The Naropa Experience
Perform in an Indian classical music ensemble. Write a thesis on creativity and social action. Take yoga for credit. Volunteer in a community garden. Study Tibetan. Spend the weekend at a meditation retreat. Intern at the Peace Jam Foundation. Conduct research on the nature of consciousness.
These are some of the opportunities available to students that make Naropa such a dynamic educational experience.
Naropa University (then the Naropa Institute) was founded in 1974 in Boulder, Colorado by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, a lineage holder of both the Kagyü and Nyingma Buddhist traditions. Established to unite the great ideas and pedagogies of the East and West, the Naropa Institute attracted some of the country's most forward-thinking artists and scholars to teach—people such as Allen Ginsberg, Ken Wilbur, Anne Waldman, John Cage, Meredith Monk, and many others.
Naropa University continues to attract students and faculty who are interested in pushing the bounds of their disciplines through scholarship and art—and their minds through contemplative practice.
Naropa's campus culture reflects the Buddhist-inspired, ecumenical nature of the university's curriculum, grounded as it is in the world's wisdom traditions. As a consequence, diversity is deeply respected, as are students' individual academic and spiritual paths. This respect extends to the larger community, where Naropa students contribute as volunteers and interns. And to Naropa's relationship to the planet; environmental stewardship is integral to Naropa's campus life.
At the beginning of classes and meetings, Naropa community members bow. This simple gesture is a sign of mutual respect and creates a centering moment to gather thoughts.
Many classes conclude with Warrior Exams, in-class oral tests in which students articulate what they've learned supported by fellow students. Warrior Exams provide outstanding public-speaking training.
Once each semester, Naropa suspends classes for Community Practice Day. During Community Practice Day, Naropa students, faculty and staff attend lectures, participate in new forms of contemplative practice and perform service in the community.