Who We Are


Our History

Initially created as a pilot program through a grant from the Frederick P. Lenz Foundation for American Buddhism, the Center for the Advancement of Contemplative Education is now providing important leadership in the growing contemplative education movement.

The Center is made possible through the generous support of the Schocken Foundation, the Frederick P. Lenz Foundation for American Buddhism, and individual donors.

Our Staff

Charlotte Rotterdam, MTS

Director of Naropa University’s Center for the Advancement of Contemplative Education (CACE)
Beginning in 1995, she served as Program and Managing Director of Naropa’s School for Extended Studies for ten years; most recently she directed the University’s 40th Anniversary, which included the Radical Compassion Symposium and the inauguration of the Francisco Varela Lecture Series on Science & Mindfulness. She was Program Director at Shambhala Mountain Center and Executive Director and Board President of Tara Mandala Buddhist Retreat Center, where she is also an authorized teacher. An Instructor at Naropa, she has taught in the Religious Studies department and continues to teach the Contemplative Learning Seminar in the Core College. Charlotte received her Masters in Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School. Her essays on the intersection of spiritual practice and motherhood have been published in Mandala and in an anthology, Fearless Nest.

Jordan Quaglia, PhD

Assistant Professor of Contemplative Psychology & the Research Director for CACE
Jordan Quaglia, PhD, is Associate Professor of Contemplative Psychology, Director of the Cognitive and Affective Science Laboratory, and Research Director of the Center for the Advancement of Contemplative Education at Naropa University. Jordan has served as a Panelist for multiple United Nations Day of Vesak conferences, a Fellow and Senior Investigator for the Mind and Life Summer Research Institute, and a Contemplative Social Justice Scholar for Contemplative Mind in Society. His research, supported by funding from the Mind and Life Institute and John Templeton Foundation, has been featured in leading scientific journals and books, and relies on a range of tools, from neuroscientific measures to virtual reality, to study topics such as mindfulness, compassion, and lucidity. For more about Jordan’s research: www.CASLaboratory.org

Carla Burns, MDiv

Program Manager for the Center for the Advancement of Contemplative Education

Carla Burns, MDiv, is an instructor in Naropa’s Core College and Graduate School of Counseling & Psychology, with an emphasis on the exploration of loving-kindness through the wisdom of the body, emotions, and the elements. She is particularly passionate about the ways in which contemplative practice communities can come to understand and hold multiple ways of being and knowing, and how we embody and utilize space as a means to personal, collective and cosmic liberation. In addition, she is certified Mindfulness Instructor at Naropa University, she co-developed Naropa’s Embodied Mindfulness in Teaching Training program and is the Program Manager for the Center for the Advancement of Contemplative Education.

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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.