Thursday, October 9, 2014

Meditation Gathering Offers Stress-Free Atmosphere

Betty Mandeville leads the meditation group.
Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and let the stress roll away.

Those are simple instructions for reducing the hectic nature of being in college. Thanks to a weekly meditation group led by associate professor of English Dr. Betty Mandeville, students, faculty, and staff at Vol State have a way to make their semester a little easier.

A similar group was led last year by Mandeville and Dr. Michael Lenz. With Lenz's departure from Vol State, Mandeville wanted to sure a similar time of meditation was offered this year. Mandeville wanted to open the practice up to more participants, including faculty and staff.

While attendance has only drawn a few faculty members in its first two weeks, Mandeville is hoping students start attending as well. After all, the stress from studying and being in the classroom go both ways.

"This can be helpful and it puts students and faculty on equal footing. We're all in this together. We're all stressed out. We all want time to be quiet. I like the idea of sharing the space together in an equal way," she said.

Each session starts off with a short reading before heading into about 30 minutes of silent meditation. It's just enough time to help refocus one's energy before heading back out to face the day.

"You have to go right back out and face it, because the chemistry test is still coming. The bills are still due. It can help you get through the bad things so you can enjoy the good things if you learn how to be a little more present to them," Mandeville said.

Even if you're unfamiliar with meditation or a little nervous about what to do, Mandeville said she would invite anyone who is interested to stop by and check it out.

The group meets every Friday at 12:30 p.m. in the Jim Moore Conference Room upstairs in the Thigpen Library.

For more information about the group, email Mandeville at or visit office 131 in the Ramer Administration Building.

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