Naropa University

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Naropa University is a private liberal arts university in Boulder, Colorado. Founded in 1974 by Tibetan Buddhist teacher Chögyam Trungpa, it is named for the eleventh-century Indian Buddhist sage Naropa, an abbot of Nalanda.

Despite its early connection to Vajradhatu (a network of Trungpa-led dharma centers), the university no longer has a formal religious affiliation, and describes itself as "Buddhist-inspired" rather than "Buddhist." Nevertheless Naropa actively promotes "contemplative education." For example, students are required to select among a range of spiritual practices such as meditation, to supplement traditional learning approaches. The school also says that it is "non-sectarian," but as explained below, uses the term to mean "ecumenical" or "multi-religious" rather than "secular."

Naropa was accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools in 1988, making it the first Buddhist, or Buddhist-inspired, academic institution to win U.S. regional accreditation. It remains one of only a handful of such schools.

Besides spirituality, Naropa is noteworthy for having hosted a number of Beat poets under the auspices of its "Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics."