About Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu 

Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu is a psychologist with a doctorate from Harvard University, and training in clinical and community psychology, yoga, meditation, and Chinese medicine. He was professor of education and at the University of Tokyo and director of the international counseling center. At Stanford University he cofounded the LifeWorks program in contemplative and integrative education.


Dr. Murphy-Shigematsu has been a teacher and counselor for children and adults in schools and universities in Japan and the United States, from day care to medical school. His work balances traditional wisdom and modern science in designing mindful, gentle, and compassionate educational practices and spaces. He uses storytelling, both written and oral, to enhance whole-person learning and mindful citizenship.


Dr. Murphy-Shigematsu has been on the faculty of several universities in the U.S. and Japan, including Fielding Graduate University, where he engaged in lifelong learning. His scholarly work has contributed to understanding in areas of mindfulness, wellness, narrative psychology, mixed-race identity, multicultural counseling, and diversity in Japan and the United States. Current research is in the assessment of mindfulness in promoting personal well being, leadership, and social transformation. His research career includes fieldwork in Okinawa and other parts of Japan in healing and human development as a Fulbright scholar.






At Stanford University, Dr. Murphy-Shigematsu teaches courses for undergraduate students that integrate mindfulness, creative expression, and transformative learning. Courses are offered in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity and Health and Human Performance in the School of Medicine, as well as Psychology, Anthropology, and Human Biology. His teaching and research have been recognized with numerous awards.


He conducts similar programs for youth, families, schools, and organizations in the U.S. and Japan. His work blends Eastern and Western ways of knowing, doing, and being in designing mindful, gentle, and compassionate, educational practices and spaces. Talks, seminars, and workshops are given internationally at conferences, events, and for schools and organizations. 


Author of books, articles, and essays in English and Japanese, Dr. Murphy-Shigematsu writes about multicultural perspectives on mindfulness, identity, and citizenship. His stories of healing and human development have been hailed as “beautifully written," "deeply moving," "groundbreaking,” and "revolutionary." Bridging literary and social science genres, his writing is both scholarly and accessible to a wide audience. His latest book is From Mindfulness to Heartfulness: Transforming Self and Society with CompassionHe is the author of When Half Is Whole and Multicultural Encounters; and coauthor of Synergy, Healing, and Empowerment, and several books in Japanese.