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Joan points to the aliveness and immediacy of what is – the bare actuality of present experiencing. She is interested in seeing through, or waking up from, the stories, beliefs and misunderstandings that create our human suffering, including our tendency to mistake conceptual maps for the ungraspable living reality. Joan points to the choiceless, seamless and unresolvable nature of what is. She encourages us all to look and see if the self that is supposedly authoring our thoughts and making our decisions can actually be found. Joan's bare-bones approach is open, direct and down-to-earth. She invites an open (non-methodical, non-result-oriented, awareness-based) exploration of direct experience, always encouraging people to look and listen for themselves. Joan's main teacher was Toni Packer, a former Zen teacher who left that tradition behind to work in a simpler and more open way. Joan spent time with many other teachers as well, exploring Buddhism, Advaita and radical nonduality. She does not identify with or represent any particular tradition. Joan is the author of Bare-Bones Meditation: Waking Up from the Story of My Life (1996), Awake in the Heartland: The Ecstasy of What Is (2003), Painting the Sidewalk with Water: Talks and Dialogs about Nonduality (2010), and Nothing to Grasp (2012). A fifth book, tentatively titled Death: The End of Self-Improvement, is in the works, exploring aging, dying and fully embracing uncertainty and groundlessness. Joan has lived in northern California, rural New York state and Chicago. She currently resides in southern Oregon.


 

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