Mindful U at Naropa University

Thoughts and Instruction on Mindfulness in Higher Education

About the show

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 is for those with an interest in mindfulness and a curiosity about its place in both higher education and the world at large. Hosted by Naropa alumnus and Multimedia Manager David DeVine, episodes feature Naropa faculty, alumni, and special guests on a wide variety of topics including compassion, permaculture, social justice, herbal healing, and green architecture—to name a few. Listen to explore the transformative possibilities of mindfulness, both in the classroom and beyond!

Mindful U at Naropa University on social media


  • 105. The Vow from Hiroshima

    May 19th, 2024  |  48 mins 57 secs
    activism, hibakusha, nuclear ban, nuclear guadianship

    Mitchie Takeuchi is the writer and producer of the "The Vow From Hiroshima" a film about an atomic bomb survivor in Hiroshima who has dedicated her life to nuclear disarmament and activism. Mitchie is also a descendant of survivors of the atomic bomb and the film follows their friendship and mission to abolish nuclear weapons worldwide.

  • 104. The Essential Relationship of Mindfulness and Activism

    January 9th, 2024  |  1 hr 14 secs
    activism, grief, healing, mindfulness, political activism, yoga

    Reggie Hubbard is a yogi, political campaigner and activist, speaker, and meditation instructor.

    On this episode he speaks to working with grief and how to heal, he tells his story of how he aligned his professional and spiritual life into an integrated path of purpose, and he explains why he believes mindfulness is essential to political activism.

  • 103. Reexamining Imposter Syndrome and the Inner Critic

    December 12th, 2023  |  57 mins 6 secs
    imposter syndrome, inner critic, leadership

    Artist, author, and leadership development trainer, Rosi Greenberg, breaks down the concept of the inner critic and redefines imposter syndrome.

    Our inner critic isn’t going anywhere, but it can become an ally when we come into relationship with the wisdom that underlies it. She also examines imposter syndrome as something that is often a product of systems of oppression and in recognizing this, how can we look at systems change while also applying compassion to ourselves and our current experience.

  • 102. Healing the Whole Person with Gestalt Therapy

    November 28th, 2023  |  57 mins 41 secs
    gestalt, mindful-based, mindfulness, mindfulness-based therapy, therapy, transpersonal counseling, transpersonal psychology

    Visiting professor of Naropa’s master's program in Mindfulness-Based Transpersonal Counseling, Harmony Kwiker, shares about how the gestalt therapy model helps to bridge spirituality with a practical way of helping others. It provides a framework to treat patients as equals who are empowered in their own healing journey to come into contact with the deepest parts of themselves.

  • 101. Midlife Emergence: Free Your Inner Fire

    November 9th, 2023  |  54 mins 39 secs
    art, art therapy, healing, mental health, midlife, midlife crisis, midlife emergence, midlife transition, transpersonal counseling

    Naropa Alumnx, Jen Berlingo, MA, LPC, ATR shares about the tipping point in her career from corporate world to a master's in transpersonal counseling and art therapy and how that allowed her real passions to lead her life. She shares her journey of coming out as queer in midlife and what it looked like to alchemize her midlife transition into a Midlife Emergence of true authentic living—all detailed in her new book Midlife Emergence: Free Your Inner Fire.

  • 100. Holistic Life Foundation: Let Your Light Shine

    August 11th, 2023  |  42 mins 35 secs
    ali smith, andres gonzalez, atman smith, engaged mindfulness, hlf, holistic life foundation, let your light shine, light shine, mindfulness, social justice, yoga

    Ali Smith, Atman Smith, and Andres Gonzalez are the founders of the Holistic Life Foundation and the authors of Let Your Light Shine. They teach yoga and mindfulness practices to at-risk youth in their community and underserved communities. There programs have revolutionized schools, detention centers, drug treatment centers, mental illness facilities, recreation centers, group homes, and more. In this episode, they talk about their new book, Let Your Light Shine, which shares the inspiration and methods of their programs as well as their personal practices that inspire their path.

  • 99. Nova Han: Creating Immersive Spaces

    July 10th, 2023  |  40 mins 23 secs
    circus, creative, creative entrepreneurship, creativity, electric forest, entrepreneurship, festival, immersive, performance, performance design, production

    Nova Han, Creative Director for Electric Forest, String Cheese Incident, and others, talks about how got started in world of immersive performance production. She discusses her vision and inspiration behind creative entrepreneurship and what details go into the logistics of this line of creative work.

