MacAndrew Jack

MacAndrew Jack | 303-245-4752

Associate Professor
Core Faculty


Contemplative Psychotherapy and Buddhist Psychology


PhD, Temple University
MA, University of Tulsa
BA, Tufts University

From the heart

I love meeting the students who are attracted to Naropa, because they are listening to an inner call, a heart song, that is fundamentally about compassion. What we do at Naropa is help students to refine that impulse, to learn skillful ways to put that into action, and to play in the eneffable wisdom that emerges.

Recent publications

  • Jack, M. (2015). Contemplative approaches to working with suicidality. Keynote presentation at the Third Biennial Bhutan Counseling Conference, Thimpu, Bhutan.
  • Jack, M., Lindemann, A., & Ekstrom, T. (2014). Half Empty: Measuring Indicators of Emptiness Awareness. Paper Presentation at the International Symposia for Contemplative Studies, Boston, MA.
  • Fresco, D., Jack, M.S., Vago, D., Hoge, L., & Salzberg, S. (2012). Aligning the goals of contemplative science with the funding priorities of the National Institute of Mental Health. Panel presentation at the International Symposia for Contemplative Studies, Denver, CO

Research summary

My research and professional activities center in four main areas outside the classroom: cross cultural applications of Contemplative Psychotherapy and the development of counseling fields in Asian cultures; psychophysiology of anxiety and the mechanisms of effectiveness of breath-oriented interventions;  and the cultivation of emptiness awareness through contemplative education and its relationship to compassion in the training for the helping professions. I also maintain a private psychotherapy practice in Boulder.

Courses taught

  • Transitions, Lifestyles, and Career Development
  • Therapeutic Relationships II
  • Opening Retreat
  • Clinical Tutorial

What book do you find yourself regularly pressing into the hands of students?

The Wisdom of Uncertainty by Rob Preece

Have you ever helped a student reach an 'ah ha' or transformational moment?

I like to fully meet students and what they bring to me, and this can result in funny, touching, intense, absurd, or really all kinds of interactions.  Through making space for whatever emerges in office hours, students often walk out having met me, and met themselves, in new and sometimes surprising ways, which often then requires some metabolization, yet leaves students, and me, feeling more whole.

Coffee or tea?

Expresso after morning practice, maybe spicy chai in the afternoon.

What does it mean to you when somebody says, “That’s so Naropa?”

It often means that someone has had their worldview expanded, they have met some out-of-the-box creative moment, or some sort of deep personal transformation has ocurred.  It can also mean an ordinary interaction with a deep wisdom tradition, often Buddhist, that is commonplace on campus, but in the rest of the country would seem quite unusual or exotic.

What's next?

The ongoing flickering of the flame in the emerging present!