email@example.com | (303) 245-4718Chair, Department of Wisdom Traditions | Associate Professor
I think everyone that is here at Naropa - the faculty, staff, students, are passionate about the value of contemplative education, and we all work very hard to explore what it is, how it can be of value in a larger societal context, and what barriers (personal, interpersonal and societal) might be there that prevent its expression.
Mindfulness and Compassion in Undergraduate Psychology Students at Naropa, working with Jane Carpenter in a longitudinal study to measure mindfulness utilizing the MAAS mindfulness trait scale and the Neff Short Form Self Compassion and Compassion to Others scales.
Musical Improvisation Fosters Awareness, Creativity and Teamwork in Engineering Students, a collaboration between Naropa and Virginia Tech, 2014-2015. Poster presentation at Contemplative Mind in Higher Education Conference, Washington DC 2015
I love the book "Beside Still Waters: Jews, Christians, and the Way of the Buddha" edited by Kasimow, Keenan and Keenan. It's a series of personal essays on meditation practice written by persons of the Christian and Jewish faiths. The essays cover a wide range of approaches to, and experiences of, meditation, and writers describe how they have integrated meditation practice into their faith traditions.
In my ritual class we talk about how the forms of ritual, through enactments of body, speech, and mind, point to a sacred space, often beyond reference point. A few weeks ago one of my students put together a remembrance ceremony for a family friend, bringing objects and stories. But it was only after the ritual, where the class participated with him, that he truly understood the emotional and spiritual power that a simple classroom ceremony might engender.
There is no place like Naropa - coming from a career of teaching in Shambhala Centers as well as at a more traditional university - there's a blend of very in-depth contemplative practice(s) within an academic setting. It's both far-out, and also traditional. Sooo Naropa.
Right now I'm putting together a Front Range Conference entitled "Reimagining Death and Dying: How We Care." It will explore how contemplative practice enriches and improves end-of-life care for practitioners, professionals, and patients. It's sponsored by the MDiv Program and the School of Extended Studies - and we're considering a national conference next year, as well as some course offerings through Extended Studies.