Steve Jobs And Laurene Powell Jobs Married In a Zen Buddhist Ceremony


A lot has been written about Steve Jobs’ Buddhist faith. When he was a teenager, Steve Jobs’ spiritual quests took him to India along with Daniel Kottke (who was the first employee at Apple). There was a phase when Jobs seriously considered becoming a Buddhist monk. Steve Jobs used to seriously and regularly meditate at the American Zen monastery of Tassajara.

Steve Jobs was a Zen Buddhist which is a school of Mahayana Buddhism which first started gaining prominence in 7th century CE. Zen stands for “meditation”. Zen Buddhism followers can be primarily found in China, Japan, Korea and Vietnam.



Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s book “Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism” and Roshi Shunryu Suzuki’s book ” Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind” had a strong influence on Steve Jobs outlook towards Buddhism. Steve Jobs’ biographer Walter Isaacson has mentioned both these influences in his book.

Steve Siberman’s essay on “What Kind of Buddhist was Steve Jobs, Really?” shares insight on Steve Jobs’ Buddhist faith.



Steve Jobs first met Laurene Powell Jobs during a speech at Stanford, where she was a student. Steve Jobs and Laurene Powell Jobs married on March 18, 1991. The Zen Buddhist wedding ceremony was presided over by Roshi (Master) Kobun Chino Otogawa at Hotel Ahwahnee, in Yosemite National Park. Roshi Kobun Chino Otogawa is credited with telling Jobs to start Apple rather than become a monk. He was the spiritual adviser of NeXT, the company that Steve Jobs started after leaving Apple.

 Steve Jobs And Laurene Powell Jobs Married In a Zen Buddhist Ceremony




A key difference between a Zen Buddhist wedding and other religious weddings is that a Zen Buddhist wedding is not a religious ceremony; instead it is a secular social ceremony. A Zen Buddhist wedding does not have a rigid defined ceremony. A key aspect of a Buddhist marriage is equality among the spouses and respect for the wife. As per the ancient Buddhist texts of Sigiloydda Sutta, in his dealings with his wife, a husband should show courtesy, show respect, be faithful, provide for his wife and hand over authority to her.





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Image by Macinate. Image used under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.



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