Be Who You Are: An Interview with Jean Klein

I first met Jean Klein in the spring of 1988 when a Buddhist friend urged me attend one of his dialogues. I didn’t know anything about Advaita Vedanta, and I certainly wasn’t looking for a teacher. In fact, after nearly 20 years of Buddhist practice, I had become disenchanted with the teacher-student relationship that lies at the heart of the Buddhist tradition. Many of the teachers I knew used their power and authority to manipulate and exploit their students, and I had ended up leaving the Zen priesthood myself because I didn’t feel comfortable with the identity and role of teacher that was gradually being thrust upon me. I went to my first dialogue with a blend of curiosity and skepticism.

Be Who You Are An Interview with Jean Klein by Stephan Bodian


About Stephan Bodian

Stephan Bodian is a teacher in the nondual wisdom tradition of Zen and Advaita Vedanta and the founder and director of the annual eight-month School for Awakening. Stephan trained for 10 years as a Buddhist monk and spent an additional 10 years studying Advaita Vedanta with Jean Klein. In 2001 he received Dharma transmission from Adyashanti. A licensed psychotherapist as well as a teacher, he offers spiritual counseling to clients worldwide. His books include Wake Up Now: A Guide to the Journey of Spiritual Awakening and Meditation for Dummies. For more information, visit


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7 Responses to Be Who You Are: An Interview with Jean Klein

  1. Michelle Fontaine says:

    Wonderful article.
    It addresses the question that I too have as I find
    myself entering into the education required to become
    an MFT at the California Institute of Integral Studies.

    Can you be a spiritual teacher as well as a therapist?

  2. Paul Cote says:

    I liked the article. I suppose a person needs to hang out with someone who can give pointers. Maybe I can read Jean Klein’s books or something as a way of hanging out. Thanks for the article.

  3. Shankar says:

    Please consider giving away this interview as a booklet. There are people who will certainly be benefited by it.
    Shankar, India

  4. Natasha Korshak says:

    Thank you for including this article in the journal. I was introduced to his teaching through his “students” Richard Miller and Joan Ruvinsky- and it resonates completely with the teachers I have been blessed by in other and related disciplines. It is so refreshing to see it all put in the context of letting go rather than striving.

  5. Katalin says:

    Great article, thanks for sharing it. This is the first text I am reading from Jean Klein and he seems to be attained a high degree of realization.

  6. Rajeev says:

    I find jean klein with Ramana maharishi and nasargadatta maharaj as the best communicators of spiritual knowledge. Thanks for posting.

  7. Paul Chambers Johnson says:

    Wonderful companion piece to the couple of Jean’s books that I’ve read.
    I’m certain I’m not the only person who thinks the ‘stillness’ Jean speaks of is the not-quite-daydreaming that got steadily knocked out of you as childhood turned into adolescence?

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