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Lions Roar : July 2011
SHAMBHALA SUN JULY 2011 58 mental health organizations, providing training and support for caregivers and citizens. Amber assisted these caregivers in fully integrating their own personal losses, so they could better serve the larger community from a truly healthy, holistic, and aware space. Amber’s contemplative practice allowed her to manage this work effectively and with compassion. It is her contemplative practice that informs, fuels, and nourishes her deep passion to serve. Graduates of Naropa’s degree programs run businesses, teach, create nonprofits, and serve in myriad ways. One of Naropa’s graduates, Arron Mansika, studied environ- mental leadership and then founded a suc- cessful business, Boulder’s Best Organics, in 1996. The Boulder County Business Report ranked it the second-fastest-growing com- pany in the Boulder Valley in its revenue class (sales under $2 million) in 1999. Arron says reporters are often surprised that he is so successful in the business world despite having graduated from a school that doesn’t offer a business degree. “I think there is a misperception as to what a mindfulness education can prepare you for,” he said. “I jumped right into the Western business world, but with, in my opinion, an advan- tage: I am showing up fully.” Among the characteristics of showing up fully, he says, are having a strong sense of who you are, listening to your intuition, being vulnerable yet brave enough to speak your truth, being awake, and dropping fear and hesitation so you shine through as yourself. Albert Einstein said, “Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.” Many of the world’s problems require new and innovative Stuart Lord meeting with first-year students. Naropa graduates Amber Grey and Arron Mansika. PHOTOSCOURTESYOFNAROPAUNIVERSITY