We Are Building American Buddhism

Naropa University

2130 Arapahoe Avenue
Boulder, CO 80302
Telephone: (303) 444-0202
Website: www.naropa.edu
Please click here to see a history of presenters/presentations by The Frederick P. Lenz Distinguished Lecturers in American Buddhism at Naropa University.

Papers by Lenz Foundation Merit Scholars

As they complete their academic studies, Lenz Foundation Merit Scholars are challenged to write an essay that places the work of Rama - Dr. Frederick Lenz into a larger Buddhist context.  The following papers are the result of their research.

Description of Organization

Naropa University is a Buddhist-inspired, student-centered liberal arts university in Boulder, Colorado. A recognized leader in contemplative education, Naropa's undergraduate and graduate programs emphasize professional and personal growth, intellectual development, and contemplative practice.

Through rigorous academics, faculty mentoring, contemplative practice, and community engagement, Naropa students develop the abilities to think critically, to communicate effectively, and to know their hearts and minds. The result: Graduates who live deeply fulfilling lives working to improve people's lives and the condition of our planet.

Grant(s) Awarded

2017 - 2022

In 2017, a four-year grant commitment was awarded for $184,832 to support the Frederick P. Lenz Foundation for American Buddhism Merit Scholarship Grant, The Frederick P. Lenz Foundation Residential Fellowship for Buddhist Studies and American Culture and Values Grant and The Lenz Foundation Distinguished Guest Lecturer Program in Buddhist Studies and American Culture and Values Grant through the 2022 Academic Year.

In 2017, a grant in the amount of $25,000 was awarded to create and distribute an online course, the Mindful Workplace. Naropa University, via their Authentic Leadership Center on campus, delivers customized training to organizations in sectors such as health care, natural foods, publishing and business consulting. The Mindful Workplace on-line course is an extension of this program.


Between 2013 and early 2017, Naropa University received total grant funding in the amount of $173,333 to support scholarships for 11 students who received scholarships from the Frederick P. Lenz Foundation for American Buddhism Merit Scholarship Grant; four students who participated in the Lenz Foundation Residential Fellowship for Buddhist Studies and American Culture and Values Grant; and five Naropa Guest Lecturers who received funding via the Lenz Foundation Distinguished Guest Lecturer Program in Buddhist Studies and American Culture and Values Grant.

2012 - Press Release

The Lenz Foundation has made a significant grant commitment to Naropa University over the next six years in the amount of $250,000. Beginning in 2012, the Foundation will provide funding for three programs: The Lenz Merit Scholarship Grant, The Lenz Distinguished Lecturer, and the Lenz Fellowship. This multi-year grant of will support religious studies graduate students, fellows integrating the arts and social sciences with contemplative practice and Buddhist scholarship, and will allow Naropa to invite world class lecturers to campus to explore the evolution of American Buddhism. With this latest grant commitment, The Lenz Foundation's financial support of Naropa will have exceeded $1,000,000.


The Foundation has continued in its support for Naropa with the funding of its various programs expected to cumulatively total $127,000.

2007 - 2009

The Foundation funded a pilot program for the creation of a Naropa Fellowship Program in Buddhist Studies and American Culture and Values, together with a related Distinguished Guest Lecture Series, which has afforded Naropa students with course credit. This program will enable scholars from a variety of academic disciplines to reside in Boulder and affiliate with Naropa during their sabbatical or other professional leave, and to complete a research, social action or curriculum development project on some aspect of Buddhism's contributions to American education and society. Participants have immersed themselves in the University's various curricular and community offerings, including their own contribution to the Naropa community by way of public lectures in the area of their expertise. The program will also feature the presentation of distinguished American Buddhist academic scholars from the Zen and other traditions for a lecture series or a semester of classes. Both programs are designed to enlighten and diversify the Naropa experience and to establish Naropa as a beacon for Buddhist thought and action in contemporary American culture - all drawn from a broad spectrum of American Buddhist practice. The Foundation has funded this program with a $62,500 annual grant plus start-up costs of $20,000. It is contemplated that the program will continue indefinitely, with an eye toward endowing this program with a permanent grant of $1,250,000. It is the Foundation's goal to enlist support for this program from the American Buddhist community at large so that $250,000 or more of the permanent grant will be funded from sources outside the Foundation, and to raise additional funds through use of this initiative as a "lead grant" to establish a broader, deeper and even more well-funded program.


In 2006, and effective for 2007 and following, the Foundation increased the annual scholarship grant to $45,000, and opened the undergraduate scholarship to students in all majors. In addition, the Foundation established a graduate student loan repayment scholarship with potential benefits of $20,000 per year. Naropa University has agreed to match funds for certain of the scholarship programs. Altogether, and from all sources (to wit, the Foundation's annual payment, the Foundation's endowed funds, and the University's matching funds), there is available annually to students, scholarship funds up to $95,000 per year. For further details concerning these scholarships and how to apply for them, visit Naropa University's website at www.naropa.edu and click on "Admissions & Financial Aid."


In addition to the scholarship programs funded by the Foundation, the Foundation funded a three-year, $145,428 grant to establish a faculty seminar on "Contemplative Practices in Higher Education." The object of the program was to support Naropa's Center for the Advancement of Contemplative Education in the development and implementation of a summer institute on contemplative education for faculty from other colleges and universities who are inclined to incorporate contemplative techniques and practices into their own curriculum. The first three such institute programs were successfully implemented during the summers of 2007 through 2009 and is now self-sustaining. Applications are accepted until April 1st of each year. For more information, see Center for Advancement of Contemplative Education.


The Foundation established a permanent endowment fund and expendable scholarship program with Naropa University, a Buddhist-inspired, ecumenical, and non-sectarian university in Boulder, Colorado. Naropa's Religious Studies Department has among its functions the training of Buddhist scholars and activists. The Foundation initially established a permanent endowment of $200,000 and an annual grant of $30,000 for the purpose of supporting those students on an undergraduate and graduate level who will engage in scholarship or provide Buddhist-inspired leadership in communities throughout the United States.

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