Radical Compassion

“Compassion is the radicalism of our time” ~The 14th Dali Lama


Naropa University, my alma mater, located in the foothills of Boulder Colorado, is in the midst of celebrating its fortieth year anniversary. With over 200 planned events throughout this year, including a Radical Compassion Symposium beginning Thursday, 16 October, 2014. A gathering of international thinkers, contemplatives, scientists, and activists focused on one of the most dynamic and important topics of our time: compassion. A variety of keynotes, dialogues, workshops, contemplative practice and community sessions are offered over the course of the weekend. The presenters at the symposium are a diverse group of people who are all changing the world for the better, through scientific studies, on-the-ground activism, contemplative activism, and creativity. In this event, they will share their work, experience and insights on how to bring compassion into action, and make it a tool for personal and social change.


 Compassion is ‘radical’ when it moves beyond ‘being nice’ or giving to our favorite charity, and becomes the very foundation of all our actions, the signature of our society. As a cultural imperative, compassion lays a path to a future free of some of our society’s greatest downfalls. It is the root of sustainable, positive change, and the key to meeting the challenges of violence, fear and suffering. Naropa has assembled some of the world’s most influential practitioners and leaders to explore this compelling topic at their first ever Radical Compassion Symposium. Keynote speakers include: Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, Daniel J. Siegel, Bernie Glassman, Karen Kissel Wegela, Noah Levine, Joanna Macy, Anne Waldman, Jerry Colonna, Vandana Shiva, Lama Tsultrim Allione, Marc Bekoff and more. Naropa University weaves contemplative practice into all of their programs and degrees. Teaching the practices of mindfulness and self-awareness to awaken us to our fundamental connection to others, and inevitably lead to greater compassion.

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