top of page


Birth chart Reading


A seasoned interfaith chaplain and intercultural/diversity educator with over twenty-five years’ experience as a Zen scholar-practitioner. Expertise in contemplative care, integral health and comparative religions. Deep experience in facilitating process and a gift for dynamic problem-solving teamwork. Track record of research on personal and collective spiritual transformation and healing.

Zen teacher, serving Open Gate Zen Collective.




Dissertation: “Visions Of Wholeness: Narratives Of Buddhist Traditional Healers”

Institute of Transpersonal Psychology/ Sofia University

June 2015

Lesley University

December 2010


Wellesley College

June 1991
UCSF Medical Center
July 2021


  • Transpersonal Psychology

  • Comparative Religions and Philosophy

  • Depth Psychology 

  • Contemplative Psychology

  • Consciousness Studies

  • Buddhist Studies

  • Indigenous Religion and Shamanism

  • Mind-Body Integrative Health

  • Diversity and Equity

  • Complementary Medicine

  • Excellent Interpersonal Skills

  • Circle Facilitation

  • Spiritual Leadership

  • Subtle Energy/ Consciousness and Healing 

  • Workshop Facilitation

  • Public Speaking and Teaching

  • Dying Consciously

  • Ritual and Life Ceremony


Northeastern University, Boston, MA 2021-

Buddhist Advisor

  • Provide spiritual support and mindfulness practice to diverse university community.

  • Collaborate with interfaith and interdisciplinary teams.

  • Design and deliver contemplative programming that supports intercultural and anti-racism initiatives.

Tufts University, Medford, MA 2021-

Buddhist Chaplain

  • Provide spiritual support and mindfulness practice to diverse university community.

  • Collaborate with interfaith and interdisciplinary teams.

  • Design and deliver contemplative programming that supports intercultural and anti-racism initiatives.

University of San Francisco Medical Center, San Francisco, CA    2020-2021
CPE Chaplain Resident

•    Worked extensively with patients and families in navigating health crises and life transitions
•    Collaborated with multidisciplinary teams
•    Led prayer and meditation at bedside and within campus-wide services
•    Proficiency in spiritual assessment and care plans

California Institute for Human Science, Encinitas, CA 2015 - 2020

Director, Comparative Religion & Philosophy Program 

  • Provided leadership for the program by designing and developing ways of educating students in areas of inter religious understanding, inter group dialogue, spirituality and intercultural education.

  • Designed and led programs for faculty, staff, students and community members that provided experiential learning in the areas of psychology, spirituality and integral health. 

  • Created and taught courses within Comparative Religion program. Conducts research and publishes findings.

  • Advised students in independent research and chairs dissertation committees. 

  • Initiated Community Education Program to promote the acquisition of psychosocial learning, and to strengthen institutional visibility and recruitment. Launched online and local marketing campaigns. Direct Mutually Beneficial Partnerships, an initiative to create partnerships with community organizations, to support their emergent psycho-educational needs through grant-funded programs.

  • Created a Cooperation Circle partnership with United Religions Initiative, through which the comparative religion studies are rooted in interfaith dialogue praxis based on the emergent needs of the community.

  • Developed and assured program learning outcomes through curricula development and shared teaching resources, in concert with WASC guidelines.

  • Authored Comparative Religion program's first program review.


Lead Faculty (2015 - 2020)

  • Designed and taught courses, including research methodologies, academic writing, consciousness studies, and comparative religions to masters and doctoral students through onsite and online program. Advised students. Conducted information sessions and admissions interviews. Served on faculty and campus-wide committees. Partnered with admissions department to develop and facilitate open houses. Delivered Commencement address in 2015, Institutions as Living Systems. 


International University of Professional Studies, Maui, Hawaii 2017- 2020

Faculty (Online)

  • Supervised transpersonal psychology student learning through online graduate program. Monitored and assessed the attainment of curricular goals. Provided extensive student advisement. Mentored student research and chair dissertation committees.


California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco, CA 2008

Faculty (Adjunct) 

  • Co-taught Contemplative Psychology to Masters/Doctorate students through the East-West Psychology program. 

