Maura O'Halloran

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Maura "Soshin" O'Halloran
Born Maura O'Halloran
May 24, 1955
Boston, Massachusetts
Died Template:Death date and age
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Nationality Irish-American
Other names Soshin
Occupation Zen Buddhist monk

Maura "Soshin" O'Halloran (May 24, 1955 - October 22, 1982) was an Irish American Zen Buddhist monk.[1] She is known for her book Pure Heart, Enlightened Mind, which was posthumously published, and for being the "first of few Western women allowed to practice in a traditional Japanese Zen monastery".[2]


O'Halloran was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1955 and her parents moved to Ireland when she was four years old.[3] There she was educated in a convent school in County Dublin and later attended Trinity College Dublin, where she graduated with a joint degree in mathematical economics/statistics and sociology.[3] Shortly after her graduation O'Halloran traveled to northern Japan, where she studied to become a Zen monk in Tokyo and the Iwate Prefecture.[3] After a three year period she was given the Buddhist name of "Soshin-san" on August 8, 1982, upon which point she decided to travel back to Ireland.[3] O'Halloran died in a traffic accident in Chiang Mai, Thailand on October 22, 1982.[4] After her death she was titled "Great Enlightened Lady, of the same heart and mind as the Great Teacher Buddha" and a statue was dedicated to her at the temple she studied at in Iwate Prefecture.[3]



  1. Reynolds (editor), David K. (1993). Plunging Through the Clouds. State Univ of New York Press. p. 221. ISBN 0791413136.,+Enlightened+Mind%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=gsG3UsLSBa_IsASun4HgCQ&ved=0CD0Q6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=%22Pure%20Heart%2C%20Enlightened%20Mind%22&f=false. 
  2. Woodhouse, Mark (1). "PAINTED CAKES: BUILDING A PATH TO BUDDHISM". Library Journal 124, Issue 16 (16): 57. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Bourke, Angela (2002). The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing - Volume 4. NYU Press. pp. 603, 617-619, 621-622. ISBN 081479906X.'Halloran&hl=en&sa=X&ei=fMe3UpLeN5e2sATI6YD4Ag&ved=0CEsQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=Maura%20%22Soshin%22%20O'Halloran&f=false. 
  4. O'Faolain, Nuala (2011). A Radiant Life: The Selected Journalism of Nuala O'Faolain. Harry N. Abrams. pp. 76-79. ISBN 0810998068.'Halloran&hl=en&sa=X&ei=fMe3UpLeN5e2sATI6YD4Ag&ved=0CGYQ6AEwCA#v=onepage&q=Maura&f=false. 
  5. Besserman, Perle (2007). A New Zen for Women. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 114. ISBN 1403972141. 
  6. "Pure Heart Enlightened Mind (Review)". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 23 December 2013. 
  7. Elie, Paul (4). "Title:Pure Heart, Enlightening Mind: The Zen Journals of Maura "Soshin" O'Halloran". Commonweal 121 (2): 30. Retrieved 23 December 2013. 
  8. Maughan, Shannon (23). "Turning up the volume: led by an invigorated Audio Publishers Association, the audiobook industry made a strong showing.". Publishers Weekly 244 (25): 63.,url,cookie,uid&db=ehh&AN=9707161338&site=ehost-live&scope=site. 

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