Mitra Lee Worley – Mudra Space Awareness: Bringing Body, Voice, and Mind into Alignment

8:30 am - 4:30 pm

natalie-grainger-8uB5kFKWWkk-unsplashJoin Nalandabodhi Philadelphia and the Shambhala Meditation Center of Philadelphia for a day of dharma at Children’s Community School with Nalandabodhi’s Mitra Lee Worley! Mitra Lee will be guiding participants through Mudra Space Awareness practice. (Find information on Mitra Lee’s program on Tuesday, 10/1 here.)

Mudra Space Awareness is an energetic sequence of exercises designed by Chögyam Trungpa, Rinpoche from his Tibetan monastic dance training and further developed for Western contemplative practitioners by Mitra Lee. They help sharpen our mental focus and bring body, voice and mind into alignment. As tools for performance, whether in art or daily life, they strengthen creative imagination and reveal awareness of a bigger arena for visioning saner, more wholesome communication. By cultivating our emotional intelligence through these forms they become an ally on the journey toward confidence with our self, kindness to our community and care for our world.

People of all physical abilities can participate in Mudra Space Awareness exercises. They combine still postures with mental investigations of inner and outer space, uncovering space’s potential to support and further the physical and conceptual awareness of participants. Because they point toward non-conceptuality as one of mind’s important tools, they reveal insights impossible to integrate merely intellectually.

Cost for the day is $60 for all who can afford this. No one will be turned away for lack of funds, and additional donations to support others’ attendance and the costs associated with this event are appreciated. To register at a lower cost, please contact us at

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Details: Program times are 8:30 am – Noon, 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm. Lunch is on your own, with many options within 3-4 blocks. Children’s Community School is within a 2-block walk of several SEPTA trolley lines, including the 13, which runs on Chester Avenue. Street parking is also available. This program is open to all.


LEE WORLEY is a Professor Emeritus of Performance and Contemplative Education of Naropa University. Under the guidance of Chögyam Trungpa she began to study Mudra Space Awareness in 1974 and is one of a handful of authorized Mudra teachers. The work forms the basis of her method of Contemplative Performance training. She is a practitioner of Vajrayana Buddhism and holds the title “Mitra” (Spiritual Friend) in Nalandabodhi under the direction of Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche. Lee is the author of two books: Coming From Nothing: the Sacred Art of Acting and Teaching Presence: Field Notes for Players.

Mitra Lee was born in Glen Cove, New York. She graduated from Mt. Holyoke College with a BA in English and Drama, and later from The Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City. Her acting career led her to discover Buddhism in 1973 while attending a theater conference in Boulder, Colorado, where she was invited to teach acting at the Naropa Institute. While teaching, she began meditating and attending talks by Naropa’s founder Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche.

In 1975, Chögyam Trungpa asked Lee to head the Theater Studies program at Naropa. While shepherding the theater program through its early years, she also helped launch the Ngedon School of Buddhist Studies. In 1996, Lee received an MA in Buddhist Studies from Naropa University.

Lee met Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche at Naropa and became his student. She took on the role of practice coordinator in Boulder, and then of national practice coordinator for Nalandabodhi. Lee was appointed as a Mitra in 2005, and currently oversees the Path of Meditation within the Mitra Council.

As a practitioner, Lee aims to be a champion of meditation both on and off the cushion. “I look for the truth that underlies the dharma,” she says, “and seek ways to bring it into moment-to-moment life beyond any dogma.”


Children's Community School - Philadelphia

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