Since its inception in 1974, Naropa University has offered meditation instruction to any student, staff, or faculty member who requests it. Naropa has done this because of our commitment to contemplative education. From that perspective, getting to know oneself and one's world through meditation practice or other contemplative disciplines is viewed as equally important to the study of specific fields of knowledge. There is no charge for meditation instruction for staff, faculty, and enrolled students.
What kind of meditation instruction is given?
The meditation instruction given is a mindfulness meditation technique called shamatha (Sanskrit for "calm abiding") In Shamatha practice, the breath is the anchor of the meditation. It is similar to meditation in the Zen and Theravadin Buddhist traditions and to vipassana meditation. Mindfulness and awareness that come out of such practice can be relevant to an individual's life regardless of religious orientation.
Where does meditation take place?
It can happen anywhere quiet or peaceful! Each campus houses a meditation hall for silent, sitting meditation. Meditation halls are available to students, faculty, staff, and visitors. The halls are open whenever the buildings are open. There are also occasional, facilitated drop-in sitting sessions that are open to all.
- Arapahoe Campus Meditation Hall (Lincoln Building) at 2130 Arapahoe Avenue
- Paramita Campus Meditation Hall at 3285 30th Street
- Nalanda Campus Meditation Hall at 6287 Arapahoe Avenue
Am I required to receive meditation instruction?
There are various ways that meditation instruction is offered to incoming students. Some departments require students to take a meditation class, in which case individual and/or group instruction will be provided in that class.
Is meditation instruction a requirement for me?
New students can check the beige sheet in their orientation packet to clarify if there is a requirement in their department. Returning students can check with their departmental advisor.
How do I connect with a meditation instructor?
Any student, staff or faculty member who is interested in receiving individual meditation instruction may contact Sherry Ellms by phone at 303-546-5298 or by e-mail at sherryAT_NAROPA.
Who are the meditation instructors?
The instructors are persons living in the Boulder area who have been practitioners for at least five years and who have been trained in teaching the shamatha or mindfulness meditation technique. They have been approved either through the Naropa University Mindfulness Meditation Training course or through the Shambhala Buddhist Centers. Most of the instructors are faculty, staff or alumnae of Naropa, or have taken classes here.
How much time does meditation instruction take?
The general guideline is one meeting per month but it also depends upon how much meditation becomes part of your schedule. The more often you meditate, the more likely you will have questions which you want to discuss with an instructor.
What if I am not interested in sitting meditation but would like to find out more about a particular spiritual tradition?
There are faculty, staff and other persons in Boulder involved with various traditions whom you could be referred to if you are interested. These traditions include Jewish, Christian, Hindu, Islamic-Sufi, Pagan-Wiccan, Shambhala, Zen, Insight Meditation, and others.