Monday, June 14, 2010


Joseph Dunham passed away last weekend, after suffering a heart attack in Cambodia.

He was the travel adviser and friend of Pattabhi Jois; after arriving in Mysore to study yoga for a month, he ended up staying for two decades. He was also quite close with Manju Jois - who expressed great sadness today about his passing.

I first met Joseph in NYC, during Pattabhi Jois's 2000 World Tour. He was so kind (and dashing). I also practiced near him in the old shala in 2002 and the new one in later years. He ways always friendly, helpful and welcoming - even to the novices. Especially the novices - who needed it the most. In recent years, he opened his home to ashtangis in Mysore.

(He's in the center/top of the photo above, which was snapped after a conference in the spring of 2002).

OM Tryambakam Yajamahe
Sugandhim Pushtivardhanam
Urvarukamiva Bandhanan
Mrityor Mukshiya Mamritat

I meditate on Shiva
The three-eyed one
Of sweetest fragrance,
Helping me flower spiritually.
Like the fully-ripened fruit easily snapped
May I be free from the Bondage of Death.
May I not be without the nectar of immortality.


  1. Seems way too early.

  2. Yes, it's way too soon.

  3. I wasn't planning to ever return to Mysore, but it seems odd to imagine he won't be there.

    Today was my dad's b-day. He'd have been 72.


  4. Hugs to you... It may feel nice to light a candle for him - or something.

  5. Good idea. Candles & flowers. I'm going to be very quiet tonight.

  6. roselil5:15 PM

    Thanks for sharing, I did not know. This feels very very sad to me.

  7. It is going to be so different to walk up that street of his house in Gokulam...
    I called him for the first time on the phone when Guruji was in the hospital last May, and I told him I never met him. Yet, it made no difference, he was so warm and kind to me on the phone. And Last xmast was the first time, now the last time, I met him at his lovely home for a holiday brunch. He welcomed me like we have met many times... ya, it is way way too soon.
    Thank you Cara for doing a post to share.

  8. Joseph was a good friend and fellow practitioner for some time at Nancy Gilgoff's House of Yoga & Zen here on Maui. At first he travelled back and forth from Maui to Mysore, and then made his decision to stay with Guruji. Last time I saw him was here on Maui at Guruji's 2000 World Tour event in Upcountry Maui. Very surprised to know of his passing -- a very devoted yogi is now still traveling the universe with his teacher. Om Santi