  • 98. Stephanie Yuhas, PhD: Honoring the Earth: Climate, Ecology, and Ecopsychology

    June 30th, 2023  |  53 mins 52 secs
    climate, climate justice, earth, eco, ecology, ecopsychology, environment, environmental studies

    Dr. Yuhas discusses the topics of climate grief, eco anxiety, and how to mobilize and ease these states into helpful action for our planet. She also talks about the various career paths available to students studying Ecopscyhcology and Environmental Studies and why these are needed in our world going forward.

  • 97. DJ CAVEM: The Cross-Pollination of Art and Sustainability

    May 26th, 2023  |  56 mins 36 secs
    art, climate, eco, eco justice, ecology, food justice, hip hop, nature, organic

    DJ CAVEM shares about the important cross-pollination of art and sustainability, and how food justice and ecological responsibility translate into equity for all.

  • 96. Barbara Bash: Heaven, Earth and Humanity—What Calligraphy Can Teach Us About Each Moment

    May 10th, 2023  |  58 mins 40 secs
    art, big brush stroke, buddhist studies, calligraphy, contemplative art, integration, meditation, naropa, naropa university

    We are happy to have Spring 2023 Lenz Distinguished Lecturer Barbara Bash join us to discuss her creative journey as a calligraphic artist. In this episode, she discusses everything from Western calligraphy's precision to Big Brushstroke calligraphy's spontaneity and what unites them. She also discusses the three primary principles of contemplative art: Heaven, Earth, and Humanity and how these become gateways that attune you to the aliveness of the moment. After the episode, find more on BarbaraBash.com.

  • 95. Valeria McCarroll, PhD: Somadelics, Pursuing Life with Psychedelic Support & Intentional Integration

    February 27th, 2023  |  49 mins 5 secs
    buddhist studies, integration, meditation, naropa, naropa university, phenomena, psychedelic assisted therapy, psychedelic medicine, psychedelics, somatic psychology, therapy, transpersonal psychology, trauma healing

    Valeria McCarroll, PhD, joins us to discuss Somadelics, Pursuing Life with Psychedelic Support & Intentional Integration in this thought-provoking episode. Also discussed is being in 'right relationship' with the medicine, trauma responses, honoring the medicine's lineage, and transformational justice. After the episode, find more on ValeriaMcCarroll.com and Somadelics.com.

  • 94. Dr. Jennifer Bacon: Sacred Activism and Educating the Whole Child

    February 13th, 2023  |  45 mins 3 secs
    activism, anti-racism, equality, mindful, naropa

    Dr. Jennifer Bacon is a strong proponent of taking action in activism. That is why she created the course "Sacred Activism" at Naropa - to empower a community to make strides in equality, anti-racism, and social justice. Her children's book, I Am an Antiracist Superhero! will be published by Bala Kids in 2023.

  • 93. Jaguar Womban: Words Do Not Teach

    November 7th, 2022  |  1 hr 4 mins
    community practice day, jaguar womban, keynote speaker

    Jaguar's death experience brought the real womban within to life. "Words Do Not Teach" is a part of her work in the "conjuring the language of the liminal spaces" of energy healing. Tune in to hear more on her journey to the Womb Nation Mother she has become.

  • 92. Andrew Schelling: Writing as a Spiritual Practice & State of Mind

    October 10th, 2022  |  59 mins 20 secs
    andrew schelling, jack karouac, language, religious studies

    Today, our beloved professor of the Religious Studies Program and the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, Andrew Schelling, joins us to discuss language, the page as a performance, and the bravery to pursue writing as a spiritual practice and state of mind.

  • 91. Netanel Miles-Yepez: Comparative Religion

    September 26th, 2022  |  1 hr 21 mins
    comparative religion, naropa professors, naropa university, professors, sufism, world wisdoms

    World Wisdom's Professor of Naropa University shares his knowledge on Sufiism, developing a deeper understanding of religion, and what connecting to his own religion did to assist his soul path. Tune in to this thought-provoking episode.

  • 90. Thupten Jinpa Langri: Translating The Dalai Lama

    September 12th, 2022  |  56 mins 34 secs
    the dalai lama, the lenz foundation, thupten jingpa

    The 14th Dalai Lama's wisdom is accessible largely to the English-speaking world because of today’s honorary guest. In this episode, we hear Thupten Jinpa speak fondly of his monk-hood as a compassionate Tibetan child, the divine alignment that cast him as the English translator to the Dalai Lama, and his Holistic appreciation for the contemplative educational values exemplified by schools like Naropa. Please join us as we welcome our inspiring friend into our hearts and minds.