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Naropa‘s Proust Questionnaire: Ramon Parish, Adjunct Instructor

Ramon ParishPhoto courtesy of Ramon Parish

1. What was your journey to Naropa?

I had heard about the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics back in high school. I had a poetry phase. Decades later, I was student of Boulder-based somatic educator Melissa Michael’s rites of passage process Surfing the Creative®, where I met a number of people who were graduate Naropa somatic psychology students. But it was really Jeanine Canty, who was my graduate adviser at Prescott College, who pointed me in the direction of Naropa.

2. Who are the gurus in your life, real or fictional?

I don’t know about gurus, but inspirations, formative influences—Jesus, Lao Tzu, MLK, Sun Ra, Amiri Baraka, Jim Morrison, Hendrix, Marley, Buckminster Fuller, Teilhard de Chardin. All the dope ancestors. The night sky. Flowing water. The Blues. The drum.

3. How do you know where you are in a space?

The air has textures ... density. Something just below color ....

4. Favorite way to make yourself uncomfortable?

Tell the truth, dance, play sports, be the only, or one of a few, black people in the room.

5. What kind of environment do you like to teach in?

Inspirational. Deep. Serious. Big scope. Raw. Honest. Emergent.

6. Everything that is not is. True or false?

Still thinking on that one ...

7. What is your favorite quote about teaching?

“Everybody is a star.”— Aleister Crowley or is it Sly and the Family Stone?
“The world is moved not only by the mighty shoves of heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker.”— Helen Keller

8. Do you have a personal mantra? What is it?

“You can pause, but you can’t quit.”