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Welcome to Cloud Dragon

Photo - Jennifer Esperanza

Invocation of the Lunar Dharma
We don't have a temple in the usual sense. Where we gather and what we'll pass on is made of our dharma, our lives, and our art. And so this website is a part of our temple of the imagination — the pamphlet rack in the foyer, maybe — helping to spread something we hold dear through the fields of time and space.

Cloud Dragon : The Joan Sutherland Dharma Works was created to make the groundbreaking teachings of Joan Sutherland, Roshi widely available. Her work is a fresh imagining of the koan tradition, rooted in its original understanding of all of life as a process of awakening. Endarkenment is as essential as enlightenment to awakening, and much of her work is an exploration of the power held in the radiance of the dark.

Since her retirement in 2014, Cloud Dragon is the place to access Joan Sutherland's writings, videos, and the audio archive of her talks and readings, as well as a growing body of transcripts of those talks. For ongoing practice there’s The Open Source network of communities, led by her dharma heirs. See the window below, Places to Go, for more information.

Announcements & Events

Awakening with Koans : A Conversation with Joan Sutherland
Tricycle Magazine, May 31, 2022, 3:00pm EST, Online. Register here Recording will be available to all registrants.

Joan's new book on koans, Through Forests of Every Color, is coming out on Summer Solstice 2022 from Shambhala Publications. "A clearer path or a better guide would be hard to find," says Red Pine. Stay tuned for pre-order discounts. An audio book, read by the author, is also in the works.

A Conversation with The Open Source Community
Online Reading with Q & A, June 15, 2022

California Institute of Integral Studies
July 27, 2022, 7:00 pm PT

Zen Luminaries with Jon Joseph
September 19, 6:00 pm PT

Gates, our Miscellaneous Koans collection, is now available free of charge as a PDF in the old Acequias & Gates format.




Koans ... Awakening ... Where to begin?

Here are links to a few essays and recordings that introduce the philosophy and practices that are essential to our Way.

An intimate, spiritual, and literary journey through the world of koans. Coming on Summer Solstice 2022 from Shambhala.

A timeless meditation on developing a peaceful and generous heart in a world of sorrows. Read more

The Radiance of the Dark from The Joan Sutherland Dharma Works on Vimeo.

A short video evoking Joan's vision embracing endarkenment as well as enlightenment.

More Videos



New writing every couple of weeks, from fields notes and journal entries to larger works in progress. Read here.


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The Open Source communities and teachers in New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, and California