Naropa Magazine Spring 2014
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Jason G
In February, Jason Gerhardt (Visiting Faculty, Environmental Studies) was invited to teach a workshop on urban rainwater harvesting at Utah State University-Moab. Attendees included USU faculty and staff, Moab City Council members and city planners, affordable housing group Community Rebuilds, and the general public. During his visit, Jason also performed a permaculture design assessment for a campus redesign for USU planners. Over the Winter Jason published an article on the Colorado Flood of 2013 titled "Seeding Sensible Solutions in a World of Extremes."

Faculty & Staff Notes

Core & Ranked Faculty

Zoe Avstreih, MS, LPC, BC-DMT, NCC (Professor, Graduate School of Psychology Somatic Counseling Psychology Program, Dance/Movement Therapy Concentration Coordinator) contributed a chapter entitled "Authentic Movement and Mindfulness: Embodied Awareness and the Healing Nature of the Expressive Arts" to the book Mindfulness and the Arts Therapies: Theory and Practice, edited by Laury Rappaport, PhD and published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers in 2014.

In October 2013, Jeanine M. Canty, PhD Jeanine Canty (Associate Professor, Environmental Studies; Director, School of Natural and Social Sciences) co-facilitated a workshop, “Making the Invisible Visible: Race, Environment and Embodied Knowing,” with adjunct faculty Ramon Parish at Colorado Bioneers (University of Colorado Boulder) an event co-sponsored by Naropa University. In January she published a short piece for Midwife International called “Midwifery for the Earth: To Stand Before Her.” She was also featured in the Sustainable You edition of Spirituality and Health magazine.

Michael A. Franklin, PhD, ATR-BC (Professor, Transpersonal Counseling Psychology; Coordinator, Graduate Art Therapy Program and Naropa Community Art Studio) is the program chair for “Mindfulness, Compassion, and the Arts in Therapy: From Neuroscience to Clinical Practice” in Arlington, Virginia. In addition to serving on the conference committee, Michael presented: “Art, Self Supervision, and Compassionate Clinical Practice.” Additionally, Michael will be presenting: “Finding Institutional Happiness In The Art Studio: The Ordinary Sanity of Community-Based Relational Environments” at the International Creative Universities Network (ICUN) in Bhutan.

Peter Grossenbacher (Associate Professor, Contemplative Psychology and Contemplative Education). During sabbatical, as a visiting scholar at the Mind & Life Institute and Amherst College, Peter is reviewing published reports of brain activity during meditation, and crafting meditation techniques based on that. For details, visit, click on "Peter's Research." He has published an article on contemplative education, coauthored with a Naropa graduate: Grossenbacher, P. G., & Rossi, A. J. (2014). A Contemplative Approach to Teaching Observation Skills. Journal of Contemplative Inquiry, 1(1), 23–34. From the abstract: Careful observation of one’s experience provides access to present-moment information, the foundation for mindfulness practice and contemplative education generally.

Francis KaklauskasFrancis Kaklauskas, PsyD (Core Faculty, Transpersonal Counseling Psychology) was elected to the Nominating Committee of the American Group Psychotherapy Association (AGPA), and is leading a two-year process group at their national conference. He has two new book chapters forthcoming “Boundries” in Complex Dilemmas in Group Therapy (Routledge) and “Process Group” in the Encyclopedia of Theory in Counseling and Psychotherapy (Sage). He has contracted as the primary author for the new edition of  “The Principles of Group Psychotherapy” through the International Board for Certified Group Psychotherapists working with Les Greene, PhD (Yale) and Elizabeth Olson, PsyD (University of Colorado–Wardenburg).

Bhanu Kapil (Assistant Professor, Writing & Poetics). Writer and artist Naeem Mohaiemen (Columbia University) installed SCHIZOPHRENE 2014—a response/re-looping of [with] Bhanu Kapil’s writing on borderland affect in Schizophrene (Nighboat Books, 2012)—at the Dhaka Art Summit in Bangladesh. In Berlin this spring, visual/performance artist Sena Banoz (Turkey) and music/sound artist Nora Krahl (Germany) will be working with The Vertical Interrogation of Strangers (Kelsey Street Press, 2001) to create a work for The Apartment Project. They wrote:  "[We] love the book "The Vertical Interrogation of Strangers." We would like to arrange a collaborative performance with strangers that will last six to seven days. As an inspiration and starting point, we would like to use the 12 questions from the book. We would like to create an environment that will invite people to answer these questions visually or with a performative gesture. We are both very much inspired by this idea and very excited about the outcome." 

