~Sparking the Pilot Light~
Greetings Treasured Naropians, both local and global!
In response to the current clarion call for embodied Wisdom and Compassion, we are enthusiastic to share news of the launch of two new low-residency programs:
To learn more keep reading and follow the links. We hope you will join us in spreading the word-spark!
– Professor Amelia Hall, chair of the Naropa Wisdom Traditions Department
Naropa University has recently launched a Masters of Arts degree in Yoga Studies. This new program is the culmination of almost fifty years of Naropa serving as a unique higher-educational setting for the study and practice of yoga.
Naropa’s MA in Yoga Studies is low-residency; this means students can complete the degree from anywhere in the world, but it also includes two in-person retreats hosted in Colorado.
Naropa’s first summer seminar of 1974 included a course that helped galvanize the launch of the institution: Ram Dass’s The Yogas of the Bhagavad Gītā, taught to over one thousand students. Compelled by Naropa’s original vision to “provide an environment in which Eastern and Western intellectual traditions can interact and in which these disciplines can be grounded in direct experience,” Ram Dass agreed to join the faculty. In a school bus converted into a camper, he spent two months before the summer of ’74 preparing the course in the deserts of New Mexico and California. He not only immersed himself in the Gītā and its commentaries that summer, but even gave the inaugural lectures to a rapt audience of desert jackrabbits—a picturesque beginning for yoga studies at Naropa.
A few words from Masters of Divinity program lead Jamie Beachy:
“In the Fall of 2020, Naropa launched a new low-residency Master of Divinity (MDiv) program and received the largest MDiv student cohort in Naropa’s history! The incoming students come to us from diverse national and international contexts. They will complete their program mostly online in addition to attending a series of in-person contemplative retreats designed to facilitate training in Buddhist meditation and face-to-face engagement.
While we had planned to host our Fall 2020 students in person here in Colorado, the responsive and nimble MDiv faculty and staff shifted our Fall retreat to an online platform out of an abundance of caution and attention to safety. The new MDiv cohort is a creative and committed group of students who bring diverse spiritual and religious commitments, a deep commitment to service, and expertise from other professional and academic fields. We look forward to the ways their insights and gifts will contribute to the Naropa community, as together we explore theology and practice in a time of significant cultural transformation and upheaval.”