About Jo

My donkey portrait cropped

A student asked: “What is the teaching that lasts a whole lifetime?”  The teacher replied: “An appropriate response.”

I, Jo (formerly Jenny) Wunderly, grew up in Switzerland, met my husband Michael Katz in the Bay Area in the ‘90s and, together with my two sons, we moved to Nevada City in 2002. Up to that point I saw myself as a painter and graphic designer raising two kids. Meeting Byron Katie and later, Adyashanti, changed my focus and my whole life. My heart/mind turned towards the Way and, for several years, I practiced zen and had regular contact with teachers at Pacific Zen Institute. Since 2012, I’ve led and co-led various forms of group practice where I live in Nevada City. Beginning with a “koan salon” that turned into a Monday evening meditation for women, half and full-day retreats, koan hikes in the High Sierras, and, recently, forms that combine meditation with movement to music. My intention has been to integrate, or close the gap between wide-open awareness and ordinary life.

Footnotes to my Spiritual Cross-training

After a few years of going to retreats and studying zen in the koan tradition taught at Pacific Zen Institute, I discovered the value of not being beholden to just one way. I’ve begun to describe this evolution in my blog at Jo’s Zig Zags and eventually, I hope to describe in detail all of the remarkable teachers and traditions I’ve met. For now, this will be a sort of list:

Hakomi – A somatic psychotherapy based in mindfulness. I completed a two-year training that taught me ways to tend to neglected aspects of being and stubborn elements of suffering in others and in myself. Out of my trainings and practices I developed Holistic Mind-Body Awakening which I offer to individuals.

Indigenous shamanic practices – A chance meeting led to my initiation into these practices and I began to realize their potential for releasing deeply buried conditioning and trauma.

Continuum – A form of movement meditation taught by Shayna Gordon. I’ve begun to borrow aspects of this powerful practice in koan meditations at True Nature Refuge.

Tibetan Dzogchen – Zen and Dzogchen are like brother and sister–they are the most direct path within different buddhist traditions. Having the dzogchen perspective on my zen practice is invaluable. Since fall of 2016 I meet regularly one-on-one with dzogchen master Lama Drimed, for a day of exploring Buddha-mind and conversation. Meeting ones teacher means meeting oneself. In the process I am completely seen at the place of my spiritual and psychological unfolding. What I receive can be understood as key puzzle pieces that find their place in a thousand piece puzzle – the work has been done (and keeps going) and the ground is prepared so the full picture can come more into view.

Last, but far from least, with great gratitude, here are the names of the Buddhist teachers I’ve studied with in the past: Zen teachers at PZI: John Tarrant, David Weinstein, Steven Grant.


With Lama Drimed surrounded by giant foxgloves, in West Marin, spring 2017