Mindful Workplace Series

Stay Tuned for 2014/2015 Offerings

Mindfulness is a powerful set of practices that can foster presence, compassion and courage in the face of life’s challenges.  This series explores the many ways mindfulness can be practiced in workplace. 

Join us for this series of engaging, practical and courageous conversations.

Naropa University Nalanda Events Center
6287 Arapahoe Road, Boulder Colorado

Tickets: $15 ($10 for students and Naropa faculty and staff)

Previous Events

Authentic Leadership: Practicing Mindfulness at Work

Tuesday, September 24, 2013, 7:00-9:00pm
Susan Skjei, Director, Naropa’s Authentic Leadership Certificate Program

How can we engage difficult or challenging situations in the workplace?  What does it take to be present, resilient and responsive to those around us and to the complexities we encounter everyday on the job?  Mindfulness practice offers immediate access to our own authenticity and to the courage and confidence that arises from that experience.   We will explore three ways authentic leaders can use mindfulness to build capacity for resilience in the face of constant change.

Susan Skjei, is an educator, executive coach and consultant specializing in leadership and transformative change. Formerly a Vice President of Learning and Development for a large technology company, she currently directs the Authentic Leadership program at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado and consults internationally through her company Sane Systems. Susan is an Acharya, or senior teacher in the Shambhala tradition and a co-founder of the Authentic Leadership in Action (ALIA) Institute in Nova Scotia, Canada.  She fosters energetic, high-trust learning environments that incorporate mindfulness, creative process and contemplative dialogue.

Mindfulness in Schools: The 5 Dimensions of Engaged Teaching

Tuesday, October 22, 2013, 7:00-9:00pm
Mark Wilding, Co-Executive Director, PassageWorks and Rona Wilensky, Educational Consultant

Join us for an interactive evening program about how teachers are practicing mindfulness in schools, and how this Engaged Teaching approach supports educators to: 1) develop a reflective and mindful teaching practice; 2) integrate social, emotional and academic learning; and 3) contribute to a positive school culture. The program will include an introduction to SMART in Education mindfulness practices, from the highly acclaimed evidenced-based course for teachers.
Mark Wilding is the Co-Executive Director of PassageWorks, and a member of the core faculty at the Institute.  He is the co-author of a new book for K-12 teachers, The 5 Dimensions of Engaged Teaching. Mark works closely with Institute faculty to develop and deliver programs that support educators to develop the intrapersonal and interpersonal capacities necessary to: sustain an authentic teaching practice, engage students, support social, emotional and academic learning outcomes, and collaborate effectively with colleagues. Mark is the former director of Naropa University’s center for business and economics, and helped launch a graduate degree program at Naropa in 1995. Mark continues to teach graduate courses in systems thinking at Naropa. Mark has held leadership roles in government, business, non-profit, and academic organizations. He has a B.S. in Biology and an M.A. in Environmental Leadership.

Rona Wilensky, Ph.D, was principal and founder of New Vista High School in Boulder, Colorado from 1992-2009.  Previously, she worked as an education policy analyst for the Governor of Colorado, the Education Commission of the States, and various education reform initiatives in Colorado.  During the 2009-10 academic year, Rona was a Resident Fellow at the Spencer Foundation in Chicago.  Recent projects have included work with the Leadership Project of Passageworks Institute offering workshops in Transformational Leadership.  Rona has had a personal meditation practice since 2005 and received her certificate as a Mindfulness Instructor from Naropa University in 2012. She is a member of the Leadership Council of the Garrison Institute’s Initiative on Contemplative Teaching and Learning.

Mindfulness and Entrepreneurship: Uncertainty as an Ally

Tuesday, November 5, 2013, 7:00-9:00pm
Jerry Colona, Entrepreneur and Professional Coach

When do you know it’s time? When do you know it’s really time to start the business, shut the business, expand the business, invest in the business, quit your job, end the job search and take the offer on the table, leave your spouse, marry your girl/boyfriend, move to Australia, come home from Australia? When do you know?  Maybe the hardest part of leadership—be it leading a company, a family, a relationship or simply your own life—is that often times you don’t know and you still have to act. Leadership in some ways is built on learning to be comfortable with not knowing, with imperfect knowledge, with the inherent uncertainty of it all.

Jerry Colonna is a certified professional coach and draws on his wide variety of experiences to help clients design a more conscious life and make needed changes to their career to improve their performance and satisfaction.  He also serves on the Board of Trustees at Naropa University.  Formerly a venture capitalist in New York City, Jerry played a prominent part in the early development of Silicon Alley. With his partner, Fred Wilson, Jerry launched Flatiron Partners in August 1996. Flatiron became one of the most successful, early stage investment programs in the New York City area, with investments in notable successes and failures such as comScore Networks, Geocities, New York Times Digital, PlanetOut, Return Path, Standard Media International, and Starmedia.  Subsequent to Flatiron, Colonna was with JPMorgan Chase, and he was named co-Executive Director of NYC2012, an organization representing New York City in the competition to host the 2012 Olympic Games.

Embodied Leadership: The Mindful Practice of Focusing 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013, 7:00-9:00pm
David Rome, Senior Focusing Trainer and Author

Focusing is a body-oriented method of mindful contemplation that works with specific situations, problems or decisions. By accessing the body's non-conceptual felt sense, it generates fresh insights and action steps to meet challenges and make change. Mindful Focusing helps us both to slow down when we're feeling reactive, impulsive or emotional and also to get to the bottom of what is blocking us from taking needed action, causing procrastination and discouragement.

David I. Rome has been teaching mindfulness-awareness practices since the 1970s, when he was a close aide to Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche in establishing the Shambhala International organizations and Naropa University. In his work as president of Schocken Books and in executive management roles with the Greyston Foundation and the Garrison Institute he has focused on applications of contemplative methods in personal and social change. He is a certified senior Focusing trainer and now devotes his time to teaching, writing and coaching based on Mindful Focusing, his unique synthesis of Eastern and Western contemplative practices. Shambhala Publications will issue his book on Mindful Focusing in 2014.


Purchase Tickets

For more information, you may contact Mary McHenry at mmchenry@naropa.edu.