White Fragility Event

Events & Trainings

CACE events and trainings explore various topics and disciplines in contemplative education including contemplative arts, classroom practices, community engagement practices, student and faculty workshops, mindfulness and compassion trainings and more. These events are designed to illuminate the broad range of an inclusive contemplative community. While focused on contemplative and mindfulness based foundations these events are designed for both the Naropa community and the public. For more information, contact Carla Mueller.

Welcome: Mindful Compassion Training (Part I) 

Welcome: Mindful Compassion Training (Part I) 

Tuesdays, October 1-November 19, 2019//6:30-8:30pm & Saturday, November 16, 2019

woman meditating with a hand on heart and hand on stomach

Compassion opens and expands our minds and hearts, inspiring kindness and altruistic behavior. Modern scientific research suggests that compassion can be intentionally cultivated to enhance personal well-being, resilience, and capacity to benefit others. This is because training in compassion reduces empathy fatigue, improves emotion regulation, and fosters healthy social connection.

WELCOME offers a pathway to foster mindfulness alongside lovingkindness for yourself, loved ones, and even the difficult people in our lives. Drawing on scientific research findings from neuroscience and psychology, as well as practices and teachings from Buddhism, WELCOME provides a multifaceted view of the power and potential of compassion. Throughout the course, you will be introduced to a series of experiential practices, receive informative suggested readings, and engage in compassionate “fieldwork” to integrate compassion into your personal, social and professional life.

Key topics include: Mindfulness · Self-compassion · Loving-kindness · Empathy · Resilient compassion · Embodiment · Burnout · Is compassion always nice?

The course is taught by a team of Naropa University faculty who draw on their decades of teaching mindfulness and compassion practices within a variety of disciplines, including psychology, Buddhist studies, and the arts.

Tuesdays, October 1-November 19, 2019, 6:30-8:30pm (No class October 15) & Saturday, November 16, 9:30am-1pm. Naropa University, Nalanda campus (63rd & Arapahoe), Room 9235. $195 /$250 (sliding scale) Students: $50; Naropa Faculty/Staff/Alumni: $95 Register Here

For questions, please contact Charlotte Rotterdam

Engage: deepening compassion training (part II)

Engage: Deepening Compassion Training (Part II)

This pilot training builds on previously established compassion practices, study and trainings (in particular from Naropa’s Mindful Compassion Training: WELCOME.) We will deepen and expand the scope of compassion, focusing on difficult people and situations in our lives, as well as broader societal forms of suffering. Our core practice is tonglen (“sending and taking”), a traditional meditation in which we intensify our engagement with and compassion for suffering within and around us. Current scientific research supports our study and practice. You will be encouraged to work with a particular situation in your life or larger environment over the course of the training to apply the teachings and practices towards compassionate transformation.

Pre-requisite: Attendance and completion of the Mindful Compassion Training: WELCOME; a full-semester undergraduate or graduate course at Naropa focused on compassion; or equivalent training (with permission of instructors).

Instructors: Judith Simmer-Brown, PhD; Gaylon Ferguson, PhD; Jordan Quaglia, PhD.

Tuesdays, January 21-February 11, 6:30-8:30pm; Saturday, February 1, 9:30am-1pm, Naropa University Nalanda campus, 63rd & Arapahoe Avenue; Classroom tba, $150-$205 sliding scale, Naropa faculty/staff/alumni: $80 / Students: $35. Register here.

For questions, please contact Charlotte Rotterdam



embodied mindfulness in teaching

Embodied Mindfulness in Teaching

Two women looking at their desk.

Learn to apply mindfulness practice to your classroom teaching. When we are awake and at home in our bodies and minds, our teaching is more sustainable, engaged, and creative. Trusting and effective relationships with students are naturally generated when we fully embody mindful awareness and compassion. This new program is the result of three decades of contemplative in-service teacher education at Naropa.

The Embodied Mindfulness in Teaching program:

  • brings mindful presence to the classroom
  • strengthens teacher self-care
  • deepens communication
  • infuses contemplative pedagogy into existing curricula
  • cultivates compassionate learning communities

All program participants will be required to have a regular mindfulness practice and to have completed SMART*, or a similar mindfulness program. It is intended that after the program participants will select from among the activities that suit them best and apply them in their classrooms. A participant packet of activities, readings, and resources will be provided. Participants should bring a lunch every day to eat mindfully with others. Participants who attend fully will receive a Certificate of Completion.

*Stress Management and Resilience Training for Teachers, a program of PassageWorks, offers a series of mindfulness trainings. Naropa’s Contemplative Teaching Initiative is a collaborative partner with SMART.

