Fall 2012
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MDiv students in pasture with horse
Naropa's Master of Divinity program partnered with Centered Life, a Clinical Pastoral Education organization that supervises CPE units for those who wish to become certified chaplains. This was a first-ever online CPE unit offered by Naropa and led by Reverend Pam Roberts of Centered Life. During the residential component at Reverend Roberts's ranch, participants learned presence and basic attendance from the horses and meditation practice from Naropa faculty Giovannina Jobson. We devoted time to learn and appreciate our diverse spiritual orientations and build community based on genuine communication. This highly successful event will be repeated in summer 2013.

Faculty and Staff Notes

Core and Ranked Faculty
Keith Kumasen Abbott’s (Associate Professor, Kerouac School) review of Lew Welch’s Ring of Bone Collected Poems from City Lights will appear in a forthcoming Beat Studies Review. On June 10, a new review of Abbott’s memoir of Richard Brautigan was published at bosilawhat.wordpress.com/2012/06/10/downstream-from-trout-fishing-in-america-a-memoir-of-richard-brautigan-by-keith-abbott/ His lecture “Twisting In The Wind: A Memoir of Ken Kesey at Naropa University 1994” that was first presented at a Western Literature Association conference 2008, now is under consideration in a nonfiction format at a publisher. Currently he is revising the first 225 pp. of a memoir, Whack Jobs, based his first year as a scholarship athlete in a remarkably corrupt college program. Abbott and Pat Nolan’s collaborative 2008 book, Poetry For Sale, haikai no renga, will be available in October from Mountain Forest River editions.

In April 2012, Richard Brown (Associate Professor, Contemplative Education) attended a High Level Meeting at the United Nations at the invitation of the Prime Minister of Bhutan. The purpose of which was to launch development of wellbeing and sustainability-based economic system models for world governments. As part of this historic effort, Richard submitted an article, “Education for a Harmonious World,” which is posted on the government’s website. Richard participated in two events at the Garrison Institute: “Contemplative Teaching and Learning: Areas of Inquiry,” a paper and presentation for Education Leadership Council, and he co-taught for the fifth year the CARE for Teachers workshop. CARE has just received its second federal grant to study the program’s effects on 110 teachers and their students in NYC. Richard also co-lead with Naropa’s Provost a breakout group “Is the Contemplative Element Necessary in Compassion Training?” at Stanford University’s Science of Compassion conference in Telluride, CO, which Naropa co-sponsored.

Dean of Undergraduate Education Susan Burggraf, PhD, and President Emeritus Tom Coburn, PhD, served on a panel at the Fourth Annual Association for Contemplative Mind in Higher Education Conference at Amherst College in September. Tom also spoke on "Rethinking 'Mysticism:' Toward a Pedagogy of Contemplative Life" at the Harvard University Series on Intellectual Worlds of Meditation at the Center for the Study of World Religions.

Christine Caldwell, PhD (Professor, Somatic Counseling Psychology) was busy this year with two publications: “Research 101 for Body Psychotherapists: Cultivating a Somatically-Informed Research Mind,” a chapter co-authored with Rae Johnson, in About the science of body psychotherapy, and “Embodying Difference: Addressing Issues of Diversity and Social Justice in Dance/Movement Therapy Research,” with Rae Johnson, in Research in Dance Movement Therapy. As well, she presented at numerous conferences: a keynote speech “Mindfulness and Bodyfulness: A research-based synthesis of the role of consciousness and movement in healing and intelligence,” and a pre-conference workshop “The Moving Cycle Introduction,” at the 17th Herbstakademie, The Implications of Embodiment: Enactive, Clinical, Social, at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. Also in Europe: two panels and presentations: “The World in the Body—Soma, Culture and Intersubjectivity,” “Queer Bodies, Straight Society,” and “The Science of Body Psychotherapy,” at the European Association for Body Psychotherapy Congress, Cambridge, England. Closer to home, she gave these presentations: “Somatic Psychology Pedagogy: A Rare Discussion with Christine Caldwell and Don Johnson,” “Gifts of Body Psychotherapy Past and Future,” and “Implicit Body Bias: How BP Can Challenge Itself and Society” at the USABP Conference, in Boulder.

