The Wonder of Presence: And the Way of Meditative Inquiry by Toni Packer (Author)

In this compelling collection of talks, interviews, and letters, Toni Packer provides a comprehensive overview of the path of meditative inquiry—a nondenominational approach to spiritual growth that emphasizes the direct experience of the present moment. “The immense challenge for each one of us,” Packer writes, “is can we live our lives, at least for moments at a time, in the wonder of presence that is the creative source of everything?” She shows how we can transform fear, anger, guilt, and attachment to our self-image through simple, direct awareness. Having recently lost her husband of fifty years, Packer also speaks with candor and tenderness about the convulsions of a grieving heart and the peace that undivided awareness can bring.

Toni Packer began studying Zen in 1967 with Roshi Philip Kapleau (author of The Three Pillars of Zen ) at the Rochester Zen Center and was eventually named his successor. Seeing the potentially destructive effects of relying too much on tradition, however, she did not accept the position. Packer is strongly influenced by the teachings of Krishnamurti and has turned away from the traditional forms and hierarchies that are prevalent in many Buddhist schools. Her approach is appealing to many Westerners who find institutionalized practices such as chanting, bowing, and burning incense to be alien and unnecessary.

Toni Packer (1927–2013) began studying Zen at the Rochester Zen Center in 1967 with Roshi Philip Kapleau (author of The Three Pillars of Zen). She taught and led retreats at Springwater Center in Springwater, New York.


Toni Packer interviewed by Joan Tollifson

Nothing to Grasp by Joan Tollifson (Author)

This book points to what is most obvious and impossible to avoid: the ever-present, ever-changing, nonconceptual actuality of the present moment that is effortlessly presenting itself right now. This is a book about what is happening, not what “should” happen or “might” happen or “could” happen, “if only.” This book is about waking up from our imaginary bondage and our story of lack and also from the imaginary “somebody” who seems to be at the center of all our suffering and confusion. Waking up isn’t about picking up a comforting philosophy or belief, but rather it’s about letting all the answers go and relaxing into the openness of Here / Now. As always, Joan shares examples from her own life with ruthless honesty and brings what often feels abstract, mystifying and unattainable down to earth.

Joan Tollifson writes books about nonduality and awareness that often include personal narrative about her own life. She was born in Chicago in 1948, graduated from Bard College in 1970 and later earned a graduate degree in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. She has received several writing grants, including one from the National Endowment for the Arts. Joan practiced Zen in California with several teachers, was on staff at Springwater Center, a nontraditional retreat center in northwestern New York, and spent time with several Advaita and nondual teachers. While she has an affinity with Zen and Advaita, Joan belongs to no tradition or lineage. Her writing points to seeing through stories and beliefs and waking up to the simplicity of what is. Joan currently resides in southern Oregon. You can learn more at her website: (Author photos were taken by David Lorenz Winston).


Joan Tollifson – Buddha at the Gas Pump Interview

Joan Tollifson writes and talks about the ever-changing, ever-present aliveness of Here / Now, that which is obvious, unavoidable and impossible to doubt. She has an affinity with Advaita, Buddhism and radical nonduality, but she belongs to no tradition or lineage.

Her main teacher was Toni Packer, but Joan has also studied with several Buddhist teachers and has spent time with a number of Advaita and nondual teachers. She has been holding meetings on nonduality since 1996. In her books and meetings, Joan invites people to explore their actual present moment experience and to question the deep-seated assumption that we are each an independent entity encapsulated inside a separate bodymind looking out at an alien world. Instead, we may discover that everything is one seamless, boundless, unbroken whole in which there are no separate parts.

Joan also invites people to question the deep-seated assumption that we are in control of our lives (or should be), and she points to the realization that everything is one choiceless happening. Joan is known for her honesty and her sense of humor. She 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 she has written two more books that are slated for publication early in 2012. Joan has lived in California, New York and Chicago, and is currently living in southern Oregon.

The Shift 2013 :This will change your life – Transcend the ego – WayneDyer – From Ambition To MEANING [updated Sept 9, 2015]

Published on Nov 7, 2013
By:Wayne Dyer/No copyright infringement intended

This Awakening film is enough to shake anyone from the monotonous busy life back to the stillness of the heart, which is where we originally started

Wayne Dyer – The shift

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