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Dorsett Fellow

YouTube of Roshi Joan at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center

2014 Dorsett Fellow: Joan Halifax, Roshi

Zen Buddhist teacher, anthropologist, social justice activist, and author

Joan Halifax with the Dalai Lama

"Engaged Buddhism and Ethics: Practicing Compassion and Fearlessness in an Endangered World"

Held February 18, 2014

 Watch Joan Halifax on TED


Joan Halifax, Ph.D., is a pioneer in the end-of-life care field. She is a Buddhist teacher, anthropologist, and author. She is Founder, Abbot, and Head Teacher of Upaya Institute and Zen Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She has lectured on the subject of death and dying at many academic institutions, including Harvard Divinity School, Harvard Medical School, Georgetown Medical School, and University of Virginia Medical School, Duke University Medical School, University of Connecticut Medical School, among many others. She received a National Science Foundation Fellowship in Visual Anthropology, was an Honorary Research Fellow in Medical Ethnobotany at Harvard University, and was a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Library of Congress.

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. She is Director of the Project on Being with Dying, and Founder and Director of the Upaya Prison Project that develops programs on meditation for prisoners, and the Nomads Clinic that delivers health care to villagers in Nepal. For the past 30 years, she has been active in environmental work.

Her books include: The Human Encounter with Death (with Stanislav Grof); The Fruitful Darkness; Simplicity in the Complex: A Buddhist Life in America; Being with Dying: Cultivating Compassion and Wisdom in the Presence of Death; Being with Dying: Compassionate End-of-Life Care (Professional Training Guide)and Being with Dying: Cultivating Compassion and Fearlessness in the Presence of Death, among others. She is a Lindisfarne Fellow and Co-director of the Fellowship and a Mind and Life Institute board member and Fellow.

Last Updated: 4/8/14