By Erika Marchant
Being the precursor to every academic week, Sunday tends to be a date college students unanimously dread. As the effects of procrastination loom, the “Sunday Scaries” settle in. Yet, few students seem to take steps to curb this stress. A short visit to 411 East Seminary St. may prove to be a valuable remedy.
Meditation Club, lead by first-year co-coordinators Michael Chen, Carson Janes and John Csehill, offers DePauw students the opportunity to participate in guided meditation.
On the second floor of the Center for Spiritual Life, natural light floods the Meditation Room in which the club’s meetings are held. The space’s relaxed ambiance adds to the tranquility and quality of these mediations.
Janes shared the club’s preferred use of the “Calm” app, imparting that “it’s a really great way to do a short little guided meditation. Meditation is one of the best ways to calm down after a busy week, to have a clear mind going into the next week,” Janes said.
Mediation Club hosts a number of events and speakers, such as a Sufi meditation group at their kick-off event.
“All of our speakers come from different traditions and cultures and speak to that,” Janes said. “Next weekend, we’re having some Buddhist monks come in from Bloomington. They’re going to offer a few workshops that we’ll offer sign-ups for, and they’re also going to do a guided meditation.”
Despite the religious influence imbued in many forms of meditation, the club ultimately, in Jane’s words, is “universal.”
“Anyone can come,” Janes said. “People certainly think about their religions while meditating, but that is by no means necessary.”
Csehill reassures the club’s emphasis on inclusiveness. “I’d say it’s more than the stereotype of a guy in a white robe sitting like this,” Csehill said, pressing his palms together and crossing his legs. “It’s much more than that, and varies. Meditation can be seen as a way for people to clear their minds, to find inner peace within themselves. It can also be a way to help decrease anxiety by looking into your everyday life and priorities, whether that be academically, occupationally or emotionally.”
Chen, the club’s co-president, emphasized DePauw’s need for the space, as well as his hopes for Meditation Club’s impact on campus. “I consider meditation something that every student might need,” Chen said. “Because it’s a great way to help fight against anxiety. One of my goals is to help promote meditation, to help people at least have an understanding of what meditation is, where they can turn for help in terms of learning the technique. At the same time, I want to help students to get rid of their stereotypes of meditation. I just want students to have more exposure and to gain more understanding of meditation.”
The club’s goal is to allow students to find mindfulness despite their busy weeks.
“You don’t get a lot of chances to stop and really think about where you’re at,” Janes said. “And [Meditation Club] is a great opportunity to do that.”
DePauw students and Greencastle community members are welcomed to participate in guided meditation through Meditation Club, held Sundays at 2 p.m. at the Center for Spiritual Life. Details can be found through DePauw’s Campus Labs website.