About NaropaLeadershipPast PresidentsJudith L. Lief

Judith L. Lief

Dean, 1980–1985; Trustee, Elected 1986; Core Faculty


BA, Luther College; Fulbright Scholar in Lucknow, India; ABD Columbia University

Judy Lief is an experienced teacher of Buddhist psychology and meditation who trained under Naropa’s founder, the meditation master Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. For more than thirty years, Judy has continued to lead meditation retreats and to teach seminars throughout the world.

Lief is active in the field of death and dying. Her book, Making Friends with Death: A Buddhist Guide to Encountering Mortality, introduces a contemplative approach to facing death and working with the dying.

Judy is a published author and book editor. Her many articles have appeared in Lion’s Roar magazine and elsewhere. She has edited several works by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, including the three-volume, Profound Treasury of the Ocean of Dharma. Ms. Lief is active in the Global Peace Initiative of Women (GPIW) and is a founding member of the Contemplative Alliance, an interfaith initiative committed to the value of applying a contemplative approach to critical global issues. Recently, Judy entered the podcast world with the release of her new podcast, Dharma Glimpses with Judy Lief.

In addition to serving as Naropa president (1980–85), Judy has held multiple Naropa roles: trustee, adjunct faculty, Bali study-abroad program director, and even janitor. She is a proud parent of two Naropa graduates.

Judy lives in Boulder with her husband Chuck Lief, the current Naropa president, and their dog Loki. Her two daughters and families, and her four grandchildren live nearby.

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