CACE Events and Trainings

CACE Contemplative Education Colloquia explore topics in contemplative education by engaging Naropa faculty from various disciplines to share and discuss their relevant teaching methodologies, research and insights. While focused on contemplative pedagogy, these monthly colloquia are open to all members of the Naropa community and the public. For more information, contact Charlotte Rotterdam.

past events




Embodied Mindfulness in Teaching

Naropa University – June 10-13, 2019

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.

COST: $395.00 -a limited amount of scholarships are available. Please email to inquire.


Naropa welcomes participants with diverse abilities. Please contact Carla Mueller at to request accessibility accommodations needed.


A Community Gathering, Marx vs Milarepa- Identity Liberation and other Confusions


At Naropa what do we really mean by "transform yourself" and "transform the world"? What does it really mean to be "awakened" or even "woke"? Sometimes we seek to be liberated from the contractions of a fixed identity; at other times we may pivot, and explore the possibility of liberation through identity. Often these two approaches are enmeshed in a subliminal conflict. 
In the first in a series of interactive presentations and conversations, Ben Williams and Ramon Parish will review two distinctive understandings of identity and liberation, and examine some of their respective roots through influential and controversial figures like Karl Marx and Milarepa. The goal of this community gathering is to create an open space of inquiry to explore the mutual antagonisms, fruitful cross-fertilization, and plain misunderstandings between these two paradigms. Come join us and let the sparks fly.


When: Wednesday, April 17th  2019 12-1:20pm
Where: Arapahoe Campus, Lincoln 4140


Naropa welcomes participants with diverse abilities.  Please contact Carla Mueller at to request accessibility accommodations needed.





Sensory Engagement:A morning of contemplative art with Robert Spellman

A beetle

This three-hour workshop is a contribution to the larger conversation of engaged Buddhism. Mindfulness meditation joins easily with many activities: social, political, medical, educational, meteorological, musical, or pretty much whatever you could imagine. This workshop will engage sense perceptions making use of simple artistic tools in a variety of ways relevant to both meditative and creative pursuits. The format will be a relaxed mix of short periods of guided meditation practice, simple studio exercises, and discussion. No prior training or skill is necessary; materials will be provided.


When: Saturday April 13th 2019, 9am -12:30pm
Where:Nalanda Campus, Arapahoe & 63rd St., room 9124 Art Studio
This event is free and open to Naropa students, staff and faculty.
Space for this workshop is limited, please email to reserve your spot.


Before his retirement from Naropa last year, Robert taught in the Visual Arts, MFA Theater, and Religious Studies programs. He continues life as a painter, graphic designer, illustrator, and musician. His work is exhibited nationally and internationally and appears in numerous publications. Robert has practiced and taught Buddhist meditation for over forty years. He is co-founder of Mountain Water, an artists’ retreat in the wilds of southern Colorado. Visit his website at
Naropa welcomes participants with diverse abilities.  Please contact Carla Mueller at to request accessibility accommodations needed.




ENGAGE: Deepening Compassion Training

Pilot Program


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 will be presented to support 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; Jordan Quaglia, PhD; Jane Carpenter, MA; Charlotte Rotterdam, MTS.
Dates/Times: Tuesdays, April 9, 16, 30, May 7; 7-9pm (No class April 23) Saturday, April 20, 9:30am-1pm
Location: Naropa University Nalanda campus, 63rd & Arapahoe Avenue; Room: 9246
Cost: $150-$205 sliding scale
Naropa faculty/staff/alumni: $80 / Students: $35
To Register:
Naropa University welcomes participants with disabilities.  Persons with questions about accessibility or who require disability accommodations should contact Charlotte Rotterdam at




Jo Ha Kyu, an inspiration for work and life:

Explore the mindful practice of “beginning, middle and end” to cultivate clarity, intention and presence, as a rich source of support for our teaching and for ourselves. 