  • Advised students. Provided spiritual counseling and experiential learning. Conducted narrative interviews with faculty and staff that advanced knowledge of innovative practices in transformative education. 


Omega Institute, Rhinebeck, NY Summers 2004 - Present

Core Faculty

  • Design and teach workshops and experiential courses on transpersonal psychology, mindfulness meditation, consciousness studies, depth psychology, energy medicine and social transformation for staff and participants.

  • Co-lead human resource trainings and staff classes in diversity and inclusion.  


Spirituality and Education Consultant, Cambridge, MA 2003-2015

  • Provided consulting to organizations exploring strategies for working with religious diversity.

  • Initiated and developed conference, Transforming Education: Humanity’s Essential Vocation in partnership with Omega Institute and Courage and Renewal New England held in August 2008.

  • Designed and facilitated interfaith leadership trainings and intensives for graduate and undergraduate students.

  • Designed and led faculty renewal workshops, provided stress reduction training to faculty and staff. 


Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA 2003-2013

Director of Spirituality and Education Programs | Advisor to Buddhist Students                                                                                                

  • Member of the Wellesley College Religious & Spiritual Life Team. Provided meditation courses, experiential spiritual and interfaith education and spiritual counseling to college community of two thousand students. Designed and led community outreach programs for alumnae, faculty, staff and students to support spiritual growth and critical self- reflection with regard to wellness, self-authorship, and the development of intercultural fluency.

  • Co-administered the department during a sabbatical in Fall 2006. 

  • Implemented research on intergroup relations related to interreligious dialogue, conflict resolution and diversity psychoeducation programs.

  • Researched the effect of mindfulness on career/vocational choices via a Teagle Foundation grant. 

  • Served as member of the Wellness Committee: co-designed a Wellness definition, mission statement and program for the college. 

  • Directed Spirituality and the Arts program, which offered transformative community outreach programming to the college and the public, with a focus on spiritual and intercultural education.  Initiated curricular/ co-curricular collaborations to engage communities, maximize educational impact, and increase funding. Conducted narrative research to assess its effects on the psychosocial development of college students.

  • Curated Circles of Healing, Circles of Peace: a mandala exhibit through the Davis Art Museum, which brought in 4200 visitors in ten days, surpassing all previous records for the museum.


Harvard University United Ministry 1996-1997

Buddhist Chaplain

  • Taught Buddhist theory and practice.  Provided spiritual counseling and experiential learning to Harvard students. Represented Buddhist community of practice on Board of Chaplains that served 20,000 Harvard students.


Zen Teacher, Berkeley, CA and Cambridge, MA 1995- Present

  • Design, develop and deliver experiential learning in Zen, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, and Diversity & Inclusion. Clients: Omega Institute, Esalen Institute, Babson College, Boston University, and Harvard University.


Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA 1995 - 1998

Interfaith Chaplain and Buddhist Advisor    


  • Provided experiential spiritual teaching and counseling to college community of two thousand students. Supported curricular activities. Designed and delivered community outreach to students, faculty, alumnae and metro-west Boston area focused on experiential spiritual and intercultural learning. Provided leadership to the college community around spiritual and ethical issues.



WELLESLEY COLLEGE, Wellness Committee Member, 2003-2010, 2012-2013

Identified wellness needs for managing stress/enhancing learning of the college community and developed a comprehensive approach, including: identifying community needs, community outreach, programming, research and grant writing.



Spirituality & Education/ Education as Transformation is a national movement which explores research and praxis related to the role of spirituality in education.


BOSTON CLERGY AND RELIGIOUS LEADERS GROUP, Steering Committee Member, 1999-2010

Coordinator, 2000-2001, 2004-2006

The Boston Clergy and Religious Leaders’ Group hosted a monthly breakfast program to foster inter-religious dialogue, to promote religious pluralism and to ensure tolerance through outreach to a community of 100 religious leaders in the Boston metropolitan area. 

  • Created and coordinated monthly programming.

  • Wrote grant proposals to support interreligious programming.


