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Tibetan Buddhism, In celebration of Naropa’s fortieth anniversary

What is compassion?

Much more than just being nice, compassion is about looking deeply at ourselves and others and recognizing the fundamental goodness we all share. It’s about opening up to the vulnerable space inside every one of us and letting our barriers down. And it’s about daring to be present to ourselves and others with genuine love and kindness.

Empowering personal awakening and social change, it might be the most radical and transformative thing we can do.

Empowering personal awakening and social change, it might be the most radical and transformative thing we can do.

The cultivation of compassion has long been at the core of Naropa University’s mission, since its origins in 1974—and its students and faculty have been leaders in contemplative education with heart.

Tibetan Buddhism, In celebration of Naropa’s fortieth anniversary

 leaders in contemplative education with heart. . . .

In celebration of Naropa’s fortieth anniversary, Shambhala Publications is pleased to offer these teachings on the path of compassion from a collection of authors who have helped shape the school’s unique and innovative identity, including:

  • Chögyam Trungpa on opening ourselves more and more to love the whole of humanity
  • Dzogchen Ponlop on how to cultivate altruism with the help of a spiritual mentor
  • Judith L. Lief on the common obstacles to compassion and how to overcome them
  • Gaylon Ferguson on awakening human-heartedness in oneself and society amidst everyday life
  • Diane Musho Hamilton on connecting to natural empathy and taking a compassionate approach to conflict resolution
  • Reginald A. Ray on spiritual practices for developing the enlightened mind and heart in the Mahayana Buddhist tradition
  • Ringu Tulku on the practices of bodhisattvas, those who devote themselves to the path of enlightenment for the sake of all beings
  • Pema Chödrön on building up loving-kindness for oneself and others with help from traditional Buddhist slogans
  • Ken Wilber on what it really means to be a support person, with reflections from his own life
  • Karen Kissel Wegela on avoiding caregiver’s burnout and staying centered amidst our efforts to help those in need and reflections on Naropa University and the meaning of radical compassion from longstanding faculty member Judith Simmer-Brown

For more information–Authors' Bios and Books:

Chogyam Trungpa

Chögyam Trungpa (1940–1987)—meditation master, teacher, and artist—founded Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, the first Buddhist-inspired university in North America; the Shambhala Training program; and an international association of meditation centers known as Shambhala International. He is the author of numerous books, including Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the WarriorCutting Through Spiritual Materialism, and The Myth of Freedom.

Books by Chogyam Trungpa

Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche

Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, born in 1965 in northeast India, was trained in the meditative and intellectual disciplines of Indian and Tibetan Buddhism under the guidance of many of the greatest masters from Tibet’s pre-exile generation. He is a widely celebrated teacher, known for his skill in making the full richness of Buddhist wisdom accessible to modern minds, and devotes much of his energy to developing a vision of a genuine Western Buddhism.

For more information, go to

Books by Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche

Judith L. Lief

Judith L. Lief is a Buddhist teacher, writer, and editor. She was a close student of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, who empowered her as a teacher, and she has edited many of his books including The Profound Treasury of the Ocean of Dharma volumes and Milarepa. She has been a teacher and practitioner for over 35 years and continues to teach and lead retreats throughout the world. Lief is also active in the field of death and dying and is the author of Making Friends with Death.

Books by Judith L. Lief

Gaylon Ferguson

Gaylon Ferguson is a faculty member in both Religious Studies and Interdisciplinary Studies at Naropa University, in Boulder, Colorado. He is an acharya, or senior teacher, in the Shambhala International Buddhist community. After studying meditation and Buddhist philosophy with Tibetan master Chögyam Trungpa in the 1970s and 1980s, Ferguson became a Fulbright Fellow to Nigeria and completed a doctoral degree in cultural anthropology at Stanford University. After several years of teaching cultural anthropology at the University of Washington, he became teacher-in-residence at Karmê Chöling Buddhist Retreat Center, through 2005, when he joined the faculty of Naropa University.

Books by Gaylon Ferguson

Diane Musho Hamilton

Diane Musho Hamilton is an award-winning professional mediator, author, and teacher of Zen meditation. She is the Executive Director of Two Arrows Zen, a practice in Utah, and cofounder of the Integral Facilitator, a training program oriented to personal development and advanced facilitator skills. She is the author of Everything Is Workable and The Zen of You and Me.

Books by Diane Musho Hamilton

Reginald A. Ray

Dr. Reginald "Reggie" Ray is the cofounder and Spiritual Director of the Dharma Ocean Foundation and has been dedicated to the evolution and flowering of the teachings of Tibetan Tantra for more than four decades. A longtime student of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, today Reggie brings a uniquely somatic perspective to Buddhist practice. Reggie is the author of many books, including The Awakening Body and The Practice of Pure Awareness. Reggie also offers online courses on somatic meditation and retreats in Crestone, Colorado. More on Reggie can be found at

Books by Reginald A. Ray

Ringu Tulku

Ringu Tulku Rinpoche was born in Kham Lingtsang, in eastern Tibet, and was recognized by His Holiness the Sixteenth Gyalwang Karmapa as the incarnation of one of the tulkus of Ringu monastery, a Kagyüpa monastery in his home province. He studied with some of the most distinguished khenpos of the Nyingma and Kagyu traditions and received teachings from many outstanding masters, including Thrangu Rinpoche, Dodrupchen Rinpoche, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, and the Gyalwang Karmapa. He is the author of Path to Buddhahood and The Ri-me Philosophy of Jamgön Kongtrul the Great.

Books by Ringu Tulku

Ani Pema Chödrön became a novice nun in 1974, in her mid-thirties, while studying with Lama Chime in London. His Holiness the Sixteenth Karmapa came to Scotland at that time, and Ani Pema received her ordination from him.

Pema ChodronPema first met her root guru, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, in 1972 and studied with him from 1974 until his death in 1987. At the request of the Sixteenth Karmapa, she received the full bikshuni ordination in the Chinese lineage of Buddhism in 1981 in Hong Kong.

Ani Pema served as the director of Karma Dzong in Boulder, Colorado, until moving in 1984 to rural Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, to be the director of Gampo Abbey. She currently teaches in the United States and Canada and plans for an increased amount of time in solitary retreat under the guidance of Venerable Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche.

She is interested in helping to establish Tibetan Buddhist monasticism in the West, as well as continuing her work with Western Buddhists of all traditions, sharing ideas and teachings. Her nonprofit, the Pema Chödrön Foundation, was set up to assist in this purpose.

Books by Pema Chodron

Ken Wilber

Ken Wilber is one of the most widely read and influential American philos­ophers of our time. His writings have been translated into over twenty languages. He lives in Denver, Colorado.

Books by Ken Wilber

Karen Kissel Wegela, PhD, is a psychotherapist and professor of contemplative psychology at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. A longtime student of Buddhism, she speaks to professionals about the connections between Buddhism and psychotherapy and writes a popular blog at She is also the author of The Courage to Be Present: Buddhism, Psychotherapy, and the Awakening of Natural Wisdom.

Books by Karen Kissel Wegela

Judith Simmer-Brown

Judith Simmer-Brown, Ph.D., is professor and chair of the religious studies department at Naropa University (formerly the Naropa Institute), where she has taught since 1978. She has authored numerous articles on Tibetan Buddhism, Buddhist-Christian dialogue, and Buddhism in America. She is an Acharya (senior teacher) in the lineage of Chögyam Trungpa. A practicing Buddhist since 1971, she lives in Boulder, Colorado.

Books by Judith Simmer-Brown

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