Joan Halifax Roshi is a Buddhist teacher, Zen priest, anthropologist, and author. She is Founder, Abbot, and Head Teacher of Upaya Zen Center, a Buddhist monastery in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She received her Ph.D in medical anthropology in 1973. She has lectured on the subject of death and dying at many academic institutions, including Harvard Divinity School and Harvard Medical School, Georgetown Medical School, University of Virginia Medical School, Duke University Medical School, University of Connecticut Medical School, among many others. From 1972-1975, she worked with psychiatrist Stanislav Grof at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center on pioneering work with dying cancer patients, using LSD as an adjunct to psychotherapy. After the LSD project, she has continued to work with dying people and their families and to teach health care professionals as well as lay individuals on compassionate 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. For the past twenty-five years, she has been active in environmental work. 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 three decades has focussed on applied Buddhism. Her books include: The Human Encounter with Death (with Stanislav Grof); Shamanic Voices; Shaman: The Wounded Healer; The Fruitful Darkness; Simplicity in the Complex: A Buddhist Life in America, Being with Dying, Wisdom Beyond Wisdom
Lecture: This mind is a beautiful and complex organism that can be strengthened and deepened through its training. The development of attention and of wholesome mental qualities is essential in our lives today, as the world manifests increasing complexity and the social and environmental challenges facing us continue to unfold. This talk will explore ways that we can develop the qualities of wisdom and compassion, through mental training, including a commitment to an ethical basis for our lives.
THE BEAUTY OF COMPASSION
Workshop: Compassion is a human response to suffering that is based in the discovery that we are not separate from any being or thing. It is a fundamental emotion that makes for a sane and healthy world. A world without compassion would be cruel and destructive. A life and society strong in compassion is courageous and sane. Art is a powerful way that we can express our deep commitment to feel and benefit others. In this program, we will explore expressions of compassion in the East and West. We will do this through the arts, including writing practice, drawing, meditation, and poetry, and in the experience of our lives.
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