CACE events and trainings explore various topics and disciplines in contemplative education including contemplative arts, classroom practices, community engagement practices, student and faculty workshops, mindfulness and compassion trainings and more. These events are designed to illuminate the broad range of an inclusive contemplative community. While focused on contemplative and mindfulness based foundations these events are designed for both the Naropa community and the public. For more information, contact Carla Mueller.
Contemplative Dance Practice (CDP) is a three hour practice when students sit at the interface between meditative disciplines and dance/movement studies. CDP is adapted from the experience of meditation halls and inspired by Dharma Art teachings of Naropa’s founder, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Over 35 years Naropa’s alumni have taken CDP into the world, and met new environments, cultures, and students, both beginners and experienced. We will explore the original form as well as variations offered by returning alumni. Come as you are. You have everything you need for the journey.
This is a rare opportunity to study and practice with Barbara Dilley, founding Naropa faculty and the creator of Contemplative Dance Practice. The program is part of the Heritage Project which documents, archives and trains in contemplative practices developed uniquely within Naropa’s lineage of contemplative education.
Barbara Dilley (BA, Mt. Holyoke College, ’60), trained in ballet, then studied and performed dance in New York City (1960-1975) with Merce Cunningham Dance Co., Yvonne Rainer, and Grand Union, a dance/theater collaboration that extended the definitions of improvisation. Moving to Boulder (1974), she designed the Dance / Movement Studies program at Naropa University, served as President (1985-1993), and retired in 2015. Her memoir and handbook, This Very Moment: teaching thinking dancing, 2015, Naropa University Press, is available at www.barbaradilley.com.
Contemplative Movement Practice brings together the discipline of sitting meditation with free movement investigations and the practice of improvisation. It is an opportunity to integrate our outer and inner worlds, alone and together.
The 2 1/4 hour practice is structured by a leader who marks the time with a meditation bell. It begins with sitting meditation followed by personal bodymind awareness practice in the space and then the wild and delightful group practice called "open space" where deep play unfolds! Each session concludes with a closing circle for discussion and observations.
Drop-ins are welcome. No experience required, just a willingness to tune in, play and be in the present moment.
Developed in the 70s by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Mudra Space Awareness is a practice for synchronizing body, speech, and mind in the development of presence and compassion. Trungpa Rinpoche called this work "a basement approach to acting." In this case, acting means training in the capacity to function sanely under pressure. Each of us is an actor starring in the role of our own life. Shall we move through our performance mindlessly, delivering our lines ineffectively, and continue to wonder why we are so confused? The direct experience of Mudra practice enables us to learn on a gut level how form and space define and interact with each other. Adapting this knowledge to working in the world offers us contemplative ways to expand our ability to stay centered amidst the intensity of living.
The Maitri Space Awareness is a treasury of teachings transmitted to the West from the mind and heart of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche based on ancient wisdom of the Five Buddha Families found within Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism. Maitri Space Awareness Practice cultivates loving-kindness, providing a foundation for the practitioner to experience both the confusion of mind and the underlying wisdom. The training will consist of talks, discussion, demonstrations and feedback, readings and experiential components. It will culminate in an assistant teaching practicum where students will have the opportunity to apply their learning as Maitri Meditation Instructors, Assistant Instructors and/or Karuna Training Interns, upon approval and completion of the program.
Beginning Middle End (Jo Ha Kyu) is an ancient concept of modulation and movement applied in a wide variety of traditional Japanese arts, and is translated as beginning, middle, and end. The roots of this practice offer an alternative paradigm to our western approach to time and transition. According to contemplative educator Richard Brown, Jo Ha Kyu can be used as a frame for simple pedagogical tools: in class for instructors, and as integrative and embodiment guidelines for both teachers and students. Fundamentally, it is a transitional device that can benefit all manner of change.
In this workshop we will explore the foundations of the practices both historically and experientially and examine what Jo Ha Kyu offers our contemplative culture at Naropa University and beyond.
Learn to apply mindfulness practice to your classroom teaching. When we are awake and at home in our bodies and minds, our teaching is more sustainable, engaged, and creative. Trusting and effective relationships with students are naturally generated when we fully embody mindful awareness and compassion. This new program is the result of three decades of contemplative in-service teacher education at Naropa.
The Embodied Mindfulness in Teaching program:
All program participants will be required to have a regular mindfulness practice and to have completed SMART*, or a similar mindfulness program. It is intended that after the program participants will select from among the activities that suit them best and apply them in their classrooms. A participant packet of activities, readings, and resources will be provided. Participants should bring a lunch every day to eat mindfully with others. Participants who attend fully will receive a Certificate of Completion.
*Stress Management and Resilience Training for Teachers, a program of PassageWorks, offers a series of mindfulness trainings. Naropa’s Contemplative Teaching Initiative is a collaborative partner with SMART.
Compassion opens and expands our minds and hearts, inspiring kindness and altruistic behavior. Modern scientific research suggests that compassion can be intentionally cultivated to enhance personal well-being, resilience, and capacity to benefit others. This is because training in compassion reduces empathy fatigue, improves emotion regulation, and fosters healthy social connection.
WELCOME offers a pathway to foster mindfulness alongside lovingkindness for yourself, loved ones, and even the difficult people in our lives. Drawing on scientific research findings from neuroscience and psychology, as well as practices and teachings from Buddhism, WELCOME provides a multifaceted view of the power and potential of compassion. Throughout the course, you will be introduced to a series of experiential practices, receive informative suggested readings, and engage in compassionate “fieldwork” to integrate compassion into your personal, social and professional life.
Key topics include: Mindfulness · Self-compassion · Loving-kindness · Empathy · Resilient compassion · Embodiment · Burnout · Is compassion always nice?
The course is taught by a team of Naropa University faculty who draw on their decades of teaching mindfulness and compassion practices within a variety of disciplines, including psychology, Buddhist studies, and the arts.
ENGAGE builds on previously established compassion practices, study and trainings (in particular from Naropa’s Mindful Compassion Training: WELCOME.) We will deepen and expand the scope of compassion, focusing on difficult people and situations in our lives, as well as broader societal forms of suffering. Our core practice is tonglen (“sending and taking”), a traditional meditation in which we intensify our engagement with and compassion for suffering within and around us. Current scientific research will be presented to support our study and practice. You will be encouraged to work with a particular situation in your life or larger environment over the course of the training to apply the teachings and practices towards compassionate transformation.
Pre-requisite: Attendance and completion of the Mindful Compassion Training: WELCOME; a full-semester undergraduate or graduate course at Naropa focused on compassion; or equivalent training (with permission of instructors).