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Maia Duerr

Maia Duerr is an anthropologist, writer, and editor. She received lay ordination from Roshi Joan Halifax as a lay Buddhist chaplain and serves on the Upaya Zen Center’s Engaged Buddhism faculty. She was the research director of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, in Northampton, Massachusetts, where she led a study on the use of meditation and other contemplative practices in secular settings. Learn more about Maia and her work at her website,


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To "prioritize intention rather than form" is a the heart of a contemplative practice, whatever that may be. A lay Buddhist monk tells the story of creating a "tree" that's liberated us from narrow ideas of what contemplative practice is and find one (or more) that truly works for us.