Throughout Jerry Brown’s half century of politics, his being one of the most fascinating and effective public careers in California history, there has always run a deep moral and religious stream. He has dedicated his whole being to inquiry and service.

In 1956 Jerry entered a Jesuit novitiate in Saratoga, California, where for four years he studied to be a Catholic priest. Within a decade of leaving the cloister, he ran for and won the race for California Secretary of State. Four terms as governor, three runs for U.S. President, elected to Mayor of Oakland. 

All through his political career, Jerry has sought to save the earth and help the people. He now resides with his two dogs and partner Anne Gust on their ancestral ranch in the oak hills of California.
From recent interviews:

“Studying Zen in Japan with Koun Yamada and Enomiya LaSalle—both were extraordinary men. Ignatian meditation is about forming images. Zen is more severe; you simply sit on a cushion and breathe in and out; I did that for ten hours a day while in retreat. Zen is a different kind of experience. It does not have a doctrine, it is not even part of Buddhism. Attention in meditation transcends any denomination.”
“Politics is a power struggle to get to the top of the heap. Calcutta and Mother Teresa are about working with those who are at the bottom of the heap. I came to see them as no different from myself and their needs as important as my needs. And you’re there to serve them, and in doing that you are attaining as great a state of being as one can.”

“Our number one challenge in the world today is the threat of nuclear war. There has not been enough political debate on this … we have to live together on Planet Earth.”
“For me, religious experience is cultivating an ‘ecology of mind’ by watching nature, animals, watching dreams. Last year on our ranch in Colusa we picked over a ton of olives. Just taking the fruit from the tree, being on the land off the electric grid, no cell coverage, no television. Just watching the moon coming up, waxing and waning, being aware of what went before, gives a sense of what is coming after. It somehow feels good, it gives me hope. I am really enthusiastic: I love each day when I get up. And at night I walk my dogs and look at the stars.”