#24 – Awareness Is the Key
ft Joan Tollifson
Joan has had personal experience with alcohol addiction, a fingerbiting compulsion (classified as an impulse-control disorder), compulsive thinking, and depression. She does not believe there is one recovery model that fits everyone, and she encourages people to find what works for them. What she offers is an approach rooted in open awareness – giving nonjudgmental attention to the whole happening that we call ‘addiction’ or ‘compulsion’ or ‘depression,’ without trying to change it, but simply shedding light on it. She also stresses the liberating recognition that both our apparent imperfections and the stormy weather in life are often essential to evolutionary growth and transformation, and that the light and the dark go together and cannot be pulled apart. Joan does not consider herself a Buddhist and does not belong to any tradition, but she has spent time with a number of Buddhist teachers, including Charlotte Joko Beck, Steve Hagen, Anam Thubten and Mel Weitsman, and her main teacher, Toni Packer, was a former Zen teacher who left the tradition behind to work in a more open way.
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