Roshi Joan Halifax is a Buddhist teacher, founder and head teacher of Upaya Zen Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico, a social activist and author. She is a pioneer in the field of end-of-life care, has lectured on the subject of death and dying at many academic institutions and medical centers around the world, and has received many awards and honors from institutions around the world for her work as a social and environmental activist, and in the end-of-life care field. Roshi Joan 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, Being With Dying; Founder of the Upaya Prison Project that develops programs on meditation for prisoners; has been involved with the Mind and Life Institute since its inception; and is founder of the Varela International Symposium. Her books include The Fruitful Darkness: A Journey Through Buddhist Practice and Tribal Wisdom, Being with Dying: Cultivating Compassion and Fearlessness in the Presence of Death, and Standing at the Edge: Finding Freedom Where Fear and Courage Meet.
In this episode of Intersections, Prof. Hitendra Wadhwa has a conversation with Roshi Joan Halifax on the topic “Cultivating Compassion and Wisdom in the Presence of Death.”
In a culture that views death only as a biological and morbid end to life, what can we learn from someone who has spent more than 50 years in end-of-life care? What inspiration can we draw from such a luminous life on how to best be of service to our loved ones in their final chapter of life, how to awaken our natural compassion, and on how to reframe our own relationship with death?
This episode offers key insights on: