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Timeless wisdom
Photo by Jim Barbour.

Timeless Wisdom for the 21st Century

by Lisa Birman

Long known as both the birthplace of mindfulness in higher education in the West and as the national leader in contemplative education, Naropa University is proud to launch the next phase in its efforts to share its unique curriculum and teachings with a global audience. In fall 2016, President Chuck Lief announced the creation of the Naropa Institute, which is co-led by David Rand and Susan Skjei and combines the former School of Extended Studies and the Authentic Leadership Center.

The new Naropa Institute’s programming will focus on personal and professional development, and will initially include online and in-person offerings in the areas of healthcare and wellness, leadership and cultivating mindful workplaces, and spirituality. For-credit and noncredit certificates will be available as well.

The Institute is dedicated to sharing Naropa’s core values of contemplative practice, diversity and inclusivity, sustainability, and a lifelong joy and respect for learning. As David Rand explains, the aim is to “enhance Naropa’s reach into the world, bringing its core values to as wide an audience as possible through programs that speak to the challenges modern life presents. In addition to in-person conferences and events, we are most excited about launching eNaropa, our new online platform.”

Acquiring true wisdom takes practice and patience, but thanks to eNaropa, accessing it will take just a few seconds. eNaropa will provide free and premium on-demand content offered across a range of subjects. “This is an online platform for anyone, anywhere who wants to have access to original Naropa-inspired content,” Rand says. “The content makes use of Naropa’s rich archival recordings of founder, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, and many other world-renowned thought leaders, writers, and performing artists who represent the rich history and development of contemplative engagement with modern life. The platform will also include original content from contemporary teachers such as Sharon Salzberg, Dr. Gabor Maté, Susan Skjei, Frank Berliner, and many others.”

Online learning is increasingly an important component to higher education, and eNaropa will help Naropa University further its mission by providing real-world benefits for alumni, students, and anyone who wishes to apply the principles of mindfulness in daily life. “We want to highlight the entire breadth and depth of the Naropa experience, and we are incredibly excited that this platform will enable us to showcase Naropa faculty to a much larger segment of the population,” Rand continues.

In addition to online learning, there will be conferences and programs that feature the gifted faculty and alumni from Naropa, who will share their transformative work.

Among the offerings in 2017, the Institute will host the flagship Authentic Leadership Program, January–April, bringing together a new generation of leaders and change agents who are transforming themselves and their workplaces.

The Wisdom Heritage Series is a series of retreats and talks featuring teachers from across the spiritual landscape, including the Ven. Tsoknyi Rinpoche in April, teaching from his newest book, Rediscovering Essence Love.

Keep up to date with the latest programs and announcements: naropa.edu/extend

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