Facilitated by Darlene Lorrain


When: Friday April 5th 2019 from 11am-12:30pm

Where: Nalanda Campus, Room 9184

This event is free and open to Naropa students, staff and faculty

Space is limited to 20 people please email Carla Mueller to reserve your spot




dr sona dimidjian headshotRocky Mountain Dialogue on Mindfulness in Higher Educatio

March 9, 2019 9am-5pm

Register HERE



University of Colorado // Kittredge Central Meeting Rooms

For Faculty and Staff
9:00 Welcome and Group Circle
10:15 Breakout Sessions
11:30 Breakout Sessions
12:30 Lunch

For Students and Everyone
2:00 Keynote
3:15 Contemplative Sampler
4:15 Closing Circle
4:30 Walk the Planets

Keynote Speaker Dr. Sona Dimidjian
To be of benefit: The promise of contemplative research and practice
Commitment to creating a better future draws many of us to the study and practice of contemplative practices. 
How can we most effectively do this work in a way that promotes individual healing and social change?
Dr. Dimidjian will explore a conceptual and methodological framework and present empirical findings that help us to realize our potential during these critical times. She will focus on ways in which we can work in interdisciplinary partnerships with one another and with engaged communities, guided by an intention to create a better future for all. Dr. Dimidjian, professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at CU Boulder, does research focused on cultivating mental health and well-being among women, children, and families.

Thanks for our partners, CU Human Resources, Naropa University, CSU, and UNC.









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.

Naropa’s WELCOME Training 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?


When: Tuesdays, February 5-March 19, 2019, 6:30-8:30pm & Saturday, March 16, 9:30am-1pm

Location: Naropa University, Nalanda campus (63rd & Arapahoe), Room 9246

Cost: $195 / $250 (sliding scale)

Students: $50; Naropa Faculty/Staff/Alumni: $95

A Letter of Completion is available to anyone who attends all sessions and completes all practices, readings and field work.

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.

Erika Berland Headshot Erika Berland, BPS, Instructor, MFA Theater: Contemporary Performance. Author of Sitting: The Physical Art of Meditation.

gaylon headshot on white background Gaylon Ferguson, PhD, Associate Professor, Interdisciplinary Studies; Author of Natural Wakefulness and Natural Bravery

Jordan Quaglia Headshot Jordan Quaglia, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Contemplative Psychology.

Charlotte Headshot Charlotte Rotterdam, MTS, Instructor, Core College; Director of the Center for the Advancement of Contemplative Education.




Naropa welcomes participants with diverse abilities.  Please contact Charlotte Rotterdam  at to request accessibility accommodations needed.

For questions, please contact Charlotte Rotterdam,




CONTEMPLATIVE MOVEMENT PRACTICE: Naropa university,  Facilitated by Darlene Lorrain and Sara Benson


Fridays, 5:30-7:45pm              

Virya, Paramita Campus, 3285 30th St, Boulder

Jan. 25th, Feb. 8th, Feb. 22nd, Mar. 8th,  Mar. 22nd, Apr. 5th, Apr. 19th, May 3rd     

The practice is free to the community with suggested donations to Naropa University for the use of the space.

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

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

For more information please conatact: 




How to Integrate Contemplative Practice and Pedagogy into Daily Classes

with Richard C. Brown


Naropa faculty have various understandings of contemplative education. Despite those differences, it is essential that we infuse daily classroom learning with contemplative practice and pedagogy, as we understand it. This workshop will present a platform or outline into which faculty can incorporate short contemplative activities of their choice. We will also discuss approaches to the problem of how to engage in contemplative activities, while still being able to relate fully to the course content. Please join us and offer your experiences and questions in these areas.

This interactive workshop will:

  • Present examples of brief contemplative exercises and a format for infusing them into class schedules
  • Explore the issue of having enough time for contemplative practice and pedagogy, while also covering the course content

When: Monday, October 8th 2018, 6-7:30pm

Location: Lincoln Studio Room, 2130 Arapahoe Ave.

Richard C. Brown founded Naropa's Contemplative Education department and has been involved in contemplative teaching and learning for forty years.

Naropa University welcomes participants with disabilities. Persons with questions about accessibility or who require disability accommodations should contact Carla Mueller at least 2 weeks prior to the event.