This spring, Bhanu presented critical and creative work on two panels as part of the AWP conference in Seattle. Her subjects were racism, poverty, and embodiment. She also participated in an "off-site" reading/event on hybrid biologies: Animal/Antidote at the Blindfold Gallery. This April, Bhanu is a featured writer, collaborating with musician Gingger Shankar, at the University of Southern California (Mehfil Massive: a festival of spirituality and writing in the work of leading contemporary South Asian artists). The description of the event is as follows:

"Legendary South Asian musicians and poets will come together to celebrate and investigate the rich diversity of South Asian spiritual influences. From ghazals set to music and sung throughout the Muslim world to Rabindranath Tagore’s Nobel Prize–winning Gitanjali (Prayer Offering of Song), collaborations between poets and musicians have been a staple of South Asian religious life for centuries. In Mughal courts, nightly mehfils brought these performers together and elevated their collaborations to high art. This tradition will get a twenty-first-century update in a landmark evening featuring performances by internationally renowned diasporic South Asian artists."

This June, Bhanu will be the writer in residence at Woodland Pattern in Milwaukee, teaching and performing for a week in the Lynden sculpture garden. A new prose work, "Treinte Ban: a psychiatric handbook for a work undone," was just published by New Herring Press.  

 Several Naropa faculty and a Naropa alumnus have authored chapters in the just-published Handbook of Transpersonal Psychology (2013, Wiley-Blackwell). Jeanine Canty (Associate Professor, Environmental Studies; Director, School of Natural and Social Sciences) and John Davis (Adjunct Professor, Transpersonal Counseling Psychology) co-wrote the chapter on "Ecopsychology and Transpersonal Psychology." Zvi Ish-Shalom (Assistant Professor, Religious Studies), Ted Usatynski (MA, TCP), and John Davis co-wrote the chapter on "The Diamond Approach." This book promises to be an important and influential resource both for those new to transpersonal psychology and those with a deep connection to it. John Davis contributed the chapter “Diamond in the Rough: An Exploration of Aliveness and Transformation in Wilderness” in the book Ecopsychology, Phenomenology, and the Environment: The Experience of Nature (Springer).

Mark Miller (Professor, Music) played soprano saxophone on the Grammy-nominated album Illumination, by pianist Peter Kater. Mark was also an artist in residence at California Institute of the Arts, teaching and performing two concerts in the L.A. area with pianist Art Lande.

 Andrew Schelling's (Professor, Writing & Poetics) anthology Love and the Turning Seasons has come out from Counterpoint Press. Gary Snyder calls it "a shivery book we cannot do without." It includes translations of Kabir, Mirabai, Lal Ded, Vidyapati, Rabindranath Tagore, the Bauls of Bengal, and two-dozen other poets, sharp toothed and tender hearted. Translators include Denise Levertov, Ezra Pound, Jane Hirshfield, W.S. Merwin, Arvind Krishna Mehrotra, Schelling, and many others.

Acharya Judith Simmer-Brown, PhD (Distinguished Professor of Contemplative and Religious Studies) has been actively engaged with contemplative education in this academic year, including presenting at conferences and publishing in academic journals. Here is a sample of her publications this year:

“Your Meditation Reality Check,” Forum in Buddhadharma:  The Practitioners’ Quarterly, Interview with Ezra Bayda and Kamala Masters, Introduced by Frank Berliner (Summer 2013), 46–55, 84.

“Listening Dangerously: Dialogue Training as Contemplative Pedagogy,” Panel Paper for “Contemplative Pedagogy: Pitfalls and Potentials,” Society of Buddhist-Christian Studies Journal, Vol. 33, 2013, 33–40. 

