Naropa Magazine Spring 2014
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Paro College of Education in Bhutan

Circling Back to the Source

Naropa Launches Study Abroad Program in Bhutan

In 1968, while on a retreat at Paro Taktsang, Bhutan's renowned cliffside sacred monastery, Naropa founder Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche wrote the beautiful Sadhana of Mahamudra. In this sadhana, or liturgy, Trungpa Rinpoche voiced his vision of social transformation, which rejected spiritual materialism and egocentric sectarianism in favor of cultivating a more enlightened society based upon the recognition of basic goodness and the manifestation of compassionate action. 

Returning to the origin of this founding vision, Naropa University has signed an agreement to become the first North American university authorized to offer an accredited study abroad program through the Royal University of Bhutan (RUB), the national university located on multiple campuses across the Kingdom. Launching in January 2015, this new program will offer students the opportunity to deepen their roles as global citizens and to cultivate leadership and intercultural communication skills through international learning at the RUB.

The Bhutan Study Abroad Program (BSAP) will be open to Naropa undergraduate students, as well as those studying at other U.S. colleges. Students will study Bhutanese culture, customs, spiritual identity, and diverse ethnography, as well as issues of modern Bhutan, a small Buddhist kingdom at the Eastern end of the Himalayas. Located between India and China, Bhutan is part of the greater geo-political landscape facing the challenge of preserving and maintaining its deep cultural and spiritual heritage while also supporting citizens as they become interconnected members of an increasingly linked world. For more information, please visit