Being Just This Moment

Joan Tollifson makes no claim to "flashy, dramatic, awakening experiences," yet she is uniquely one of the clearest and most grounded nonduality authors of our times.  Here she shares her story with customary transparency and good humor, always pointing back to the "never-ending, ever-fresh discovery that only happens Here/Now."


Joan3I’ve never had one of those flashy, dramatic awakening experiences that some people report with kundalini shooting up the spine, nor have I ever experienced the kind of permanent shift some people describe where your life is a total mess and you’re utterly depressed, and then suddenly—BAM!—everything changes overnight and you are forever after permanently established in awake presence, never to be depressed or worried or caught-up in the story of me or the sense of separation ever again.  In my case, awakening has been a much more gradual process of waking up and falling asleep and waking up again.  And as I see it, there is no end to awakening.  It is a never-ending and ever-fresh discovery that only happens Here / Now.

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9 Responses to Being Just This Moment

  1. Joey Lott says:

    This is very possibly the most beautiful thing I have ever read. Thank you, Joan, as always, for your honesty and clarity.

    • Joan — says:

      Thanks, Joey. I enjoyed reading your article as well. Thank you for being so open in sharing your story. I was struck by the irony of how you were at one time idealizing me, imagining that I was always happy and peaceful, when all the time we were both equally human and equally divine. Much love to you.

  2. Michael Byers says:

    Your last paragraph speaks for me as well. I read your story and inserted myself from time to time in recognition of familiar experiences. I don’t know why I never met you in Ashland. I think I would have liked the conversation. Thank your for sharing this story with us.

  3. marian long says:

    Thank you.
    I appreciate your experience and wisdom.

  4. Joan — says:

    Simply lovely ! Thank you for sharing…

  5. Jochen Lehner says:

    For some reason, Joan, I have never heard it this clearly, this tangibly: the seamless continuity of seeming me and not-me. Your little presentation at Watkins Books, so innocent-sounding, is really miraculous, thank you.

  6. Pingback: #5208 – Joan Tollifson | The Nonduality Highlights

  7. Deirdre Cavener says:

    Beautiful story although I disagree with the following statement and find it a sad way to approach Act 3 “… you suddenly realize in a very visceral way that there is no future. You are beginning to dissolve. Everything is falling away. Growing old involves loss of control, loss of abilities, loss of independence, loss of self-image, loss of loved ones, loss of everything that has defined you.”

    We are like wine and should continue to become better with age … !!! One of my friends did the Hawaii Ironman at 62 and Ernestine Shepherd, female bodybuilder, made the Guinness Book of World records in her 70s … I am following their lead … I Am Rockin’ It.

    • Joan — says:

      Dear Deirdre,
      I have been blessed to know many people, my wild and beloved mother included, who lived wonderfully full and passionate lives into their 80’s and 90’s. I find old people beautiful and richer and deeper than any wine could ever hope to be. I was in no way intending to create a sad picture of doom and gloom. But people who climb Mt Everest or swim the English Channel in their 90’s are the exceptions not the rule, and we tend as a culture to prefer the heroic to the ordinary. I know from my own experience, and that of many friends and family, that old age almost certainly includes loss and very often considerable physical pain and limitation, even for many of those who have done all the right things and lived in the healthiest of ways. Is this a terrible thing? In my experience, the absence of a future is not something dreadful but actually a wonderful blessing, inviting us to ever-more-deeply realize the present where we have always actually lived. And to your surprise, you may find that what remains when everything that can be lost is lost is the most wondrous thing of all. And really, we have never been in control. For me, aging is very much like spiritual awakening in so many ways, and that is indeed what I hope to convey in this new book. So rock on, my dear. I’m all for it.

      With Love,

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