Cynthia Drake

Assistant Professor, Associate Dean of Naropa College
Core Faculty


BA in Interdisciplinary Studies - Core Faculty
Core Curriculum Requirements - Core Faculty


PhD English Literature, University of Colorado, Boulder
MA English Literature, Georgetown University
MAT English Pedagogy, Oregon State University
BA Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley

Cynthia Drake began teaching in 1987 when she moved to Kyoto, Japan. Since then, she has taught English as a Foreign Language, college composition, literature, women's studies, contemplative learning, and diversity in language schools, community colleges, and universities.

Cynthia’s doctoral dissertation, “Dharma Kings and Flying Women: Buddhist Epistemologies in Early Twentieth-Century Indian and British Writing,” looks at the intersections of western interest in Buddhism, anti-colonial work, non-duality, and the complexity of liberational practices migrating to other cultures via cultural appropriation. Her ongoing research includes exploring literary forms that transmit non-duality, compassion, and the sacred. Her personal focus is how to be a fully honest and ethical Buddhist. What does it mean to be an American Buddhist in the 21st century? What are our responsibilities to ourselves and others? She is a student and teacher in the Shambhala Buddhist community.

From the Heart

At Naropa, we practice deeply—in seeing, hearing, feeling—opening ever more deeply, into the depths of our humanness. From that opening, we can go out, connect, and engage.