Southern sees the creation of meditation club on campus

Josh Falcone – General Assignment Reporter

Recently Southern saw the formation of a new campus club, a club that hopes to discuss along with spread the strong power of meditation. Senior, David Kowal, who said he has had an intense passion for mindfulness meditation for years, created the club. “I have been doing formal meditation for two years,” he said. In addition to the formal practice of meditation, Kowal said, prior to that, he spent his time reading books on the subject and studied it on his own.

Kowal’s goal for the creation of the club is to bring a place for the practice of meditation to the campus of Southern, he said. “The club is for students to learn about mindfulness and meditation,” Kowal said,  “and to create an environment where everyone feels comfortable and open and willing to share in this communal activity.”

The art of mindfulness meditation is, according to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), is a great avenue in the alternative medicine field that is used to treat many ailments including, insomnia, pain, depression, anxiety, and stress. The practice includes breathing exercises and has the meditator learn to focus their attention on what they are experiencing while at the same time gaining the ability to not react or judge the feeling. According to NCCAM, the ultimate goal of mindfulness meditation is for the meditator to use what they learn and put it to use in their daily life to balance and accept their emotions and thoughts.

Kowal brought this to the meditation club’s first official meeting last Wednesday, where he discussed with those in attendance what they knew about meditation and what their experiences with meditation were. Kowal led the group through two exercises and then had them discuss how and what they felt. In the first exercise, Kowal had the group close their eyes and let everything free from their minds; at that point Kowal had the group members concentrate on various aspects of how their bodies felt while they meditated. In the second exercise, Kowal gave those in attendance a random object and while they held their object in their hands told them to concentrate on the object while clearing their minds.

According to the organization Project Meditation, by practicing meditation daily, meditators will increase their immune systems and help fight off illnesses and injuries due to a lower blood pressure. In future meetings Kowal hopes to initiate other forms of meditation including audio meditation and eating meditation, he said.

The group will also rely on what its members would like to try, Kowal said, and he hopes that some of the meetings will feature forms that the group members would like to practice.

Kowal said his hope is to disperse the power of mindfulness meditation around the campus of Southern.

“I want to spread awareness about mindfulness and meditation as a way to be more in touch with yourself, and with others, and with the world around you, and how to make the community a better place,” Kowal said.

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