Judy Lief is a Buddhist teacher who trained under the Tibetan meditation master Ven. Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. She has been a teacher and practitioner for over 35 years, and continues to teach throughout the world. She is the author of Making Friends with Death: A Buddhist Guide to Encountering Mortality. Judy had the privilege of working with Florence Wald, a founding mother of the Hospice movement in the United States and former head of the Yale School of Nursing, on several conferences, workshops, and dialogues examining the role of spirituality in the care of the sick and dying. Ms. Lief has been a keynote speaker at the annual International Palliative Care Conference, held in Montreal as well as at the Zen Center for Contemplative Care conference at Garrison. In 2000-2001 Ms Lief served as pastoral counselor for the Maitri Day Health Center (an adult day health center for people with AIDS) in Yonkers, NY.
Judy was an active member and chair of the Vermont based organization, the Madison-Deane Initiative, (MDI) which produced the award -winning documentary, Pioneers of Hospice, and has the mission of changing the face of dying through education and advocacy. She served on the board and was a member of the faculty of the Clinical Pastoral Education program at the Fletcher Allen Hospital in Burlington, Vermont.
Judy is a founding faculty member of the Courageous Women, Fearless Living Cancer Retreat, held annually at the Shambhala Mountain Center, now in its tenth year.
Judy is also a founding member of The Contemplative Alliance, an affiliate of the Global Peace Initiative of Women (GPIW). This organization brings together contemplatives and activists concerned with pressing global issues.