We are approaching the middle of this semester, and the average student at the College is probably trying to juggle an increasing workload as well as a social life and countless clubs and other commitments. It may seem like the last thing you need is to add another activity to your busy schedule. However, that is exactly the reason you should check out Meditation Club; it is an excellent opportunity for us busy students to relax a bit and escape from our problems.
As club member Chris Pugliese said, “Meditation is an awesome way to get rid of stress. And having a set period to meditate assures that you actually do it.”
Members meditate for a period of half an hour during each session, and they are encouraged to try different techniques until they find one that works for them. This setup works well for everyone from beginners to people who have been meditating for years, as well as people of all religions. There are no strict directions for the meditation period; each student can explore their own methods or specific ones they may have read about.
The organizer of the sessions, sophomore Paul Gottschling, suggests only that participants “try to maintain your focus. If your thoughts stray, try to return to your original focus and just accept the distraction without judgment.”
The club meets twice a week, on Sundays at 7:30 p.m. in the Campus Center Little Theatre and on Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. in Washington 306. Participants can attend which ever session works for them, although club members report that Sunday is the more popular day at this point in the semester. The session is often moved outside when the weather cooperates, which can serve to heighten the meditation experience.
The club is an open forum which encourages members to share their meditation experiences as well as different techniques they would like to try. Paul explained his rationale for organizing the club by saying it is “essential for William and Mary, a campus which is known for being rife with stress and anxiety. It’s helpful to have a refuge from daily life where you can relieve yourself from negativity by looking more deeply into the nature of your thoughts and mind and learning acceptance without judgment.”