Student Profiles

Somatic Psychology, Psychology of Health and Healing, Transpersonal and Humanistic Psychology, and Psychological Science

Name: Ruth Harrington
Concentration: Somatic Psychology, Psychology of Health and Healing, Transpersonal and Humanistic Psychology, and Psychological Science
Minor: Yoga

Where are you from and why did you choose Naropa?
I moved from Arkansas to Colorado in 1996, but was not aware of Naropa until 2002 when I was attending the Massage Therapy Institute of Colorado in Denver. I was intrigued by the contemplative educational approach. Although perhaps more significantly, I was inspired by the reverence and veneration I perceived as people spoke about Naropa. As I learned more about the quality of Naropa's programs and instruction, I knew that there was nowhere else I wanted to attend.

What is the best part about being a student at Naropa University?
The best part of attending Naropa has been the people. I have been fortunate enough to have some amazingly gifted and compassionate instructors. I have been challenged and inspired by my fellow students. Even Naropa's staff and administrators are warm and supportive. I feel it is the people that are the life-giving breath and blood of contemplative education.

How has Contemplative Education affected you and your world-view?
Before coming to Naropa, the most common statement I heard from alums was, "It changed my life." Much to my delight, it wasn't long after I began here that I was able to understand and share that sentiment. I have found that the pluralistic view of Naropa's contemplative education model facilitates deep and holistic learning. As a result, I feel that I am more personally connected with what I am studying, and thus more prepared to enter the post collegiate world.

What has been your experience of the Naropa community including your fellow students?
The overall Naropa community is an evolving tapestry of personalities, values, and views that fosters learning and personal growth by offering compassion, care, and the occasional challenge. I have found it to be a safe and supportive haven where our individual gifts may be explored and shared.

What are your plans after graduation?
After completing my undergraduate degree, I intend on continuing at Naropa for my Masters where I plan to study Somatic Psychology.

Do you have any advice for prospective students?
In my experience, personal engagement is the key to getting the most out of a Naropa education. What I mean to say is that you get out what you put in. Naropa provides the tools and opportunities for growth and learning. You provide the passion and curiosity that bring meaning and life to the journey.

 

Health and Healing & Somatic Psychology

Name: Sarah White
Concentration: Health and Healing & Somatic Psychology

Where are you from and why did you choose Naropa?
I was born and raised on the east coast and moved to Denver, CO at the age of 24. Three years later, wanting more out of my life, I inquired into this small university I knew very little about at the time. A lovely visit during a preview weekend for potential students gave me an intuitive yet visceral sense that I would not be able to finish my bachelor?s degree anywhere else but Naropa. I immediately felt, and witnessed, that this was an institution that not only recognized the value of every dark and luminous aspect of my personhood, but intentionally provided a safe, fruitful and communal atmosphere with which to explore those paradoxical dimensions, at once infusing the study and practice of Contemplative Psychology, and allowing the well of my career as a human being to spring forth simultaneously from academic and personal growth.

What is the best part about being a student at Naropa University?
I have the possibility, in an educational setting, to refine my capacity to discover and uphold what is meaningful to me. Being a student at Naropa has deepened my understanding of how multi-dimensional education can be, how I am continuously in a working relationship with it, and how valuable a learning process can be in relationship with others.

How has Contemplative Education affected you and your world-view?
Contemplative Education affects the inquiry I apply towards myself, which naturally feeds into the views I have of others, my community, what is "collective", and my world-view. I feel inspired to continue making shifts in my identity that enrich my current understanding of my particular place in the world, while simultaneously invoking an equal appreciation of where others stand in their world-view too.

What has been your experience of the Naropa community, including your fellow students?
I suspect it's the spiritual gravity this institution was founded on which has attracted, in multiple ways, the inner drive of most students here. With this in mind, my experience of the Naropa community is always changing, always unfolding a new story, and always aware of the endlessly different paths which walk the ground of this institution. My experience of the Naropa community is that above all else, and with infinite variety, it is always shared.

What are your plans after graduation?
Knowing the richness I've experienced in my Naropa education thus far, having gained a greater sense of how genuine, psychological health and inquiry is deeply needed in our society today, I feel confident that I will continue my education in one of the three Masters programs.

Do you have any advice for prospective students?
My advice is to simply cherish those innate uncertainties in your decision making process, however apparent or subtle they may seem. No matter the depth of your intention for pursuing the contemplative education of Naropa, whatever drop of curiosity you do have, allow yourself to explore the chances and possibilities you intuit are lying in wait for you here. Your arrival, if you so choose, will be an endless source of transformation for you, as there is not one mere arrival you make here, but many, and as the transformation is not just experienced by you but all of us who will potentially be enriched by the opportunities you bring.

Somatic PsychologyName:  Jor-El Zajatz
Concentration:  Somatic Psychology

Where are you from and why did you choose Naropa?
Since it is a long answer, I'll shorten it by using my default response of Philadelphia, PA.

What are you studying?
I am getting a double major in Somatic Psychology and Visual Arts.

What is the best part about being a student at Naropa University?
I would have to say the best part of being a student at Naropa is being encouraged to locate, cultivate, and demonstrate the eccentric and quirky sides of my personality.

How has Contemplative Education affected you and your world-view?
Through Contemplative Education I have learned (and am continuing to learn) that so much more knowledge can be elicited when one has the patience to remain with an experience/information and allow for insight to develop. In regards to my world-view, I now realize that my prior ignorance is no longer blissful.

What has been your experience of the Naropa community including your fellow students?
Approachability. I find the faculty, staff, students, and community to be so genuinely supportive, inclusive, and warm that I feel the possibility of being able to connect with anyone.

What are your plans after graduation?
I am feeling overdue to partake in a transcontinental, human-powered transportation, two or three person expedition that challenges my ability to be resourceful and minimalistic over the course of a year. Then I?ll possibly make a move in to a Graduate program.

Do you have any advice for prospective students?
I would say to always keep open your heart, your mind, and your schedule since I have felt Naropa continually offer ways to fill all three.

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