Most of you have seen this video by now - but for those who haven't, this is great stuff. It's a bit short at around 14 minutes, so I have included another talk (below) from April of this year.
Compassion and the true meaning of empathy
Buddhist roshi Joan Halifax works with people at the last stage of life (in hospice and on death row). She shares what she's learned about compassion in the face of death and dying, and a deep insight into the nature of empathy.
Activist, anthropologist, author, caregiver, ecologist, LSD researcher, teacher, and Zen Buddhism priest -- Joan Halifax is many things to many people. Yet they all seem to agree that no matter what role she plays, Halifax is consistently courageous and compassionate. Halifax runs the Upaya Zen Center in New Mexico, a Zen Peacemaker community she opened in 1990 after founding and leading the Ojai Foundation in California for ten years. Her practice focuses on socially engaged Buddhism, which aims to alleviate suffering through meditation, interfaith cooperation, and social service.
As director of the Project on Being With Dying, Halifax has helped caregivers cope with death and dying for more than three decades. Her book Being With Dying helps clergy, community activists, medical professionals, social workers and spiritual seekers remove fear from the end of life. Halifax is a distinguished invited scholar of the U.S. Library of Congress and the only woman and Buddhist on the Tony Blair Foundation’s Advisory Council.
"She’s the most fearless person I’ve ever met." ~ Peg Reishin Murray in Shambhala Sun
Talk on Compassion at Capital University, Columbus, Ohio
This is the Keynote Address delivered at the Symposium on Undergraduate Scholarship in April, 2011.