Female teachers

Joan Halifax

Roshi Joan Halifax 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 has worked in the area of death and dying for nearly forty years and is Director of the Project on Being with Dying.

She is 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. She was an Honorary Research Fellow at Harvard University's Peabody Museum.


  • The Human Encounter with Death
  • The Fruitful Darkness
  • Being with Dying: Compassionate End-of-Life Care Training Guide


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