Roshi Joan Halifax

Roshi Joan Halifax is a Buddhist teacher, Abbot of Upaya Zen Center, social activist, and the author of many books, including Standing at the Edge: Finding Freedom Where Fear and Courage Meet.

Magazine | Openings

Turning Word

Joan Jiko Halifax Roshi, author, Zen Buddhist priest, and abbot of Upaya Zen Center in Santa Fe talks about what Buddhist book has made a significant impact on her practice.

By Roshi Joan Halifax

Double-Edged Empathy

With Roshi Joan Halifax

Double-Edged Empathy

Altruism. Empathy. Integrity. Respect. Engagement. These five psychological states are keys to living a compassionate, courageous life, according to Buddhist teacher, anthropologist, and social activist Roshi Joan Halifax. However, each has the potential to become counter-productive: altruism can become pathological, empathy can prevent you from seeing another’s situation clearly, and engagement can become an endless to-do list. In her latest book, Standing at the Edge, Roshi Halifax likens these states to ecosystems that are the most instructive when we work from their edges. Here, Roshi Halifax speaks to author Sandy Boucher about how “edge states” have been vital to her work as a change-agent, and how they might help us nourish love and justice in society today.

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