AU Meditation Club brings reflection and joy during a stressful semester
The club shares meditative strategies this fall to help bring peace and serenity to students
From the Newsstands: This story appeared in our December 2021 print edition. You can find the digital version here.
With both the coronavirus pandemic impacting American University’s first semester back on campus and exam season, it’s more important than ever to take time to pause and reflect. The AU Meditation Club hopes to do just that, providing a space to be present and destress.
“We actually started the club during the virtual time and that’s the situation we came into,” said Eric Qian, a senior in the Kogod School of Business, who is also the president of AU Meditation. “I think it’s easier to have meditation events online because meditation can be done anywhere,”
According to Qian, the club’s purpose is to focus on different aspects of wellness: being honest, listening to the emotions behind one’s words and finding peace with life.
“Our mission statement is to spread love, awareness and peace around campus,” Qian said. “So we just want to build a community around meditation and spirituality.”
A different topic is discussed at each AU Meditation meeting. During October, the club hosted an “Introduction to Spirituality” event in which messages questioned boundaries and the purpose behind spirituality as well as the benefit of meditation. The spirituality program is about the “journey of finding happiness and truth within” and “being with oneself,” according to School of International Service senior Jordan Keys, the club’s vice president. In November, the club planned a Rock Creek Park Nature Walk and a Learning to Self-Love program.
For many, AU Meditation is a place to be at peace.
“I needed a club that is not an academic base. I think it’s really helpful to have something to look forward to,” said freshman Abigail Minnaugh. “I know on Tuesday night at 7 o'clock I finally get my chance to decompress and relax. Meditation forces me to spend time for myself, which is good.”
Keys hopes that people are able to take what they learn from each meeting, and use it to change their ways of thinking and apply meditation to their life outside of AU.
“First and foremost I hope people find community,” Keys said. “A lot of our members are underclassmen and I know how difficult it can be to find a place where you belong”.
Alongside their events, AU Meditation also shares meditation techniques, skills and resources through their Instagram page, so that students can do them on their own and modify based on their own needs.
“I suggest people explore their own practices,” Keys said. “Meditation is something that is super personal and no one regiment or schedule should be applied to all. It is important to see which practices work best for your mind and body,”
With the spring semester arriving students may find ways to be calm by joining the club or practicing techniques on their own. If it’s meeting friends or improving spiritual wellness you’re looking for, the AU Meditation club is just the place to start.