Contemplative Dance Practice: Introduction & Ongoing Series With Barbara Dilley

barbara dilley dance black and white picContemplative Dance Practice, offered during the 1980 Naropa Institute Summer Session, is a three hour practice when students sit at the interface between meditative disciplines and dance/movement studies. CDP is adapted from the experience of meditation halls and inspired by Dharma Art teachings of Naropa’s founder, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Over 35 years Naropa’s alumni have taken CDP into the world, and met new environments, cultures, and students, both beginners and experienced. We will explore the original form as well as variations offered by returning alumni. Come as you are. You have everything you need for the journey. 

This is a rare opportunity to study and practice with Barbara Dilley, founding Naropa faculty and the creator of Contemplative Dance Practice. Barbara will lead two sessions; other sessions will be guided by senior CDP teachers. The program is part of the Heritage Project which documents, archives and trains in contemplative practices developed uniquely within Naropa’s lineage of contemplative education. 

barbara dilley head shotBarbara 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

The Ongoing Series meets twice per month for contemplative dance practice guided by Barbara Dilley and alumni. The first session may be attended separately; Barbara Dilley will teach on the history and context of Contemplative Dance Practice, followed by guided instruction in CDP: I Sitting Meditation (being willing to come back)/II Personal Awareness Practice (finding Kinesthetic Delights)/   III Open Space (opening to Deep Play with ensemble)/IV Discussion.

Fall dates: September 15 & 29; October 13 & 27; November 10 & 17// 2018 

Location: Nalanda Dojo (6287 Arapahoe Ave) 

First Session Only: $50//Ongoing Series: $120

Space is very limited. Please register early.


Naropa University welcomes participants with disabilities. Persons with questions about accessibility or who require disability accommodations should contact Charlotte Rotterdam at least 2 weeks prior to the event.


MUDRA SPACE AWARENESS: Intense Practice for Intense Times with Emerita Professor Lee Worley and Senior Mudra Students

lee worley mudra space awareness

This will be a one-day immersion into the history, pedagogy and practice of this profound and challenging Tibetan yoga.

Mudra Space Awareness, was originally presented in the West by Chogyam Trungpa to his performance students as a tool to help them align mind and body within the context of space, Since then the work has become a foundational tool in many contexts, not only as a strengthening force for performers, but as support for teachers, social workers, health professionals, anyone who desires to find harmony and balance amidst the stress and pressures of modern life.

This is a rare opportunity to study and practice with Lee Worley, a founding faculty member of Naropa University, she has studied and practiced the teachings of Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche on Space Awareness, both Mudra and Maitri forms, for over 30 years. When she began weaving it into her Naropa University courses it was as an aspect of theater performance, but she has subsequently adapted it into a tool for many modalities including Teacher training, Masters of Divinity training, Hospice and Elder Care support, Artistic Process and Embodied Spirituality. By creating forms for joining the clarity and spaciousness of mind with the expressive and intuitive wisdom of the body she enables those who seek to be of benefit to their society to enhance their personal authenticity and expressiveness and meet the challenges of the 21st Century with confidence and compassion.

One Day Immersion Session: Saturday, September 22nd 2018, 10am-5pm

We will practice Mudra's beginning set of physical exercises as well as some of the approaches to sense perceptions and audial space.  We will also consider the communal context of the work and its implications for group cooperation. While these forms are intended as an on-going practice, the day-long format will provide a good basic ground for those experiencing Mudra for the first time. For those with previous exposure, the day will offer deeper understanding of the profundity and benevolence of space. 

While the work is quite physical, the workshop is open to all who are interested in utilizing our bodies to train our minds. Please bring a picnic lunch and wear comfortable clothing. You might also want to bring a yoga mat and knee pads. Cost: $45//Location: Nalanda Dojo (6287 Arapahoe Ave)


Naropa University welcomes participants with disabilities. Persons with questions about accessibility or who require disability accommodations should contact Carla Mueller at least 2 weeks prior to the event. 


Contemplative Movement Practice 

September 14th & 28th, October 5th & 19th, November 2nd, 16th & 30th, December 2nd 2018 

5:30-7:45pm //Naropa University, Paramita Campus 

full event information and details