Finding your purpose with Jonathan Gustin


To become a patron and help this program continue producing Mood Altering Substance, go to and pledge any amount.

For the first episode of How To Human, Sam sat down with his friend and mentor Jonathan Gustin, founder of the Purpose Guides Institute.

About Jonathan:

Jonathan is a purpose guide, psychotherapist, meditation teacher, and integral mentor in private practice in the San Francisco Bay Area for over 20 years. Jonathan is the founder and lead teacher of the Purpose Guide Institute, Integral Awakening Center and Green Sangha.  He teaches purpose discovery at San Quentin Prision and also serves as adjunct faculty at John F. Kennedy University 

Jonathan is a contributing author (along with Ken Wilber and Ervin Laszlo) to the book anthology, Purpose Rising (2017).  Jonathan has taught at the California Institute of Integral Studies, Kaiser Permanente, Green Gulch Zen Center, Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Open Circle, Bay Area Integral, The Nondual Wisdom & Mental Health Conference, iEvolve, Marina Counseling Center, and iRest Institute.

Jonathan has co-taught with human potential pioneer George Leonard, Buddhist activist Joanna Macy and depth psychologist Bill Plotkin.  Jonathan taught at Kaiser Permanente  including: Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, Mind-Body Medicine, Overcoming Depression, Couples Communication and Integral Life Practice.  

For more of Jonathan:




For more of us:





“find that place where your deepest joy, your deepest passion, your deepest gladness, and the world’s hunger meets.” – Jonathan Gustin

“Think about how many things you’ve cataloged in your mind that you know the purpose to, whether it’s a toaster, or bicycle, or tape measure. You just know what its purpose is, but our own purpose, that wasn’t something I was thinking about.” – Sam Lamott

“The love in my heart for life and for people, it’s huge, and I want to spend it all before I die.” -Jonathan Gustin

“All the actions I take today, that’s my inheritance and I inherit them tomorrow.” -Sam Lamott

“Purpose offers us is a deep spiritual happiness and joy, because it’s that sense of feeling seated well in ourselves, and you can only be well seated in your life if you really know who you are. 

Heart, body, mind, soul, spirit.

That is self-knowledge. Know thyself! Know yourself at a purpose level, then you are occupying that place in life which is yours and yours alone.” -Jonathan Gustin

“I don’t know what my path is, but I know what it feels like when I’m on it.” -Sam Lamott

“I say there’s a triple purpose of life: One is to wake up to the mystery, to God, to Enlightenment. One is to grow up into an emotional adult. And the third is to discover what is our purpose.” -Jonathan Gustin

To become a patron and help this program continue producing Mood Altering Substance, go to pledge any amount.


    • Thank you for this. I always feel like i’ve Done a terrible job and it’s little comments like this that keep me going. Spread the word! And if you get a second a review on iTunes helps people know they aren’t wasting their time.

  1. Hi Sam,

    I really enjoyed this podcast! Is there any chance you have a transcription? My son is deaf and there are so many valuable insights that he may be able to relate to and I would love to share this with him.

    Thank you for your consideration.


    • Hi Melissa,

      I don’t, but I know of a transcription service that costs about a dollar a minute. I’m a little strapped for cash, but I want your son to be able to read any episode that would speak to him.

      Maybe we could split it? Send me an email at [email protected] and we will figure something out no matter what.

      Lots of love,

  2. As a new patron, I’ve gone back to the podcast beginnings. So glad I did, as this episode nudged me to put words to my purpose (of which I already had a nebulous idea). “Creating space for reflection.” I recognize I do this in every facet of my life, from writing to relationships to the way I’ve structured day-to-day life to coaching/spiritual-care work with others, and it is my purpose. I like how articulating the words helps me to see how there are–at this stage of my life–almost no aspects of life untouched by this purpose. Jonathan also helped me to recognize how the antibodies to purpose held me back half my life with messages such as: You’re too serious, You think too much, You question too much. …How wrong those voices were!
    Thanks for this episode! Tricia


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.