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Psychology and Beyond

In June of 1975, Naropa Institute assembled its first degree program, an MA Psychology program designed originally as an extension of a program in Connecticut—one of the many seminars resulting from Trungpa’s prolific and charismatic teaching career in the West. It was a sixteen-week Maitri program, based on Buddhist teachings about basic patterns of energy.

Trungpa had created Maitri before Naropa existed. When he asked Marvin Casper—who went on to chair Naropa’s Psychology Department and edit two of Trungpa’s books—to help restructure it, Casper turned it into a degree program at the Naropa Institute. Initially, students were required to attend three of the Institute’s summer sessions, take two Maitri programs in Connecticut and complete a six-month independent project.

In January of 1976, the Institute offered its first group of degree programs as Trungpa pushed the Institute toward accreditation: BA degrees in Buddhist Studies and Visual Art, the MA in Psychology, an MFA in Visual Art and Expressive Arts Certificates in Dance, Theater and Poetics.

In 1986, the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools accredited Naropa Institute.

Trungpa taught at Naropa Institute regularly from 1974 to 1986 and continually worked with the faculty and the administration in developing the college. After his death in 1987, Trungpa Rinpoche left a legacy of teachings and writings. Among his many groundbreaking publications are Born in TibetCutting Through Spiritual MaterialismThe Myth of Freedom and Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior.

His aspiration for the college and his teachings remain very much alive at the Naropa University, the name formally adopted in 1999.

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Naropa Campuses Closed on Friday, March 15, 2024

Due to adverse weather conditions, all Naropa campuses will be closed Friday, March 15, 2024.  All classes that require a physical presence on campus will be canceled. All online and low-residency programs are to meet as scheduled.

Based on the current weather forecast, the Healing with the Ancestors Talk & Breeze of Simplicity program scheduled for Friday evening, Saturday, and Sunday will be held as planned.

Staff that do not work remotely or are scheduled to work on campus, can work remotely. Staff that routinely work remotely are expected to continue to do so.

As a reminder, notifications will be sent by e-mail and the LiveSafe app.  

Regardless of Naropa University’s decision, if you ever believe the weather conditions are unsafe, please contact your supervisor and professors.  Naropa University trusts you to make thoughtful and wise decisions based on the conditions and situation in which you find yourself in.