How Can Mindfulness & Compassion Impact the College Experience?


At its best, the university serves as a vibrant ground for the development of knowledge and wisdom, personal and social transformation, and deep engagement with the questions of meaning and purpose. Higher education’s ability to fulfill this mission is currently challenged by skyrocketing student loan debt, the corporatization of the university, the advent of massive online courses, and the marginalization of low-income students.

Against this backdrop, contemplative educators ask:

  • How can a meaningful, affordable, and impactful university education be fostered for everyone?
  • How can our changing demographics that diversify student populations become opportunities for creative change?
  • How can we cultivate wisdom at the heart of our educational enterprises through creative technologies, innovative curriculum, and visionary leadership?
  • How can our institutions of higher education actively contribute to building a more inclusive, just, compassionate and awakened human society?

Naropa’s March 18-21 conference, ‘Mindfulness, MOOCs, & Money in Higher Ed’, will explore core questions about the place of college in American life, and examine how mindfulness, contemplation and compassion might bring greater well-being, resilience and creativity to students and educators alike.

Designed for educators—educational leaders, administrators, and policy makers—as well as faculty and students, and anyone interested in these key questions, this gathering will offer inspiration, methods, and practical insights that will inform your daily work and/or teaching, and create ongoing networks of dialogue. The conference format includes keynotes, panel discussions, hands-on workshops, and contemplative practice sessions. If interested in going deeper into mindfulness, take a look at Naropa’s Mindfulness-Based Transpersonal Counseling Program.

Presenters include:

Daniel Barbezat, Mirabai Bush, Gaylon Ferguson, David Germano, Arawana Hayashi, David Korten, Rhonda Magee, John Pryor, Laura Rendon, Judith Simmer-Brown, Susan Skjei, Adam Yukelson, and others.


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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.

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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.