Rev. Jon Turner
My name is Jon Turner. I grew up in Torrance and went to West High School. I attended El Camino College in Torrance. In 1980, I transferred to UCLA graduating with a BS in Mathematics in 1982 and an MS in Computer Science in 1984. I have been employed as a computer programmer for over 25 years.
After graduation, I moved to Orange County where I lived in Costa Mesa and then moved to Huntington Beach in 1987. In 1987, I married Linda. She is a substitute teacher and dental hygienist. We have two children. Teag is 23 and attends California State University at Dominguez Hills, graduating in Public Administration this spring, while 19 year old Emily is a freshman at California State University at Long Beach. She is studying Mathematics and Theater Arts.
Teag likes swimming, is a California State Lifeguard and plans to be a fireman. Emily likes mathematics, drama, singing and dancing. Linda and I like yoga and long distance running. Linda and Emily just finished the Pacific Shoreline Half-Marathon in Huntington Beach on Super Bowl Sunday.
Linda and I both have Christian backgrounds. We never really believed all of the orthodox Christian doctrines so perhaps we were not really Christian when we thought we were after all. I stumbled onto Buddhism in 1999; six years after my father had died of alcoholism. That six year period was very difficult for me. All me life I had tried to control things by being good. This way of thinking finally came crashing down. It wasn’t until I bought the book Awakening the Buddha Within by Lama Surya Das that I came in contact with Buddhism. I must have been very, very desperate to have even bought a book on Buddhism. After reading only one chapter, I realized that this is what I had been looking for my entire life. I got goose bumps and had trouble breathing. It is as if a giant light had finally come on. From then on everything was different for me.
We have been attending the Orange County Buddhist Church (OCBC) for 14 years now. I have been studying very hard. I read a lot. I have also made every mistake one can make in understanding Buddhism over the past decade. As a result, I think these experiences have helped me to become a better teacher.
I have been in the Ministers’ Assistant Program (MAP) at OCBC since 2001 when it began as a BCA pilot program. I was certified with robe, okesa and Dharma name in October 2004. I have been attending the Institute of Buddhist Studies (IBS) since Fall 2005. IBS is a member of the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) in Berkeley, California. I graduated from IBS with a masters’ degree in Buddhist Studies on May 14, 2010. I received Tokudo ordination in October 2010 and was ordained as a Kyoshi minister in December 2012. I currently write essays, lead meditation services, lead adult study classes, teach the BEC in classes and give Jr. YBA seminars. I am chairman of the Buddhist Education Center (BEC) at OCBC and serve on the OCBC board of directors.
You may enjoy reading some of Jon’s material from his February 2013 class, Everyday Buddhism available on our website.