Roshi Joan Halifax | Extraordinary Leaders Choose Integrity, Humility and Compassion

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Roshi Joan Halifax | Extraordinary Leaders Choose Integrity, Humility and Compassion

Roshi Joan Halifax

Posted on November 9, 2020

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“Compassion is not a luxury, but a necessity, not only for our species to survive, but for all species to survive.” — Roshi Joan Halifax

Don’t miss this powerful conversation about gratitude, compassion, and respect with Roshi Joan Halifax Ph.D—an author, Zen teacher, longtime social activist, and the Abbot of the Upaya Zen Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico. 

Roshi shares her wisdom with us on why these values are essential to great leadership as well as being better to yourself and to those around you. She also explains how we can enjoy more mindful lives filled with integrity despite the inevitable challenges, fears, and failures along the way.

Listen closely to Roshi Joan Halifax as her words are especially relevant during this unusual time in history. In this episode of Leading with Genuine Care, you’ll learn:

  • Why leaders must show respect and humility to others
  • Mindful ways to hold yourself accountable as a compassionate leader
  • About her time as an activist for human rights
  • How to be practice more gratitude in our lives
  • Why resentment undermines gratitude and integrity
  • About her friendship with actress and fellow activist Jane Fonda
  • Why it’s okay to not know everything
  • Why altruism is so important today
  • What the power of compassion can do in our lives
  • How failure builds character
  • What is “othering” and why it’s problematic
  • Why we need to pay attention to our body’s physical reactions
  • How to witness life with a beginner’s mindset
  • If we can build a “tolerance for the inconceivable” 
  • Why we should embrace surprises
  • And so much more!


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More about Roshi Joan Halifax

Roshi Joan Halifax, Ph.D., is the Abbot of Upaya Zen Center, a Buddhist monastery in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She has been a social activist since the mid-1960s beginning with the Civil Rights Movement and Anti-war Movement in relation to the war in Vietnam. 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. She received a National Science Foundation Fellowship in Visual Anthropology and was an Honorary Research Fellow in Medical Ethnobotany at Harvard University.

In her younger years, she was an anthropologist doing fieldwork in Africa and the Americas. She is well known for her work with the dying and prison work. She practiced with Seungsahn Haengwon and the Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh for over a decade. She practiced with Roshi Bernie Glassman for twenty years.

She is the author of numerous books including The Human Encounter with Death, Shamanic Voices, The Fruitful Darkness, Being with Dying, and Standing at the Edge. Her first children’s book will be released next year.


Connect with Roshi Joan Halifax









Read Roshi Joan Halifax’s Books

Standing at the Edge: Finding Freedom Where Fear and Courage Meet


Being with Dying: Cultivating Compassion and Fearlessness in the Presence of Death


The Fruitful Darkness: A Journey Through Buddhist Practice and Tribal Wisdom


The Human Encounter with Death

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