Robert A. Jonas

Robert A. Jonas

Robert A. Jonas, EdD, is founder and director of Empty Bell, a contemplative sanctuary and practice center in Northampton, Massachusetts, and he sits on the board of the Henri Nouwen Society.

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About the Author

Robert A. Jonas, EdD (Harvard University), MTS (Weston Jesuit School of Theology), is the author of The Essential Henri Nouwen, recently published by Shambhala Publications, as well as Henri Nouwen (Orbis) and Rebecca (Crossroad). 


Dr. Jonas is the director of The Empty Bell, a contemplative sanctuary in Northampton, Massachusetts, whose website ( serves as a resource for contemplative Christians and for Buddhist-Christian dialogue. Trained as a psychotherapist, he is now a retreat leader, author, and musician. A Christian in the Carmelite tradition, he also received spiritual formation with Buddhist teachers. He is a guiding teacher at the Guild for Spiritual Guidance in Ossining, New York (

Dr. Jonas is a past Board member of the Henri Nouwen Society and a member of the Society for Buddhist-Christian Studies and the Eckhart Society.


He is also a student of Sui-Zen, the Japanese bamboo flute (shakuhachi). He has played in many secular and spiritual contexts, including a performance under the Bodhi Tree in India as part of a Buddhist-Christian retreat attended by the Dalai Lama, and has recorded three albums: Blowing Bamboo, New Life from Ruins, and Many Paths, One Joy.