Michael Franklin, PhD, ATR-BC (Professor, Transpersonal Counseling Psychology) was invited to Nazareth College in March 2012 to present: “Yoga, Meditation, and Art Therapy: Personal, Clinical, and Educational Considerations for Mindful Practice” March 2012. Additionally, Michael delivered three presentations at the 2012 American Art Therapy Association Conference in Savannah Georgia: “Masters Supervision Group: Mindfulness and Other Meditation Approaches to Art Therapy”; “6 Years to Make a Pot: Challenges of Art-Based Contemplative Inquiry”; and “Art Therapy, Yoga, and Mindfulness: Contemplative Approaches to Practice” Co-presented with Dr. Ellen Horovitz and Dr. Patricia Isis.

This fall, Bhanu Kapil (Assistant Professor, Kerouac School) was invited to give a talk on embodiment and poetics at the University of Washington; she was also invited to give readings and lectures at Old Dominion University and the University of Buffalo. In addition, she was invited to El Festival de Poesía en la Montaña in Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic, to give a reading and participate in a discussion on diasporic writing. Her newest book, SCHIZOPHRENE, was re-issued in a second edition this spring; it has been reviewed widely, most recently at the Los Angeles Review of Books and the New York Quarterly. Bhanu was also accepted as a panelist at the AWP conference (a panel on feminist video and performance in the tradition of neo-benshi). She has also been invited to be a featured speaker at a conference on narrative in Vancouver, and to give a talk on architecture and narrative as part of the architecture program at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY.

In the spring, Mark Miller (Professor, Music) delivered a presentation on spirituality and creativity at the annual conference of the International Society for Improvised Music, held at William Patterson University in New Jersey. He also contributed to a panel presentation, titled "Before Thought: Naropa’s Cultivation of Insight in the Classroom," for the International Symposia for Contemplative Studies, held in Denver. This fall, Mark can be heard in a monthly concert series, "Deep Listening," at Grace Lutheran Church in Boulder. For more information on the series, please visit musicbymarkmiller.com.

The short film "Continuous Frieze Bordering Red," a collaboration between Michelle Naka Pierce (Director and Faculty of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics) and Kyle Pivarnik (Administrative Coordinator of the JKS), was featured at the Co-Kisser Poetry-Film Fest on October 6 at Minneapolis College of Art and Design. The film is one of the 35 local, national, and international films that will be screened. This is the first collaboration between Pierce and Pivarnik.

This fall Deb Piranian, PhD, LPC (Associate Professor, Wilderness Therapy) presented at the Wilderness Therapy Symposium in September: She was a panel member for “The Future of Wilderness Therapy” and she conducted a three-hour workshop "Mindfulness in Wilderness Therapy: A Path for Relationship with Self, Other, and Nature." Deb gave a presentation at the Association for Experiential Education International Conference in November as well as a three-hour workshop entitled "Museum, Playground, Temple, Bank: Exploring the Human-Nature Relationship Through the Lens of Ecopsychology."

Judith Simmer-Brown, PhD (Professor, Religious Studies) has published four articles in books on contemplative practice and Buddhism this year, the most notable being the foreword for a new book on Buddhist chaplaincy, entitled The Arts of Dharma Chaplaincy: Pioneering Voices in Buddhist Contemplative Care, edited by Cheryl Giles and Willa Miller (Boston: Wisdom Publications, 2012), and “Leadership for Change, Dialogue for Openness: Feminine Principle Teachings for Leaders,” Inner Peace—Global Impact: The Influence of Tibetan Buddhism on Leadership and Work in the West, edited by Kathryn Schuyler Goldman (Charlotte: Information Age Publishing, 2012). She presented at Contemplative Mind in Higher Education and American Academy of Religion conferences, and was the keynote speaker for the annual meeting of the Thomas Merton Society of New York City on the topic, "The Dialogue of Practice: Thomas Merton's Conversation with Buddhism." Professor Paul Knitter of Union Theological Seminary was her respondent.

Deborah Young (Associate Professor, Early Childhood Education) was a keynote for the International Society for Teacher Education, this year held in Par, Bhutan. She spoke about the role of a teacher in developing a peaceful, just world. Deborah also received a Fulbright Specialist Scholar award for her work in Bhutan this past spring.

Adjunct Faculty and Staff Lecturers

Jackie Ashley, LPC, BC-DMT (Adjunct Faculty, Somatic Counseling Psychology & Contemplative Psychotherapy) wrote an article, published in “Buddhism and Physical Well-being” in the November 2011 edition of THE MIDDLE WAY, Journal of the Buddhist Society (British). It was republished in the "Bhuddhadharma" quarterly issue on "Heal the Self, Free the Self" summer 2012. She will be co-presenting with Emily Tofte of MESA (Moving to End Sexual Assault) at the 2012 COVA (Colorado Organization for Victims Assistance) conference in Keystone Co. in Oct. on the "Neurobiology of Trauma and Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy." She is also co-presenting with recent graduate, Candice Ford (MA, Dance Movement Therapy 2012), at the Expressive Arts Summit in New York city on "Dancing with Horses: The integration of Dance/ Movement Therapy and Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy." She is also blessed to be returning to Bhutan in January to continue teaching at the Royal University of Bhutan in their postgraduate program in Guidance and Counseling a collaboration with Naropa University.

