Name: Catherine Griffin
Concentration: Buddhist and Western Psychology
Graduating Class: 2004
Hometown: 100 Mile House, BC Canada
What brought you to Naropa?
I was living in England and had become very interested in Homeopathic Psychology. From there I began looking into Dance Therapy and a friend of mine from South Africa, who was living in Colorado, told me about a beautiful school in Boulder where the education was much more than intellectual study; it focused on embodiment and integration.
What have you been doing since graduation and what are you doing now? How did Naropa help you with this?
When I graduated from Naropa I was hired by the Admissions Department to recruit students and counsel applicants regarding degree programs. The training I had received in listening and presence was ideal for this work, and beyond that I found that I had cultivated an ability to connect with people?s deeper intention (a powerful tool when discerning whether someone would be a good fit for Naropa!) I worked in Admissions on and off for about 5 years and since then have been exploring work as a doula (both birth and postpartum.) I also work as an organizational and planning specialist, assisting individuals and small businesses to move through physical and mental clutter so that there is more space for ?what?s next.? One of the things I most enjoy is volunteering at Hospice Care of Boulder and Broomfield. This is one of the places that I can most consciously put my skills to work.
What has most astounded me is how deeply transformed I was by my education at Naropa. I feel that I use my degree in every moment of every day. All of my interactions with people are in some way touched by what I learned and integrated in my study of compassion, presence, listening and service.
What do you miss about Naropa?
As a student, I definitely miss the learning environment. There is a quality of openness in the classes that I hadn?t before experienced. The dialogue that happens between students and between student and teacher was often moving and there was so much delight in the learning process.
Secretly, I miss the chai!
Why did you choose your particular concentration?
I have no idea! For a person who was originally attracted to the Somatic Psych department, Religious Studies with a focus in meditation was not where I expected to be! In my first week at Naropa it became clear that something beyond my conscious mind was at work. I fell in love with meditation and from there was deeply curious about Buddhist studies.
What is your favorite Naropa experience?
BLOODROOT WEEKEND!!!! Senior Project Seminar with Carol Clements was absolutely transformative. Thank you, Carol!
What have you done that you are most proud of?
I'm currently pregnant with my first child and I can honestly say that this is what I am most proud of. The beautiful challenges that accompany impending motherhood are absolutely delightful. I?m so grateful to have had a "deep seat" for so many years as I find that I very often turn to skills cultivated in meditation. More so now than ever before, I am truly practicing!
Anything else you would like to share?
As I move through my life and discover more about myself, I find that my ability to be with the challenges, simply in my own mind and body, have been profoundly influenced by the Maitri teachings that I was given at Naropa. As I transition into motherhood, this is particularly evident and I find myself greeting discomfort with an open heart... something I was not able to do before my time at Naropa.