Naropa was founded by Tibetan Buddhist master Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, who escaped Tibet and climbed over the Himalayas into India as a young man. In 1970, at just 30, he began presenting teachings in the US and founded the Naropa Institute (now Naropa University) in 1974. It offers a contemplative education in psychology, environmental studies, music and more. The university periodically hosts public talks and events.
Naropa is also home to the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, co-founded by fellow beatnik Allen Ginsberg and poet Anne Waldman.