Judith Simmer-Brown, Ph.D., is distinguished professor of contemplative and religious studies at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, where she is a founding faculty member. She is head of the Compassion Training Task Force for the Center for the Advancement of Contemplative Education at Naropa, and serves as one of the compassion trainers. As Buddhist practitioner since the early 1970s, Simmer-Brown became a student of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche in 1974, and was empowered as an acharya (senior teacher) by his dharma heir, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, in 2000.
Her academic teaching specialties are contemplative studies, Indian Buddhist philosophy, tantric Buddhism, and interreligious dialogue. She co-chairs the Contemplative Studies Steering Committee for the American Academy of Religion, and serves on the board of the Society for Buddhist-Christian Studies. Her book, Dakini’s Warm Breath (Shambhala 2001), explores the feminine principle as it reveals itself in meditation practice and everyday life for women and men. She also co-edited Meditation and the Classroom: Contemplative Pedagogy for Religious Studies (SUNY 2011), that inventively demonstrates how contemplative practices can be introduced into the university classroom, and what the benefits are for learning. She and her husband, Richard, have two adult children and three grandchildren.