Mentoring the Next Generation

“By first becoming present to your full self, you open the way for your presence to shine out and inspire your world.”
—Lee Worley, Teaching Presence: Field Notes for Players
Photo by Sofia Drobinskaya

Lee Worley, Naropa Professor Emerita, and senior Mudra students led a day-long workshop (“Mudra Space Awareness: Intense Practice for Intense Times”) at Naropa’s Nalanda campus on Saturday, September 22.

Sponsored by the Center for Advancement in Contemplative Education (CACE), the event brought together twenty Naropa alumnae, current students, faculty and community members.

In her book Teaching Presence: Field Notes for Players, Worley writes, “As I grow older, the urge to share my ways of teaching grows.”

The upcoming generation of Mudra teachers include three Naropa alumni, Carla Mueller (MDiv, 2015) L. S. Summer (MA Buddhist Studies, concentration in Sanskrit, 1995) and Joshua Shelton (MDiv, 2015). All three lead exercises at the workshop, providing an opportunity to teach collaboratively and to strengthen confidence in their understanding and presentation of the work.

“Mudra practices highlight our relationship with our bodies, our minds, and the space. Although simple in form, the practice profoundly mirrors back to us the reality of how we operate on a moment by moment basis, thus providing a rare gift—the ability to ascertain how we show up for ourselves and within community,” says senior Mudra student Carla Mueller.

“From here we can investigate the intensity that bombards our daily lives, our communities and our planet, opening up options for how we relate to all of it,” Mueller goes on to say. “I was reminded of how deeply inescapable the intensity can feel at times, and how the vastness of space is an incredible antidote to suffering, and how community practice is necessary to inspire genuine change. “

Photo by Sofia Drobinskaya

Another senior Mudra student, L.S. Summer remarks, “I have benefited from Mudra practice in every arena of my life —my own presence in the classroom, willingness to collaborate, and most importantly, the ability to welcome the opened-endedness of space. Lee’s generosity in sharing the Mudra practice has always been inspiring. She personifies the work through her own open presence and sly compassion; never gushy and always on the mark.”

Photo by Sofia Drobinskaya

Professor Worley will be teaching Mudra Space Awareness in Hong Kong, Taipei, and Beijing during the month of October.

To order a copy of Teaching Presence: Field Notes for Players, send a check for $20 to Lee Worley, c/o Naropa University, 2130 Arapahoe. Boulder, CO. The price includes the cost of shipping.

Learn more about contemplative practices in higher education at Naropa University.


Search Naropa University



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.

“*” indicates required fields

Naropa Logo

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.