Forty years ago, Tibetan Buddhist teacher and meditation master Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche founded Naropa University as a place to bring together eastern philosophies and western academics. He’d taken note of the growing interest in meditation and eastern religions. But he also saw that people often “dropped out” and lost their direction despite their passion to create social change. He wanted to create a cauldron where students and teachers could stir up and simmer ideas from many traditions. So Trungpa founded Naropa in Boulder in 1974. Since then it’s become a crossroads of arts and philosophies. Naropa President Chuck Lief said of Naropa’s early years, “there was deep vision, shallow resources and total chaos.” He says Naropa has come a long way during the last four decades and has thousands of alumni.
See photos and listen to Boulder’s Naropa marks 40 years of contemplative higher ed reported and produced by Shanna Lewis for Colorado Matters.