By : Richard Miller
It is with great love and a tender heart, that I pass on to you the news that our dear friend, sister, and spiritual mentor, Joan Ruvinsky, passed on at 12:30 pm on March 21st, at her home in Montreal.
I met Joan in the mid-eighties, while she and I were attending Jean Klein’s retreats. We shared innumerable conversations over the years, as we explored Jean’s teachings on what Joan would come to refer to as the “Pathless Path”. Jean’s teachings enabled Joan, in her words, to “eliminate the need to be a student, to have a path, a method or a goal.” With Jean she came home to the nondual wisdom teachings, and in turn, began offering gatherings, classes in body and breath sensing, and retreats.
I was deeply touched by the simplicity, and exquisite beauty of who and what Joan offered to all of us who knew her. In this vein, I would like to share reflections that have touched my heart, which others have shared as they came to know of Joan’s passing.
Joan was surrounded by flowers and wrapped in white. Her face was radiant: A beautiful smile, filled with Awe. A sight that I will never forget, that fills me with great light and comfort.
I am noticing immense gratitude…for embodiment, for this life adventure, for the teachings, and immense and continued gratitude for Joan who brought these teachings to heart and light.
Joan embodied absolute Presence and yet always seemed to be barely resting upon the Earth. Sometimes when we were in meditation on retreat, I would open my eyes to look at her... She was so light, sometimes you could barely see her.... A radiance, a translucence emanated from her. And yet, she was so fully and completely Present, on every level of consciousness. She moved with grace upon the Earth, an austere elegance. Her words were often erudite and always potent. She used few of them, but when she did, they seemed to carry with them the absolute essence of the universe. Her ability to fully receive and express the essence of a moment, a person, a teaching seemed to blast open any sense of separation. "Embodying Awareness is the real teaching," she informed us. Gracefully, often silently, she would guide us. She knew how to dissolve separation. "No doing, just Being." —Molly Birkholm
While sitting in meditation the day after her passing, I strongly felt Joan’s presence whispering to me, “Just This,” which, to me, summarizes in two words the totality of her beingness and her teachings. Simple. Elegant. Direct. In each moment, “just this.”
I will miss Joan’s smile, wit and simple elegance. But I take great solace in knowing that her presence now grows infinitely bright as we each inhale her every atom into our own beingness. Joan is always with us!
A memorial service will be held on Sunday, April 10 at 3:00PM at the Unitarian Church in Montreal, 5035 Boulevard de Maisonneuve Ouest, followed by a light reception. Poetry, song and musings are welcome.