Wendy Dainin Lau, MD

Wendy Dainin Lau, MD will teach during  Wisdom and Wellbeing in Multi-Faculty Week 4 – Purpose, Engaged Buddhism and Eco-Activism – February 1 – 8, 2025 about the following topic:

Be like Water in a World on Fire

Dr. Wendy Lau, an emergency and addiction medicine physician, Zen priest and martial artist will lead a workshop on exploring our deep intentions to bring our unique gifts to serve in this world on fire. Through embodiment exercises, meditation, writing and interactive exercises, we will discover how strength can come from flexibility and fluidity rather than rigidity and hardness. She will also draw on the teachings from her recent book, Inner Practice of Medicine, which helps physicians connect back to their inner intentions to be stewards of health and wellness in the realities of today’s complicated medical environments.


More about Wendy

Wendy Lau, M.D. is an Emergency Medicine physician. She has worked in some of the busiest hospitals in New York City. In her early career years she worked in Silicon Valley, before realizing that the tech industry did not fulfill her aspiration to serve the most vulnerable. She went to medical school at Cornell University and then completed Emergency Medicine residency in Brooklyn.

To support herself during the stress of working in the emergency department, she began practicing meditation. She also became a competitive kickboxer and taught other competitors meditation and visualization techniques. She continued studying Eastern philosophies and experimenting with how they could support her medical practice, and after many years of personal study, began giving practical lectures around dealing with physician burnout. She lectured at medical schools and residencies, sharing many of the tools that had helped her.

During the pandemic she moved to Upaya Zen Center, where she worked remotely with physicians from around the world to support them through the pandemic. After living there for several years she was ordained by Roshi Joan Halifax as a Zen priest. She continues to teach physicians meditation and ways to thrive in the high burnout environments of medicine, guiding them to a meaningful and fulfilling career and life that they originally set out to live. She has recently started to work in addiction and recovery in the Santa Fe area. She is also a co-director of Upaya’s Nomads Clinic that delivers medicine to remote, high-altitude villages of Himalayan Nepal, and a trained Buddhist chaplain.