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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.


His research career includes fieldwork in Okinawa and other parts of Japan in healing and human development as a Fulbright scholar. His work has contributed to understanding in areas of narrative psychology, mixed-race identity, multicultural counseling, and diversity in Japan as well as the United States. His current research is in the assessment of mindfulness in promoting personal well being, leadership, and social transformation.






In the Stanford University School of Medicine, Program in Health and Human Performance, Dr. Murphy-Shigematsu teaches courses in Wellness Education and Leadership Innovations. These Heartfulness courses for undergraduate students integrate mindfulness, creative expression, and transformative learning. He also teaches in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity and conducts similar programs for youth, families, schools, and organizations in Japan and the U.S. His work blends Eastern and Western ways of knowing, doing, and being in designing mindful, gentle, and compassionate, educational practices and spaces. He gives talks, seminars, and workshops internationally at conferences, events, and for schools and organizations, and consults on inclusion, leadership, and community building.

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. His books in Japanese include Amerasian Children; and the Stanford University Mindfulness Classroom