Brian
Kimmel
bkimmel@students.naropa.edu | Boulder, Colorado

Student Trustee, Elected 2014
BA Naropa, 2012

Brian O. Kimmel is a current graduate student at Naropa University in Somatic Counseling Psychology. He earned a Bachelor's Degree at Naropa and was a recipient of the Priscilla Inkpen Award for inclusive and compassionate social action in 2012. His undergraduate Interdisciplinary thesis, “Healing Gender Wounds Through Dancing Like Men,” was preparatory to his current graduate training and in developing nascent multicultural competencies in gender studies in movement research. At Naropa, he has served as Assistant Information Specialist at the front desk for the President's Office, El Centro De La Gente Coordinator, Student Representative to Naropa's Diversity and Inclusivity Taskforce, and United Naropa.

He is an ordained mindfulness minister in the Order of Interbeing by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, and has studied and practiced in the tradition for eighteen years. He has toured on teaching delegations to Vietnam, France, Indonesia, and across the United States. He has also trained with the Prison Mindfulness Institute, Shambhala, and Spirit Rock Vipassana traditions in addition to a three-year residency at Marpa House, a Shambhala Household in Boulder, Colorado. 

Co-Founder of Las Vegas Mindfulness Community, a refuge from the Strip established in Spring of 2004 and still going, he mentored and guided practitioners towards applied mindfulness in their daily lives. He kept residence for a year at Deer Park Monastery in Escondido, California, a residential practice community in Thich Nhat Hanh's Plum Village Tradition. At Deer Park, he was chief outreach and resident coordinator of lay practice. He helped bring local school-aged children, their teachers, and families to the monastery as part of a movement toward mindfulness in education. Coordinating and facilitating during a number of teaching tours for young adults ages 18 – 35 including youth in prisons, recovery programs, universities, and working professionals, he helped them learn simple techniques to better care for their bodies and minds, awaken love, and grow as kinder and more compassionate citizens of the earth. He continues to mentor individuals and specialized groups locally in Colorado and Internationally in applied mindfulness and in social service projects such as replanting deforested rainforests in Veracruz, Mexico, and promoting gender inclusivity in mindfulness practice centers and trainings locally and abroad.

An accomplished pianist, vocalist, and songwriter, he recently released a new recording, "Songs of Secrets Told," featuring original, solo piano/vocals and a few instrumental tracks he had written and performed around themes of same-gendered relationships, gender non-conformity, healing domestic violence, and world peace. In 2003, he performed mainstage for Seattle Pride Festival at Volunteer Park among other headlining engagements, and continues to showcase his work for audiences today. He first took to the stage at age six performing in school choirs, musicals, and piano recitals. With the mission to: “Heal the world with music,” he sparked the attention of local organizations such as the YMCA, Association of Washington School Principals, and private benefactors, who by the time he was twelve years old, began to commission and/or promote his artistic talents and ability to make music that made a positive impact.

The culmination of his many gifts and interests help him to continue an inspired journey toward: "Helping deeply caring people achieve freedom and flow."

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