Pema Chödrön's Commencement Speech at Naropa (my alma mater)

Graduation season is upon us, which always reminds me of the fact that the word "alma mater" translates as "nourishing mother." Doesn't graduating in some way feel like leaving a safe womb and going out into the world on one's own? When I graduated from Naropa University with my Masters degree in transpersonal psychotherapy and art therapy, I certainly felt like I was leaving a protective and nurturing space and bringing all I had gathered there to share with the greater community. It's fitting that this year's graduation ceremony at Naropa University takes place on Saturday, May 10, the day before mothers' day. The commencement address will be given by Pema Chödrön. Naropa will be live streaming the speech, so visit this link and sign up to watch.


Naropa University is a unique and amazing place for contemplative education. If you're unfamiliar with the way education is offered at Naropa, watch the quick video below for a taste.

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"To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to continually be thrown out of the nest." -Pema Chödrön