“Commentary to Yoshihime’s ‘Look! Look!’” in the work now entitled: The Hidden Lamp: Stories from Twenty-Five Centuries of Awakened Women, edited by Zenshin Florence Caplow and Susan Moon. Boston:  Wisdom Publications, 2013. Excerpt published with permission as “Look, Look!”Shambhala Sun, November 2013, 17–18.

Reprinted, “A Buddhist Perspective on Consumerism,” The Purposeful Argument: A Practical Guide, Cengage Learning Textbook, Harry L. Phillips, ed., Chennai, India: PreMediaGlobal, Cengage, 2013.

“The Liberty That Nobody Can Touch: Thomas Merton Meets Tibetan Buddhism,” in Bonnie Thurston, ed., Merton and Buddhism: Wisdom, Emptiness, and Everyday Mind. Louisville, KY: Fons Vitae Press, 2007. Reprinted in Sacred Silence: Pathways to Compassion, edited by Festival of Faiths. Louisville, KY: Center for Interfaith Relations, 2013, 50–80.

She also presented papers the following papers at academic conferences:
“Mindfulness Is Not Enough,” for the Association for Contemplative Mind and Society, Amherst College, November 2013. “Deep Listening and Spiritual Care: Intra-religious Dialogue,” for Society of Buddhist-Christian Studies, American Academy of Religion, Baltimore, November 2013. 

Candace Walworth, PhD (Associate Professor, Peace Studies) will present “Digital Storytelling: Changing Stories, Transforming Lives” at the 2014 AAEEBL (The Association for Authentic, Experiential and Evidence-Based Learning) Annual Conference in Boston. To view digital stories created by Naropa students as part of the Peace Studies program’s Digital Storytelling Project, visit

Stephanie Yuhas, PhD (Religious Studies & Ecopsychology) is presenting a paper at the Society for Anthropological Consciousness in Portland, OR, titled “Gaian Consciousness and Paradigm Shift: Exploring Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi’s Vision for Transformation.” This paper sketches a vision of Gaian consciousness as a means of expanding our worldview to include all the planetary systems including those controlled by humans in order to adopt a broader ethical vision of awareness that addresses the need for cultural and religious cooperation recognizing and valuing the contributions of the smallest lifeform to our collective survival. This paper will sketch out Schachter-Shalomi’s formulation of a Jewish response and then how that individual tradition relates to the diversity of traditions in revitalizing conscious awareness of human actions and intentions.

Adjunct Faculty

Lisa Gakyo Schaewe (Adjunct Instructor, Graduate School of Psychology) exhibited a series of paintings called Dust: Revisited at Naropa in the Lincoln Building from January 6 to March 22, 2014.

Naming the Emptiness

Point of Departure

Maureen Owen’s (Adjunct Faculty, Jack Kerouac School) new title Edges of Water is now available from Chax Press. She has recent work in The Denver Quarterly, Vol. 48 #1, Vanitas #7, and Bombay Gin’s Anselm Hollo Issue. Also poems forthcoming in New American Writing 2014. She will be participating in a panel discussion and reading for a tribute exhibition of George Schneeman’s paintings and drawings at Poets House in New York City in April. 

Barbara Henning’s (Adjunct Faculty, Jack Kerouac School) new book, A Swift Passage, was published by Quale Press in November 2013. Here’s a passage from a Review from Paul Klinger at HTML Giant website:

“Where Henning’s book proves most powerful is exactly those points where its advocacy reveals the sensitive communication of those tiny decisions from daily life that ultimately make or break our communities. These scenarios hold the power to expose the inconsistencies in how our system of government treats the poor and the powerless. Ultimately, these inconsistencies point to the source of that restlessness seen in Henning’s travels and various writing projects, but the response is not an attempt to minimize or collapse that restlessness. The writing continues it and celebrates a rigorous writing practice as a way to maintain access to problems that otherwise might shut us down in hopelessness. Henning’s work prohibits us from forgetting the social place that writing can create from scratch.”

Also here's a radio interview by Shelagh Shapiro where we talk about A Swift Passage. It was live on 105.9FM in Vermont on January 6, Streamed at the radiator (www), podcast at writethebook.podbean (com/iTunes) and here online.