Joan Halifax, PhD, is a Zen priest and anthropologist who has served on the faculty of Columbia University and the University of Miami School of Medicine. For the past thirty years she has worked with dying people and has lectured on the subject of death and dying at Harvard Divinity School, Harvard Medical School, Georgetown Medical School, and many other academic institutions. In 1990, she founded Upaya Zen Center, a Buddhist study and social action center in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In 1994, she founded the Project on Being with Dying, which has trained hundreds of healthcare professionals in the contemplative care of dying people.
"A moving meditation on palliative care. . . . A supremely readable book [that] will attract readers of all faiths who will appreciate her clarity and compassion and the poignancy of these stories of ordinary people facing their final hours with quiet courage."--Publishers Weekly "This compelling, brave, and wise book draws from a lifetime of remarkable work with people at the end of life."--Andrew Weil, MD "This book is a gift of wisdom and practical guidance for living."--Ira Byock, MD, author of Dying Well and The Four Things That Matter Most "Joan Halifax has a knack for straight talk and sublime insight--a no-holds-barred approach to life's greatest challenge, dying well. This book beckons to those who dare, and those who care; it's a profound and practical guidebook to the inevitable final dance."--Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence "Joan Halifax has taken the great matter of death and dying and woven a tapestry of stories, wisdom, and practical advice for care of the dying--all against a background of compassion."--Charles R. Lewis, MD, Medical Director, Inpatient Care Center, San Diego Hospice and Palliative Care "This book picks up where many books about palliative care end, by giving us a sense of the possibilities offered by an encounter with a dying person. Joan Halifax gives us a map of territory not usually mentioned in medical discussions about dying. Her book deserves to be read by clinicians who take care of people with life-threatening illnesses, from the beginning of their journey through the last moments of life and beyond."--Anthony Back, MD, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance "Joan Halifax guides us in receiving the grace and healing of abiding in the present moment as the balm for our fears, anger, grief, and sadness. She is a masterful teacher, wise sage, and mentor for dying people, their families, and professional caregivers."--Cynda Hylton Rushton PhD, RN, John Hopkins University and Children's Center "This beautiful book is both a gentle comfort and a fierce guide to the experience of living, of which death is simply a part. Joan Halifax poignantly and generously offers the wisdom and practices she embodies. A gift beyond measure."--Margaret J. Wheatley, PhD, author of Leadership and the New Science "Through the lens of Halifax's discussion of death, even the most devoted yogis will be able to deepen their experience of presence in everyday life." -- Eric Larson, Whole Life Times