As the birthplace of the mindfulness movement in the United States, Naropa University has a unique perspective when it comes to higher education in the West. Founded in 1974 by renowned Tibetan Buddhist scholar and lineage holder Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Naropa was intended to be a place where students could study Eastern and Western religions, writing, psychology, science, and the arts, while also receiving contemplative and meditation training.
Forty-three years later, Naropa is a leader in ‘contemplative education’, a pedagogical approach that blends rigorous academics, contemplative practice, and experiential learning. Naropa President Chuck Lief explains, “Mindfulness here is not a class. Mindfulness is basically the underpinning of what we do in all of our classes. That said, the flavor or the color of mindfulness from class to class is really completely up to the individual faculty member to work on—on their own. So, what happens in a poetry class is going to look very different from what happens in a research psychology class. But, one way or another the contemplative practices are brought into the mix.”
This podcast will feature episodes with different faculty members at Naropa, and will look at how they bring mindfulness/a contemplative lens into their classes and how that enhances the learning environment for students in a way that is missing in most college courses.
October 17th, 2017 | 30 mins 21 secs
colonization, ecopsychology, environment, oppression
‘Oppressions of People and Oppressions of the Earth Go Hand and Hand’. Naropa Professor Jeanine Canty explains the link between social and ecological injustice and how throughout human history, the oppression of people of color has been inseparable from the oppression of the natural world.
October 11th, 2017 | 25 mins 58 secs
buddhism, compassion, contemplative science, judith simmer-brown
Looking at the ‘new’ science of compassion allows us to focus on what is right about human beings and understand how to cultivate kindness through exercises like compassion training. Acharya Judith Simmer-Brown also gives an example of a compassion training practice and shares a brief history of the mindfulness/compassion movement in the West.
October 4th, 2017 | 33 mins 6 secs
naropa university, social entrepreneurship, social innovation, social justice
Lief discusses his various roles at Naropa since its founding, and explains what makes Naropa University unique. He then gives an overview of the course he teaches at Naropa as a part of the Peace Studies undergraduate program, Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship.