Judith Simmer-Brown

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Judith Simmer-Brown is a Professor and past Chair of Religious Studies at Naropa University and a prominent Buddhist scholar. She has taught at the Buddhist-inspired university since 1978. She lectures and writes on Tibetan Buddhism, Women and Buddhism, Buddhist-Christian dialogue, Western Buddhism and Contemplative Education. She is an Acharya — a senior Buddhist teacher — in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition and was a senior student of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche.[1]

In 2012, Simmer-Brown became one of four final candidates considered for the position of President of Naropa University, although Board of Trustees chair Charles S. Lief was ultimately chosen.

She is on the Board of the Society of Buddhist-Christian Studies, and a member of the Lilly Buddhist-Christian Theological Encounter.[2]

At Naropa, she teaches classes on the First Turning of the Wheel of Dharma, Second Turning of the Wheel of Dharma, Vajrayana Texts, and Inter-religious dialogue for the graduate Religious Studies programs. She also teaches Contemplative Practice Seminar for the Core program.

In 2011, the book Meditation and the Classroom: Contemplative Pedagogy for Religious Studies, co-authored with Fran Grace, was published by SUNY Press.

During the spring of 2008, she was invited, with her husband, Prof. Richard Brown, to guest teach at Florida International University.

In May 2008, she officially welcomed His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje during his visit to a small audience at Naropa as part of the 'Karmapa in America' tour.

She recently taught the workshop "Romantic Fantasy, Everyday Disappointment: Meditation and Relationships" and regularly teaches "Sutrayana Seminary" and assists Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche with "Shambhala Vajrayana Seminary" at Shambhala Mountain Center in Red Feather Lakes, CO.


  • Simmer-Brown, Judith and Fran Grace (2011). Meditation and the Classroom: Contemplative Pedagogy for Religious Studies. SUNY Press. ISBN 1438437889
  • Simmer-Brown, Judith (2001). Dakini's Warm Breath: The Feminine Principle in Tibetan Buddhism. Shambhala Publications. ISBN 1-57062-720-7
  • Henry, Patrick et al., (2001) Benedict's Dharma: Buddhists Comment on the Rule of St. Benedict. ISBN 1-57322-940-7


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