Roshi Joan Halifax, PhD

Next Workshop

Roshi Joan Halifax will be teaching during  Wisdom and Wellbeing  Multi-Faculty Week 4 – Purpose, Engaged Buddhism and Eco-Activism – February 1 – 8, 2025 about the following topic:

Standing at the Edge: Finding Freedom Where Fear and Courage Meet

We will explore five psychological territories called Edge States―altruism, empathy, integrity, respect, and engagement―that epitomize strength of character. Yet each of these states can also be the cause of personal and social suffering. In this way, these five psychological experiences form edges, and it is only when we stand at these edges that we become open to the full range of our human experience and discover who we really are. Through the experiences of caregivers, activists, humanitarians, politicians, parents, and teachers, incorporating the wisdom of Zen traditions and mindfulness practices, and research on compassion, we open up perspectives on how compassion is the pivot out of the shadow side. Meditation, discussion, teachings are part of this intensive program.

More about Joan

Roshi Joan Halifax, PhD, is a Buddhist teacher, Zen priest, anthropologist, activist, and author.

She is founder of the Ojai Foundation and founder, abbot, and head teacher of Upaya Zen Center, a Buddhist monastery and Zen Peacemaker community in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

A practitioner of socially engaged Buddhism, Halifax has done extensive work in the area of death and dying for more than 30 years. She has worked with the dying and has taught and lectured on the subject of death and dying at Harvard Divinity School, Harvard Medical School, Georgetown Medical School, Columbia University, and many other academic institutions, monasteries, and medical centers around the world.

In 1994, Halifax founded the Project on Being With Dying, which has trained hundreds of health-care professionals in the contemplative care of dying people.

Halifax studied for a decade with Zen teacher Seung Sahn, received the Lamp Transmission from Thich Nhat Hanh, and was given Inka by Bernie Glassman Roshi. A founding teacher of the Zen Peacemaker Order, her work and practice for more than three decades has focused on engaged Buddhism.