Naropa was founded on the idea that combining the best of Western scholarship with Eastern wisdom traditions could offer a more robust and holistic educational experience. Building, refining, and proliferating this unconventional approach to teaching is Naropa's purpose. Central to that approach is our exploration of the body, heart, and consciousness through contemplative practice.

Rabbi Zvi Ish-Shalom, professor of Religious Studies explains, "At Naropa, we are not just imparting information. We are teaching how to cultivate wisdom. And true wisdom is discovered in the 'not-knowing,' in the paradoxes, in the mysterious depths of our Being. When this kind of openness to the mystery is integrated with the body, the mind, and the heart, then our wisdom can be expressed more authentically in the world. This is the whole point of a Naropa University education."

Authentic expression of contemplative practice, as an aspect of contemplative education, is demonstrated by our students' willingness and ability to put wisdom and insight into practice, in service to the greater good. Many of Naropa's graduates display this characteristic in their work within a variety of fields.