And so the teachings go: “I am not my body” (or the soft version, “I am not just my body”); “I am not my mind”; “I am not my emotions”; and so forth. And yet we brush our teeth; we attend to our thoughts, a small few of which may or may not be useful; […]

Live Like a Casserole

Somewhere in the flurry of nondual concepts, there is this notion of no doer, or as Casteneda’s Don Juan says, not doing. It’s not quite the same as not doing the laundry and winding up without clean clothes…or leaving a sink full of dirty dishes. Both of these are doings. It’s not a question of doing nothing, because […]

Overtaken by Silence

Sometimes we are overtaken by silence. However, it may not feel like that. It may feel like indolence, or it may feel like lack of motivation, or it may feel like a hiatus, a lapse. To a well-meaning friend, it might even look like something is the matter. But wait. These are privileged moments, moments […]

Mexican Generals

We were hiking down Ward Canyon, up in the mountains way away from anywhere. There is no particular trail so we were just meandering down the creek, taking in the Arizona monsoon green, the erosion damage, the wildflowers and whatnot. And the three of us were bantering back and forth about the Mexican Generals crossing […]

Making Sense of it All

Sometimes we’ve just got to wonder about how the world got into such a mess; or alternatively, how did I get into such a mess? Or even, upon great good fortune, how did I get so lucky? And there can be all this see-sawing back and forth between “Oh, no,” and “Oh, wow.” Mostly, I […]

Everything We Need is Provided

Joan loved to chant. In the last months and weeks, even the last days, of her embodied existence, we chanted every single day. Sometimes I was quick enough with the recorder to capture those precious, spontaneous moments of what she described as “joy expressing itself as sound.” Below you will find a 2-minute recording of […]

On Forgetting and Remembering

Curious by nature, I ask a lot of questions. During the years of my apprenticeship with Joan, she was infinitely patient with my indefatigable pursuit of truth, only on the rarest of occasions insisting that the “shop was closed” and even then with a wink and a smile which reassured me that it would reopen […]

Absorbed in Delight

One of Joan’s great gifts as a guide and mentor was her ability to demystify the teachings by grounding them in the practical, making them relevant to our everyday struggles and by challenging our assumptions of how “it” should be or how “it” should look. She presented a heart-centered approach to non-duality, an embracing of […]

Frosted Glass

A little note scribbled in one of Joan’s journals: All traditions are like looking through a frosted glass window—there’s the Buddhist design, the Yoga design, the Christian design—and what we see is the pattern superimposed on the glass. With luck, one sees between the frosted parts through the glass to the great Vastness beyond, but […]

When this body goes, does This go?

Below is a partial transcript of a conversation between Joan and I on the topic of her death, with her typical blend of matter-of-factness, insight, irreverence and compassion. Love,  Kathleen The body is here and This is here – both/and…  Both you are over there and there is one alive-space of us, and the room, […]