CAMBRIDGE ZEN CENTER, Board President, 1997-2002  

Cambridge Zen Center has served the community through teaching Zen and providing a place for the practice of meditation for over forty years.  Cambridge Zen Center is one of the largest residential Zen Centers in the United States. Facilitated long range planning; set policy; approved capital expenses.




  • Padma, J. Living the Season: Zen Practices for Transformative Times. October 2013. Wheaton, IL:  Quest Books.

  • Padma, J. Field of Blessings: Traditional Buddhist Healing Rituals. Fall 2018. In-publication. Hampshire, UK:  Ayni Books.


Articles and Essays

  • “The Growing Edges of Community: Crossing the Race Line” in Four Winds Journal, Orenda Healing International. New York: Fall, 2018.

  • “Indra’s Net: See the Connections” in Waves: A Confluence of Women’s Voices, ed. A Room of Her Own Foundation. (in publication).

  •  “Meditations on the Heart Sutra.” In From Text to Life: Religious Resources for Interreligious Engagement, ed. Orr Rose and Soren Hesslet. Maryknoll, NY:  Orbis, Fall 2017.

  •  “College Chaplaincy.” In Arts of Contemplative Care:  Pioneering Voices in Buddhist Chaplaincy and Pastoral Work ed. Cheryl A. Giles and Willa B. Miller.  Boston, MA:  Wisdom Publications, 2012.

  •  “Practicing in the Temples of Human Experience.” In My Neighbor’s Faith, ed. Jennifer Howe Peace, Orr Rose and Gregory Mobley.  Maryknoll, NY:  Orbis, 2012.

  • “Buddhism as a Pluralistic Tradition.” In Education as Transformation, ed. Victor Kazanjian and Peter Laurence.  New York: Peter Lang, 2000.



  • Padma, J. The Growing Edge of Community: Crossing the Race Line. (April 2019).  Paper presented at The Future of Transpersonal Psychology: Acknowledging the Past, Honoring the Present, and Envisioning the Future Conference, Association for Transpersonal Psychology. Presentation given at Asilomar Conference Grounds.

  • Padma, J. & G. Harris. The Growing Edge of Community: Crossing the Race Line. (March 2019).  Workshop presented at It’s the End of the World as We Know It Conference, Society for the Anthropology of Consciousness. Presentation given at McMenamin’s Edgefield, Portland, OR.

  • Padma, J. & J. Cunningham, G. Harris, O. Hassan. (August 2017).  How to Talk to Your Kids About Race, Workshop given at Omega Institute, Rhinebeck, NY. 

  • Padma, J. Mahayana Buddhist Healing Practices. (March 2017). Paper presented at Transforming Energy into Action Conference, Society for the Anthropology of Consciousness, Presentation given at the California Institute for Human Science, Encinitas, CA.

  • Padma, J. Contemplative Practice and Integrative Research: A Search for New Models. (November 2013). Paper presented at the Contemplative Mind in Higher Education: Integrity of Practice Conference, Association for Contemplative Mind in Higher Education, Amherst College, Amherst, MA.

  • Padma, J. (annual lecture, 2004-2013). The Religious Quest, Comparative Theology Department, Boston College, Boston, MA.

  • Padma, J. (annual workshop, 2010-2013). Applied Zen, Esalen Institute, Big Sur, CA.

  • Padma, J.  (March 2009). Native American Culture and Identity. Paper presented at Community of Scholars Day, Lesley University, Cambridge, MA.

  • Padma, J. & V. Kazanjian, P. Laurence, D. Chapman Walsh. (August 2008). Transforming Education: Humanity’s Essential Vocation, Workshop given at Omega Institute, Rhinebeck, NY.

  • Padma, J. (annual lecture, November 2003-2013).  Buddhism in America, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.

  • Padma, J.  (November 2007). Mutually Inspiring Partnerships. Plenary Address given at Crossing the Faith Line Conference, Interfaith Youth Core, Chicago, IL 


  • Association for Contemplative Mind in Higher Education (ACMHE)

  • United Religions Initiative (URI)

  • Maha Sangha Generation X Buddhist Teachers’ Conference



  • Dying Consciously Teacher Certification, Center for Energy Medicine, 2011

  • Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, Center for Mindfulness, UMass Medical School, 2004

bottom of page