As the end of the semester draws near, it is not uncommon to find students spending their evenings cramming for an exam or worrying about that 15-page research paper they’ve been putting off. With all the chaos and stress that often accompanies this time of year, Brighton junior Adam Shakarjiam and Dearborn sophomore Josh Eggen offer an alternative – meditation.
Both religious studies majors, the two created a new meditation and mental peace group earlier this semester. The group meets twice a week and is open to anyone, no matter what their previous experience may be. While the main goal of the group is to offer students a chance to gain a peace of mind, Eggen claims that meditative practice can offer an array of benefits.
“Personally, meditation is a great tool for clearing the mind and de-stressing and all of those things,” Eggen said. “But there is also a lot that meditation can offer when it comes to peace and clarity and happiness.”
Shakarjiam adds that meditation presents an opportunity for self-reflection and improvement, both of which he believes to be incredibly important, especially for college students.
“Meditation gives you a chance to really look at what you’re doing and change yourself so that you’re happy with who you are,” Shakarjiam said.
For those unfamiliar with the practice of meditation, Eggen offers the same explanation that a Buddhist monk once gave him.
“Imagine you have a bottle of water and it has a bunch of dirt and sand and everything in it. You go about your day and you keep it on yourself, and it gets shaken up and everything is in suspension,” Eggen said. “When you meditate, and you let yourself sit and reflect, it’s able to finally settle down for a period of time.”
Boyne City sophomore Katharine Korthase agrees with Eggen’s explanation, reaffirming that meditating allows an opportunity to gain clarity in the midst of chaos.
“Meditation is a great way to stay focused and reduce all the stress of school,” Korthase said.
The group usually begins each session with a short sitting meditation, then proceed to time of reflection and discussion. From there, it is not uncommon for the group to have a walking meditation, and then explore another alternative form of meditation, as both Eggen and Shakarjiam are very interested in investigating a wide variety of meditative practices.
While the group was created with the help and encouragement of the Office of the Chaplin, both Shakarjiam and Eggen stress that there is no religious affiliation required to become a part of the group.
“If you’re a religious person, that’s a great thing…but it’s not a requirement in any way, shape or form,” Shakarjiam said. “As long as you have a want to better yourself, I think meditation gives you a way to do that.”
Meditation Group meets every Tuesday and Thursday from 9:30 p.m. – 11:00 in the Boyd Meditation Chapel, located on the southern most end of Albion’s Goodrich Chapel. For more information, contact Josh Eggen at firstname.lastname@example.org.