Home Base 
Santa Fe, New Mexico USA

Foundation of Teaching 
Self-Realization, Love, Presence, Non-Duality, Buddhism 

Example of Teaching
“Whether or not enlightenment is possible at the moment of death, the practices that prepare one for this possibility also bring one closer to the bone of life.”


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Roshi Joan Halifax

Joan Halifax Roshi is a Buddhist teacher, Zen priest, anthropologist, and author. She is Founder, Abbot, and Head Teacher of Upaya Zen Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

She has worked in the area of death and dying since 1970 and is Director of the Project on Being with Dying. For the past twenty-five years, she has been active in environmental work.

Of recent, Roshi Joan Halifax was a Distinguished Visiting Scholar to the Library of Congress and the only woman and Buddhist to be on the Advisory Council for the Tony Blair Foundation.

She was Founder and Director of the Upaya Prison Project that develops programs on meditation for prisoners. She was founder of the Ojai Foundation, was an Honorary Research Fellow at Harvard University, and has taught in many universities, monasteries, and medical centers around the world.

She studied for a decade with Zen Teacher Seung Sahn and was a teacher in the Kwan Um Zen School. She received the Lamp Transmission from Thich Nhat Hanh, and was given Inka by Roshi Bernie Glassman. A Founding Teacher of the Zen Peacemaker Order, her work and practice for more than forty years has focused on engaged Buddhism.


    Articles and Posts

  • roshi-joan-halifax-awaken
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    Discovery At The Edge Of Empathy By Roshi Joan Halifax

    by Roshi Joan Halifax: This excerpt is from Roshi Joan’s next book: Standing at the Edge: Finding Freedom Where Fear and Courage Meet, to be published May, 2018… At a Mind and Life Institute conference on neuroscience and compassion in Japan, I shared [...]

  • Awaken
    views: 1094
    Science and Compassion By Roshi Joan Halifax

    by Roshi Joan Halifax: Whether compassion is rooted deep in our biology or whether it springs from the conscience… whether it is instinctual, intentional, socially prescribed, or spontaneously arising, we know from our personal experience and from scientific research that compassion benefits [...]

  • Awaken
    views: 1135
    The Magic Mirror By Roshi Joan Halifax

    by Roshi Joan Halifax: This excerpt is from Roshi Joan’s next book: Standing at the Edge: Finding Wisdom Where Fear and Courage Meet, to be published May, 2018… During a recent trip to Japan, I had the chance to see a “magic [...]

  • Awaken
    views: 1014
    Radical Optimism - Joan Halifax

    by Joan Halifax: Death and Optimism… My friend, Susanna Valadez, as a young anthropologist staying with Huichol Indians in Mexico, encountered a large Huichol family as they passed through the village in which she was living. The baby seemed to be [...]

  • Awaken
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    Profound Conviction: Roshi Joan Halifax and Dhammananda Bhikkhuni

    The struggle to establish a Theravada Bhikkhuni Sangha in Thailand has faced immense opposition from state authorities… According to Buddhist scriptures, the order of bhikkhunis (ordained female nuns) was first created by the Buddha at the specific request of his [...]

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  1. "The awakened Way is unsurpassable. Nothing is greater than awakening to the fact that you and I abide in ultimate closeness."
  2. "We live in a time when science is validating what humans have known throughout the ages: that compassion is not a luxury; it is a necessity for our well-being, resilience, and survival."
  3. 'The wondrous thing is that people are dying all around us and we do not realize that it can happen to us."
  4. 'Compassion is the ability to see clearly into the nature of suffering."
  5. "I learned that any attachment to outcome would deeply distort my capacity to be truly present to the whole person."
  6. "The enemies of genuine compassion: pity, moral outrage, and fear."
  7. "All beings, including each one of us, enemy and friend alike, exist in patterns of mutuality, interconnectedness, co-responsibility and ultimately in unity."
  8. "Zen practice is about relating to each other face to face, mind to mind, heart to heart...with nothing but clear, connecting space between us."

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