About NaropaLeadershipPast PresidentsJudith L. Lief
Judith 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.

Search Naropa University



This is where experiential learning meets academic rigor. Where you challenge your intellect and uncover your potential. Where you discover the work you’re moved to do—then use it to transform our world.

“*” indicates required fields

Naropa Logo

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.