About two months ago, I was birding in the mountains of Colorado (read: unemployed), anticipating a long-planned trip to Cuba, and only very slightly anxious about the syllabus due in my spring Naropa course "Law Human Rights and Social Change" (a plug for PAX425), when my world changed dramatically and unexpectedly. I was approached by the Board of Trustees and asked if I would return to the role of Naropa's President. It was not on my "top ten list of things to do before you die"; in fact it wasn't on any list. But the Trustees were persuasive and, even though there were sane reasons not to disrupt my too comfortable "retirement", the answer seemed to be an unavoidable "yes".
Three short weeks later, I found myself sitting in the President's Office, the same space, by the way, about which I prowled eight years before. In the interim, much has changed; yet there is a feeling of a vibrant continuity. There is nostalgia to be sure, together with the recognition of the need for a fresh start, and I have much to learn. I am reminded of the T.S. Eliot lines:
We shall not cease from our exploration
And at the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time
One of the main reasons I find myself back here --- perhaps the only reason, is my deeply held appreciation for the Naropa Community, your collective spirit and exertion. That this place has more than survived, and sometimes prospered, through growth and retrenchment, through turnover and new hires, through poverty and prosperity, is a testimonial not just to the Founder's vision and inspiration, but to a tenacity always fueled by a desire to improve, not just so-called higher education, but the very planet we inhabit.
I'm happy to report that it is good to be back and to be a part of Naropa again. As I have gone around to each campus, I have invariably been treated warmly. The questions and comments have run the gamut from painful and heartfelt to precise and practical. Obviously, this time of transition has been emotional, stressful and confusing. The message of impermanence is often harsh and uncompromising. Yet, your welcome has made me feel that together we can continue to ensure that this precious educational community thrives. Thank you for all of your kind words, visits, emails and smiles.
I wish to thank President Lord for his service to Naropa, and personally for his graciousness to Bayard and me during the transition. Also, as always, I am indebted to Bayard for her continuing support and partnership through one of my most unexpected career moves!
With warmest regards,
John W. Cobb, Interim President
Regional Alumni Events: Fall 2011
The Future of Nutrition and Eating Psychology: Deepening and Expanding Your Professional Practice Sponsored by Alumni Relations, Naropa University
Free workshop, open to the Naropa community and public
Wednesday, November 30, 2011, 7:15 p.m. - 9:15 p.m.
*Please note the workshop starts at 7:15 p.m., due to room availability!
Paramita Campus, 3285 30th, Boulder, CO, in Virya Room.
The fields of nutrition and eating psychology are rapidly shifting into a whole new realm of depth and understanding. With an unprecedented number of people facing weight gain, chronic dieting, body image challenges, and symptoms such as digestive concerns, fatigue, mood disorders, and low immunity, we need a fresh new approach to our relationship with food and health. In this presentation, Naropa alumna, Elena Giulini, from Walk Between Acupuncture and Natural Health and Marc David - founder of Institute for the Psychology of Eating, author and Nutritional Psychologist will discuss the future of counseling as it relates to nutritional and emotional dimensions.
We'll take an approach to eating and nutrition that's centered in science, psychology, heart and soul. This is sure to be a lively and engaging conversation!
Please note:we have cancelled all alumni travel and gatherings, in California, Portland, OR, Seattle, WA and Chicago, IL this fall. We hope to offer some events this spring - stay tuned!
Naropa University Events:
We are honored to announce that on November 16th and 17th, Pulitzer Prize Winner Gary Snyder will be at Naropa as the 2011 Frederick P. Lenz Foundation Distinguished Lecturer in American Buddhism.
Mr. Snyder will be presenting a lecture on the topic of Buddhism and American Culture and Values, as well as a reading. Please join the Jack Kerouac School in welcoming Mr. Snyder to our community.
The following events are free and open to all Naropa students, faculty, and staff and the larger Boulder/Denver community:
Wednesday, November 16, 12:00-1:30 PM:
Community Town Hall in the Nalanda Events Center. Gary Snyder will prepare a talk on the topic of Ethnopoetics, Buddhism, and Post-Humanism (with Q&A).
Thursday, November 17, 7:30 PM:
Gary Snyder Reading in PAC, introduced by Jack Kerouac School's faculty Anselm Hollo.
Gary Snyder is a renowned poet, scholar, cultural critic and Professor Emeritus at the University of California at Davis. For more information on Mr. Snyder and this upcoming event, please visit our website.
News and Highlights
Naropa University announces that Dr. Stuart C. Lord has resigned as President of the University effective December 31, 2011. Dr. Lord has made the difficult decision to leave the University due to family considerations. Read more.
Google's Chade-Meng Tan, "Jolly Good Fellow" spoke at Naropa University on "Mindfulness at Work: Google Did It. You Can Too." Read more.
Students in the Art Therapy program at Naropa University participated -- and competed -- in a 48-hour painting marathon as part of the 17th annual Open Studios Fall Artist Tour, presented by OpenArts. Read more.
Alumna and faculty member Joan Bruemmer plans to incorporate spoken word into the choreography she will bring to CU, which was inspired by a book titled "The Vertical Interrogation of Strangers," by Naropa Professor Bhanu Kapil. Read more.
Alumnus Seth Lepore talks about "Losing My Religion: Confessions of a New Age Refugee", a comic look at the strangeness and scams on the edge of American spirituality in this one-man show. "Losing My Religion‚€™‚€™ is part of a planned trilogy that Lepore expects to complete over the next couple of years. Part two, to debut in the spring of 2012, is called "SuperHappyMelancholyexpialidocious.'' It focuses on the positive-thinking movement that he sees infiltrating segments of society from corporations to megachurches. Read more. .
|Special Thanks and Announcment|
|Frederick P. Lenz Foundation
In the near future, we look forward to welcoming Mr. Norman Oberstein, Vice President of the Frederick P. Lenz Foundation back to campus for a visit.
The Lenz Foundation has generously provided for contemplative education curriculum development, residential fellowships, scholarships and the funding for a Distinguished Lecture Series (Joanna Macy was last year's Lecturer) beginning in 2004.
Naropa University is most grateful for this ongoing support.
|Alumni Launch the Prayer Flag Campaign |
|Alumni Support Naropa
Do you have a prayer or aspiration for Naropa University... for a loved one, a friend or relative? The prayer flag tradition has a long continuous history dating back to ancient Tibet, China, Persia and India - and can today represent a wonderful way to give... and reconnect to Naropa.
As fellow members of the Naropa community, we want to invite you to submit a heart-centered prayer or aspiration to be placed on a prayer flag. The flags will be displayed on campus beginning on Shambhala Day, February 22, 2012, as we begin a yearlong effort to celebrate Naropa University and contemplative education.
We ask that you donate with each heart-felt prayer at least $25. Your tax deductible donation will be utilized at Naropa for scholarships, faculty/staff professional development, facilities improvements and to the 5 schools that comprise our university.
Rodney Weiss (BA Contemplative Psychology, 04) and Joshua Hyman (MFA Writing & Poetics, 05)