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Painting the Sidewalk with Water

Talks and Dialogs about Nonduality

Joan Tollifson

A reissue of this classic book with a newly written Preface for 2023.


These lively talks and dialogs are about seeing through the illusion of separation and waking up to the boundless wholeness that is all there is. They take on perennial questions such as: Who am I? Is there a way out of personal and global suffering? Can we choose to stop addictive and destructive patterns? What does it mean to be awake? What is enlightenment? Does waking up take effort, vigilance and practice, or is it effortlessly and unavoidably always already the case? What happens when we die? 


Joan questions all attempts to conceptually grasp and frame the movement of life, and she points to what remains when everything that can be doubted drops away. She talks about seeing through the stories and beliefs that create our human suffering and waking up to the simplicity of what is, as it is — the ever-present, ever-changing seamlessness of being.

Joan’s approach is open and explorative, not methodical or dogmatic. For those struggling to reconcile the emphasis on "being here now" in some teachings with the uncompromising "this is it, just as it is" message of radical nonduality, Joan brings them together beautifully. With subtlety and humor, these talks reveal the perfection in apparent imperfection, the extraordinary in what appears most ordinary, and the freedom of being what you can't not be.


About the Author

Joan Tollifson writes and talks with people about nonduality and the wonder of what is. Her background includes Buddhism, Advaita, nontraditional meditative inquiry, radical nonduality, martial arts, somatic work, addiction recovery, political activism, visual arts, and a devotion to both boundless presence and the beauty of the ordinary. She belongs to no formal tradition. Her website is

Open the Flipbook below to read the new preface and first chapter.




Kindle ebook



9" x 6", p.354,  Isbn: 978-1-7397249-7-9

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