The Bow

So, hold, feel and give. That is the meaning of the warrior's bow, which we do every day here at Naropa University. — Adapted from an essay by Frank Berliner, Naropa University faculty

It has become something of a tradition at Naropa University to begin classes and meetings with a bow. Although this ritual is by no means compulsory, it seems to have taken widespread hold at the university over the years. Many students and staff find themselves performing the bow countless times during their time at Naropa, and many take enjoyment and comfort in the growing familiarity that a ritual such as this one can provide when it is repeated often.

The bow we make to each other at Naropa is a way of acknowledging and honoring the qualities of warriorship that each of us has the capacity to express and to share with others.

The warrior whom we honor when we bow is someone who is brave enough to be a truly gentle person. So, in bowing to each other, we honor the inherent bravery, gentleness and wakeful intelligence that each of us can experience personally. We also honor Naropa as a place where the deepest purpose of our education is to cultivate these qualities and bring them to fuller expression in whatever field of learning we may choose.