- Current Position
- Abbot and guiding teacher
- Roshi Joan Halifax, Ph.D., is a Buddhist teacher, Zen priest, anthropologist, and pioneer in the field of end-of-life care. She is Founder, Abbot, and Head Teacher of Upaya Institute and Zen Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She received her Ph.D. in medical anthropology in 1973 and has lectured on the subject of death and dying at many academic institutions and medical centers around the world. From 1972-1975, she worked with psychiatrist Stanislav Grof at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center with dying cancer patients. She has continued to work with dying people and their families, and to teach health care professionals and family caregivers the psycho-social, ethical and spiritual aspects of care of the dying. As director of the Project on Being With Dying, Halifax has helped caregivers cope with death and dying for more than three decades. She is also Founder of the Upaya Prison Project that develops programs on meditation for prisoners. She studied for a decade with Zen Teacher Seung Sahn and was a teacher in the Kwan Um Zen School. As Founding Teacher of the Zen Peacemaker Order and founder of Prajna Mountain Buddhist Order, her work and practice for more than four decades has focused on applied Buddhism.
Being With Dying, Shambhala Publications Inc., Boston (2008).
The Fruitful Darkness: A Journey Through Buddhist Practice and Tribal Wisdom, Grove Press, New York (1993).