Spring 2020 dates to be announced soon.

Contemplative Dance Practice
heritage dilley

How to be a Creative Fool!

Movement Studies and Creative Process Training for all Bodies


With Barbara Dilley & Others


You have everything you need for this journey!

Using contemplative arts disciplines evolved at Naropa University since 1974, we explore body-mind skills to nourish dance/theater ‘deep play’ expression, and art in everyday life. Fool in the most expansive sense ~ playful, shy, curious, hesitant, willing to dare, and to offer the unknown as well as the familiar. This training is directed by Barbara Dilley and members of the ‘dance.art.lab’ community. A winter dance art lab will be offered for all who participate in this series.

Barbara Dilley (BA, Mt. Holyoke College, ’60), trained in ballet, then studied and performed dance in New York City (1960-1975) with Merce Cunningham Dance Co., Yvonne Rainer, and Grand Union, a dance/theater collaboration that extended the definitions of improvisation. Moving to Boulder (1974), she designed the Dance / Movement Studies program at Naropa University, served as President (1985-1993), and retired in 2015. Her memoir and handbook, This Very Moment: teaching thinking dancing, 2015, Naropa University Press, is available at www.barbaradilley.com.

Offered Various Saturdays,  October- December 2019, 10am-1pm

Nalanda 9180 / Dojo

October 5: Introduction and Movement Studies practice, Barbara Dilley, October 12: Herding and Flocking, Mary-Laurence Bevington, November 2: Maps of Space, Mary-Laurence Bevington, November 9: Contemplative Dance Practice, Barbara Dilley, November 16: Making Scores, Joan Bruemmer-Holden, November 23: The Red Square, Joan Bruemmer-Holden, December 7: Solo Quadrants, Katharine Kaufman, December 14: Contemplative Dance Practice, Darlene Lorrain

First Session Only: $50 (October 5th)//Ongoing Series: $120

Space is limited. Please register early.

Barbara Dilley

Barbara Dilley (BA, Mt. Holyoke College, ’60), trained in ballet, then studied and performed dance in New York City (1960-1975) with Merce Cunningham Dance Co., Yvonne Rainer, and Grand Union, a dance/theater collaboration that extended the definitions of improvisation. Moving to Boulder (1974), she designed the Dance / Movement Studies program at Naropa University, served as President (1985-1993), and retired in 2015. Her memoir and handbook, This Very Moment: teaching thinking dancing, 2015, Naropa University Press, is available at www.barbaradilley.com


About the Sessions

October 5,  Barbara Dilley. Introduction and Movement Research Practice: History of ‘dance.art.lab’ and its culture. Guided meditation then an approach to movement studies with Kinesthetic Delight, Four Postures of Mindfulness, and the ‘little disciplines’.

October 12, Mary-Laurence Bevington: Herding and Flocking: improvisational forms inspired by ensembles of mammals, birds, fish, creepy crawlies, and even mythical creatures. How to create unison scores on the spot.

November 2, Mary-Laurence Bevington: Maps of Space: Using a criss-crossed Grid and sometimes multiple Corridors as maps for pedestrian gestures mingled with sound tracks and peripheral influence, we find patterns and make dances together.

November 9, Barbara Dilley. Contemplative Dance Practice: Sitting meditation, Personal Awareness Practice, and Open Space to let the ensemble explore ‘deep play’ through vocabulary they are learning.

November 16, Joan Bruemmer-Holden: Making Scores: Using vocabulary from previous classes we exercise our compositional eye and create scores in space with the ensemble.

November 23, Joan Bruemmer-Holden: The Red Square: A place marked out with red twine to explore time, space, and being seen. Working solo, in groups, and with Allies, the Red Square heightens compositional awareness and strengthens ‘deep play’.

Decenber 7, Katharine Kaufman: Solo Quadrants: A practice with :music, where one to four people find their "solos" both alone, and together. Solos are witnessed by companions who serve as ‘well-wishers and on-lookers’.

December 14, Darlene Lorrain: Contemplative Dance Practice: The inaugural How to Be a Creative Fool semester culminates in a final Contemplative Dance Practice. Here the ensemble may pick up or put down all of the movement studies forms in open space and in this very moment.


Contemplative Movement Practice

With Darlene Lorrain & Sara Benson

Contemplative Movement Practice brings together the discipline of sitting meditation with free movement investigations and the practice of improvisation.  It is an opportunity to integrate our outer and inner worlds, alone and together.

