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Lions Roar : January 2007
SHAMBHALA SUN JANUARY 2007 119 spiritual power that universities founded by religious institutions offered—but adapted to today’s context. “Contempla- tive education recaptures a roundedness that has been missing from higher educa- tion in the West for probably 300 years,” he says. “The enlightenment and the sci- entific revolution emphasized the brain and the cognitive mind. Focusing on the external world has been a very important dimension to work with. But it has also turned higher education against its legacy of working with the inner person.” Richard Brown, chair of Naropa’s Con- templative Education Department, merges the concerns of K-12 teachers with the con- cerns of post-secondary educators. Brown trained and worked as an elementary school teacher. Feeling something lack- ing in his conventional teacher education, he came to Naropa in the early seventies, eventually teaching in Buddhist-inspired schools. In 1990 Naropa formalized its training in contemplative education with its Early Childhood Program, and in 2001 it started offering a low-residency, online master’s program for working teachers. The program, Brown says, is now able to “bring contemplative perspective and practices to teachers from pre-kindergar- ten to higher education.” Brown feels it is important to expand on the view of “educating the whole per- son.” Contemplative education, he says, “is not limited to practices to improve the person. It must also be about the content. Parker Palmer talks about the subject as the center of the classroom. It’s not about the students or the teachers. It’s about how a subject is explored and how the en- tire atmosphere contributes to that explo- ration. We are not autonomous units that learn and develop separately. We learn in an interconnected way that transcends ego. The knowledge and wisdom exist in the situation itself. That’s the contempla- tive viewpoint.” The program is committed to staying true to its founding tradition. “We’re based on the Buddhist teachings, but we do not Contemplative Education continued from page 73 DZOGCHEN CENTER BUDDHISM FOR THE WEST dzogchen the natural great perfection DZOGCHEN RETREATS WITH LAMA SURYA DAS Dzogchen is the consummate practice of Tibetan Buddhism. Considered by many to be "the teaching of our time," Dzogchen is direct, immediate, essentialized, adaptable, and profound: a pure awareness practice applicable to any circumstance and readily integrated into modern life. Dzogchen, often translated as the Natural Great Perfection, directly introduces us to our inner Buddha, the inherent freedom, purity and perfection of being that is our true nature. Dzogchen Center Meditation Retreats are held across the country, throughout the year as shown below: DZOGCHEN MEDITATION RETREATS Garrison, NY Winter December 29, 2006 – January 7, 2007 Joshua Tree, CA Spring March 24 – April 1, 2007 Garrison, NY Summer July 14 – 29, 2007 MULTIPLE TEACHINGS DAILY • NOBLE SILENCE • BEAUTIFUL SURROUNDINGS VEGETARIAN MEALS • PRIVATE, SEMI-PRIVATE, AND DORM ROOMS AVAILABLE For complete information and secure on-line registration for all of these scheduled events, go to www.dzogchen.org/retreats, e-mail