The Path of Centering Prayer book coverDavid Frenette (Adjunct Faculty, Religious Studies) has just released a book, entitled The Path of Centering Prayer: Deepening Your Experience of God. Published by Sounds True, this book is described by Father Thomas Keating, the Trappist monk and founder of Centering Prayer, as “the best, most comprehensive and most practical book on Centering Prayer.” The Path of Centering Prayer is an introduction to this form of Christian meditation as well as a manual for the deepening levels of its practice as one’s experience of God becomes less dualistic. On October 26, David gave a keynote address at the Annual Conference of Contemplative Outreach, the international network of Centering Prayer practitioners, in Snowmass, Colorado. On March 15, 2013, his annual seven-day retreat begins at the Garrison Institute in New York, entitled, Centered Life, Mindful Life.

In September, Jason Gerhardt (Adjunct Faculty, Environmental Studies) taught natural pattern understanding and rainwater harvesting techniques to U.S. National Forest Service, Environmental Protection Agency, and various local government personnel as part of a multi-day workshop in Biomimicry at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. Jason’s portion of the workshop focused on the way water is captured and stored in the natural world and how to apply those patterns and principles to the design and development of human communities and infrastructure. In July, Jason also co-taught a two-week Permaculture Design Certificate Course in Carbondale, Colorado, for Permaculture Institute USA with internationally renowned instructor Scott Pittman.

Barbara Henning (Adjunct Faculty, Kerouac School). In November 2012, Monkey Puzzle is publishing Barbara’s chapbook, A Slow Curve. In 2013, Quale Press is publishing a collection of poems and stories, A Swift Passage. Her poems have been published recently in Downtown Brooklyn, Quill Puddle, Peep/Show, Brooklyn Paramount, Bone Bouquet, and in a new anthology, The Way North: Collected Upper Peninsula New Works (Wayne State University Press).

Melissa Holland (Director of Alumni Relations and Adjunct Faculty, Transpersonal Counseling Psychology) has been selected to present a professional development workshop at the upcoming Council for Support and Advancement of Education (CASE) large joint conference of Districts V and VI in December. The session is entitled “A Better YOU Means We’re Better Together: Creating Mindfulness in the Workplace.”

In the past year Brigitte Mars (Adjunct Faculty) has taught at Heilsemestraskollin in Iceland, which is a lovely school of natural health. She gave an herb walk in Germany (in French) this past summer and also taught at the Women's Herbal Conference in New Hampshire. Her latest book, The Country Almanac of Home Remedies, is doing well and she feels that she has a few more books to write during this life, perhaps something on Emotional Health and WIld Foods.

Matt Peterson (Director of Student Leadership and Engagement / Title IX Coordinator, Staff Lecturer) presented a workshop in early November at the NASPA IV-W (regional conference for the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators) in Rapid City, SD. The presentation, titled “Discovering the Contemplative Journey: Mindfulness and Presence in Student Affairs Practice,” will discuss the integration of mindfulness practices into our work as student services professionals through dialogue, storytelling, and experiential activities. The presentation proposal was juried and peer-reviewed prior to being accepted.

Andrea RexiliusAndrea Rexilius (Summer Writing Program Manager and Staff Lecturer) had her second book, Half of What They Carried Flew Away, published in April 2012 by Letter Machine Editions.

Susan Skjei, MS, MA, (Adjunct Faculty and Director of Authentic Leadership) presented two workshops at the Academy of Management conference in Boston, MA, in August 2012. The first was an exploration of "Mindful Leadership" with Peter Senge, MIT; Bill Torbert, Boston U (Ret.); and Kathryn Goldman Schuyler, Alliant U; and the second was on "Waking up at Work" with Kathryn Goldman Schuyler. Susan also contributed a chapter to Kathryn's new book, Inner Peace—Global Impact: Tibetan Buddhism, Leadership, and Work. Her chapter, called “Leading with Authenticity and Presence: The Legacy of Chögyam Trungpa, Rinpoche,” explores the influence of Naropa’s founder on leadership development in the West.