The 2 1/4 hour practice is structured by a leader who marks the time with a meditation bell. It begins with sitting meditation followed by personal bodymind awareness practice in the space and then the wild and delightful group practice called "open space" where deep play unfolds! Each session concludes with a closing circle for discussion and observations.

Drop-ins are welcome. No experience required, just a willingness to tune in, play and be in the present moment.

Facilitated by Darlene Lorrain and Sara Benson The practice is free to the community with suggested donations to Naropa University for the use of the space.

Fridays 5:30-7:45pm, Sept. 20 Oct. 4 Oct. 18 Nov. 8 Nov. 22 Dec. 6

Naropa University – Paramita campus 3285 30th St, Boulder , Virya classroom (s.e. corner of building) 

For information contact: Darlene Lorrain 303-447-0375, dlorrain@naropa.edu


All Day Retreat in Contemplative Movement PracticE: Deep Play Explorations

Facilitated by Darlene Lorrain and Sara Benson

Sunday November 17th 9:30am – 5pm

Immerse yourself in the Deep Play of Contemplative movement practice, bringing together the discipline of sitting meditation with free movement investigations and the practice of improvisation. Built on the foundation of Barbara Dilley’s work developed in 1974, Contemplative Movement practice is a path to manifesting our birthright as creative physical beings.

In this all day explorative movement laboratory, we have the opportunity to sink deeply into connecting with our inner and outer selves as well as our relationship with others and space itself. We will cultivate our ability to surrender fully to the present moment and invite the freshness of moving outside our habitual responses and impulses. Together, we will learn to deeply play, and find delight in the insight and wisdom of body-mind through deep listening on many levels. The morning will be an exploration of contemplative movement disciplines that delightfully inform, expand and nourish the full contemplative movement practice of the afternoon.

Come as you are – no experience necessary, just a willingness to tune in, play and be in the present moment.

REGISTRATION REQUIRED as space is limited. Retreat is FREE of charge.

For Information and registration, contact: Darlene Lorrain 303-447-0375

Naropa University welcomes participants with disabilities. Persons with questions about accessibility or who require disability accommodations should contact Darlene Lorrain  303-447-0375 or  at least two weeks prior to the event.

rocky mountain dialogue on mindfulness in higher education

Rocky Mountain Dialogue on Mindfulness in Higher Education

Spring 2020 dates to be announced soon.

Mudra Space Awareness

Mudra Space Awareness

lee worley mudra space awareness

Developed in the 70s by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Mudra Space Awareness is a practice for synchronizing body, speech, and mind in the development of presence and compassion. Trungpa Rinpoche called this work "a basement approach to acting." In this case, acting means training in the capacity to function sanely under pressure. Each of us is an actor starring in the role of our own life. Shall we move through our performance mindlessly, delivering our lines ineffectively, and continue to wonder why we are so confused? The direct experience of Mudra practice enables us to learn on a gut level how form and space define and interact with each other. Adapting this knowledge to working in the world offers us contemplative ways to expand our ability to stay centered amidst the intensity of living. 

Fall 2019 and spring 2020 dates to be announced soon.

Maitri space awareness

Maitri Space Awareness

The Maitri Space Awareness is a treasury of teachings transmitted to the West from the mind and heart of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche based on ancient wisdom of the Five Buddha Families found within Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism. Maitri Space Awareness Practice cultivates loving-kindness, providing a foundation for the practitioner to experience both the confusion of mind and the underlying wisdom. The training will consist of talks, discussion, demonstrations and feedback, readings and experiential components. It will culminate in an assistant teaching practicum where students will have the opportunity to apply their learning as Maitri Meditation Instructors, Assistant Instructors and/or Karuna Training Interns, upon approval and completion of the program. 

Spring 2020 dates to be announced soon.

Beginning Middle End: Tools for the Contemplative Classroom 

Beginning Middle End: Tools for the Contemplative Classroom

heritage Jo ha Kyu

Beginning Middle End (Jo Ha Kyu) is an ancient concept of modulation and movement applied in a wide variety of traditional Japanese arts, and is translated as beginning, middle, and end. The roots of this practice offer an alternative paradigm to our western approach to time and transition. According to contemplative educator Richard Brown, Jo Ha Kyu can be used as a frame for simple pedagogical tools: in class for instructors, and as integrative and embodiment guidelines for both teachers and students. Fundamentally, it is a transitional device that can benefit all manner of change. 

In this workshop we will explore the foundations of the practices both historically and experientially and examine what Jo Ha Kyu offers our contemplative culture at Naropa University and beyond. 

2019-2020 dates to be announced soon.