"My time in Naropa University's Contemplative Education program changed me in ways
ranging far beyond the expected. It was a genuinely transformative experience, to
the extent that imbues my life with a focus I would never have thought existed before.
For example, as a new student in a PhD program at another college, I recently found
myself 'drifting away' during a discussion of Carl Jung's 'transcendent function,'
until I began exploring the idea as a facet of basic goodness (a concept thoroughly
explored at Naropa). From this point onward, I was able to approach the course work
with renewed vitality and interest! Beyond academic environs, my friends and co-workers
continually comment on increases in my peace and well-being since my participation
in the Contemplative Education program. More importantly, I notice such changes. I
went into the program expecting a cursory treatment of awareness and growth. I walked
away with a life-long sitting practice and a framework that informs my way of being
in the world."
"After completing my master's degree in Contemplative Education I returned to my work
leading the Early Childhood program at St. Alcuin Montessori School in Dallas, Texas.
I found the Education Beyond the Classroom option to be of huge benefit to my work
with the thirty faculty members in my department. Both during the program and after
graduation it was quickly apparent how this work changed my approach. While I had
always been aware of the importance of 'holding' the community together, my work at
Naropa took this awareness to a deeper level. I began immediately to incorporate contemplative
practices into faculty meetings--we wrote in journals, observed in the classrooms
daily, and created a space where we could speak freely about our own challenges and
strengths. The community shifted and a deep respect and trust was cultivated. Other
departments in the school have asked some of my teachers what we do at our meetings
because they are seen strolling around campus with sketchbooks during 'meeting time.'
All of us on the Early Childhood team are working on deepening our practice of working
with children--my work in the adult community is no different. Thanks to Naropa's
Contemplative Education program my ability to work with my faculty has deepened as
--Peggy Larson, Director of Lower School, St. Alcuin Montessori School.