An Outlaw Makes it Home: The Making of a Spiritual Revolutionary by Eli Jaxon-Bear

Coming April 2018

An Outlaw Makes it Home: The Making of a Spiritual Revolutionary is a candid, compelling and raucous spiritual adventure story.

A memoir
by Eli Jaxon-Bear

"An Outlaw Makes It Home bares it all.... I consumed this book in huge gulps and would do it again. I urge others to read it."

~Peter Coyote


An Outlaw Makes it Home: The Making of a Spiritual Revolutionary by Eli Jaxon-Bear is a candid, compelling and raucous spiritual adventure story, with an element of danger when he goes underground as a federal fugitive during the Vietnam War. This audacious memoir offers a powerful window into the making of a modern day spiritual revolutionary.

In his search for freedom, Eli actively participated in many of the mile-stone events of the 60’s, leading him to his spiritual activism today. From underground revolutionary to spiritual awakening and his quest for a final teacher, he takes us with him to a monastery in Japan, an initiation into a Sufi clan in Marrakesh, and the uncharted outback of Peru. This fascinating page turner leads readers around the globe with Eli on his eighteen year spiritual quest. He eventually found a then largely unknown teacher in India now known as Papaji.

He takes us with him as he vividly describes being a freshman in college joining the civil rights movement in Montgomery, Alabama —during the violent protests that resulted in the Selma to Montgomery March. We are with him as he is beaten by KKK posse men and got to hear Dr. Martin Luther King preach his freedom sermon as they marched out of the church to demand one man/one vote. As horsemen with clubs cantered down the middle of the street, bearing down on his group, he thought, “This is America. This is happening in America in 1965.” It forever changed his life.

His experience in Montgomery led to his working for VISTA in the ghettos of Chicago and Detroit and his being arrested during the Democratic Convention in the summer of 1968. It was at this time that he first experienced LSD, and the life-changing quality of his inward journey took him beyond the boundaries of his known universe.


Can a coward's journey through drugs, sex and revolution lead to true love and lasting fulfillment?


"An Outlaw Makes It Home bares it all in this machine-gun like compilation of adventures. A serious, playing-for-keeps quest for spiritual wisdom and enlightenment with a startling turn in the heartwarming discovery after an eighteen year search. Jaxon-Bear does not spare himself or try to polish his flaws and mistakes: in that regard, he is a warrior. I consumed this book in huge gulps and would do it again. I urge others to read it."

~Peter Coyote, actor, author, ordained Zen Buddhist priest

• • •

"An Outlaw Makes It Home, can be seen as a coming of age story, a modern journey of self-discovery but it is a classic hero’s journey, an odyssey, a journey out and a return home.

What a journey, and what a home! Eli takes us from a shattering moment in a Brooklyn childhood through radical and sometimes terrifying times in the 60’s, being literally outside the law, escape to Peru, lots of drugs and women, Japan, Morocco, India, learning to be a farmer of sorts back home in the US.... all the way to waking up and discovering what home truly is.

His honesty about fear and failure are very moving, but what really shines forth from these pages is a fierce love and commitment to the truth.

I absolutely loved An Outlaw Makes it Home!"

~Nancy Baker, Professor of Philosophy Emerita,
Sarah Lawrence College and Zen Roshi in NYC


  • 01 uncle jack
  • 02B005
  • 03 doug youngblood chicago
  • 05eli farm oregon headshot
  • 06eli on commune truck
  • 07eli underground 71
  • 08eli ucla idphoto 1975
  • 09eli homeless santamonica 75
  • 10B013
  • 11tio
  • 12courtyard
  • 13neighbor
  • 14quechwa home
  • 16B019
  • 17B023 El and Gangaji Bolinas 1976
  • 18 bolinas eli taoist yoga
  • 19
  • 20B025
  • 21B30B007
  • 22B32B010
  • 23 bolinas farm 78 e g
  • 25China '83 Slides 033
  • 30Eli and Gangaji teaching at Esalen 1983
  • 31 esalen
  • 32 uncle henry tyler 1985
  • 35Uncle Henry Esalen sweat lodge 1985
  • 36Uncle Henry Esalen teaching at the lodge
  • 37teaching at esalen 1986
  • 39zen temple outside
  • 46monk at temple
  • 46temple hallway
  • 47zendo of cho shoji
  • 48oldest zenmaster
  • 50eli and rycho zen suit
  • 51zen monk dharma talk
  • 52Midori Japan 080
  • 53School kids Slides 044
  • 54maui 1989
  • 55Eli Maui 1989
  • 56plowing farm maui 1989
  • 57Eli, Gangaji, NIssi from China on Maui
  • 58Nissi in front of the room he built
  • 59nissi on maui sponsored
  • Eli, Gangaji, Papaji, Kiss
  • Eli, Gangaji, Papaji
  • PAPAJI wuar cover
  • collage
  • debate crop
  • eli family portrait1
  • eli formal photo1
  • eli gangaji family1
  • mayday6
  • sufi letter2
  • taichi1
  • unclehenry reduced2

An Outlaw Makes it Home is an odyssey, a journey out and a return home.

An Outlaw Makes it Home


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Eli Jaxon Bear

Eli Jaxon-Bear was born Elliot Jay Zeldow in Brooklyn, New York, in 1947. His eighteen-year spiritual path started in 1971 when he was a federal fugitive during the Vietnam War. In 1978, Kalu Rinpoche appointed him the president of his dharma center in Marin County. In 1982, he was presented with a Zen Teaching Fan at Chosho-ji Zen Temple in Japan. After spending time in many traditions and practices, his path and his search ended when he traveled to India in 1990 and met his final teacher, Sri H. W. L. Poonja. Confirming Eli's realization, his teacher sent him back into the world to support self-realization by sharing his unique psychological insights into the nature of egoic suffering.

He lives with his wife, Gangaji, in Ashland, Oregon.

He currently meets people and teaches through the Leela Foundation, a non-profit organization in support of world peace and freedom through universal self-realization (


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