Life challenges: Joan Tollifson
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Life challenge: Cancer as an awakening journey
Joan was diagnosed with cancer in late 2017 and has been sharing some of her journey on facebook. From one of her posts:
Knowing that the light and the dark go together doesn’t mean we rush out to invite pain into our lives. Would I have wanted an ostomy? No way! Would I have wanted to go through chemotherapy and radiation? No way! And yet, I can see that this whole journey of having cancer is an awakening journey, for my benefit, and I’m grateful for all of it. As someone once replied (in a piece of writing by John Tarrant), when asked how it was being sick, “It was marvelous!” I concur!
I was surprised after my diagnosis to discover how much I want to be alive. I was re-turned, more vividly than ever, to the present moment. I am continuing to discover something about love and community and the interconnection of all being and how important it is to show up for each other.
Joan has roots in both Zen and Advaita, but she belongs to no formal tradition. Her bare-bones approach is simple, direct and down-to-earth. She points beyond concepts and beliefs to the immediacy of direct knowing and being and the simplicity of what is. Joan is the author of Nothing to Grasp; Painting the Sidewalk with Water: Talks and Dialogs about Nonduality; Awake in the Heartland: The Ecstasy of What Is; and Bare-Bones Meditation: Waking Up from the Story of My Life. Joan has been offering meetings about non-duality since 1996. She is currently working on a book about aging and dying. www.joantollifson.com.