Life at NaropaSparking Creative

Sparking Creativity: The Artist's Path

Contemplative Inquiry and Engagement

“If you bring the fullness of your attention to the most ordinary gesture, it becomes extraordinary. There are no mistakes. I work from a nonbiased, nonjudgmental perspective.” –Barbara Dilley, Discovering Movement in the Moment

Self-awareness unleashes creativity. Contemplative practice, one of the three primary learning aspects of contemplative education, cultivates self-awareness by teaching you to focus on the present moment and to learn to slow down the ever-cycling thoughts that dominate your mind and that drown out your true voice. Learning to unravel those cycles is at the root of wisdom and creative expression.

Naropa’s degree programs focus on topics like social justice, psychology, counseling, education, sustainability, religious studies and chaplaincy, as well as the fine and performing arts. The arts are integral to a full manifestation of a university built upon a model of contemplative education. Whether music, theater, dance, visual arts, poetry, or prose, the arts represent a unique exploration of the nature of self and community, and they communicate experience and understanding in ways that fully engage the body, mind, and creative imagination. Making authentic art requires self-awareness.

Art itself, in any form, can also convey core elements of the human spirit, leaving the viewer or reader with the sense of connection or insight that contemplative practice can bring. Art is a way of sharing wisdom and the benefits of mindfulness and of building capacity for self-awareness in others.

Regardless of your academic focus, you are encouraged to engage in artistic practice, whether the work is original or traditional, as a critical part of the contemplative education journey. At Naropa, we believe that self-aware individuals contribute richly to society, so the arts represent a key part of our mission.

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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.