OPINION: The 4 best spots on campus to meditate

Damon Stone, News reporter

The beginning of the academic year can be a stressful time for students, and keeping calm and focused can be a daunting task. One way students can tackle academic pressure is through meditation. 

Dr. Karl Laves, associate director at the counseling center, shared his insights into meditation and the usefulness it can provide to people. 

“The purpose of meditation is to become aware of one’s thought process, and essentially slow down one’s thinking until one is not thinking,” Laves said. “Most people, if they’re teaching you to meditate or providing guidance, will talk a lot about the absence of distraction. Although, ironically, once one has practiced meditation, you get better at not being distracted, but for most people, in the beginning, you need a quiet place free of activity [and] noise.”

Laves said that by meditating, you can separate yourself from the stressors in life, reaching a state of peacefulness by distancing yourself from typical moment-to-moment thinking. 

Meditation can be done anywhere, free of charge. Instead of spending money to change how you feel, meditation can remind oneself that they are ultimately in control.

“For many people, when they’re meditating, they just focus on the idea that, no matter how bad life is, life is good,” Laves said. “And that you don’t have to keep up with the Joneses, and you really don’t have to give a crap about what somebody just posted on social media…you get rid of the idea that life is a competition.”

Here are four places around campus that can facilitate meditation:

South Lawn 

While students commonly use South Lawn for athletic activities, it also serves as a prime location for students to stretch out and unwind under the sky.

However, this location is highly dependent on time of day. Should one decide to try and meditate when the lawn is crowded for an event, meditation can be next to impossible. 

The Colonnade

Already used by students for homework and meeting with friends, the Colonnade, located behind the Ivan Wilson Center for Fine Arts, offers a calming presence near the top of the hill. 

Its location next to the Commons at Helm Library provides convenience to students should they need a bite to eat or some extra energy from Spencer’s Coffee. 

Additionally, the nearby fountain provides a naturally calming sound that can help students rest and clear their minds. 

The Kissing Bridge

An idyllic spot for couples and for taking pictures, the bridge behind Van Meter Hall, colloquially known as the “Kissing Bridge”, is another good spot for meditation.

Located away from most pathways, the bridge provides a bit of isolation that helps with meditation. Although, depending on time of day, distant sounds of construction may be more present than desired. 

Regardless, the Kissing Bridge remains a popular attraction and can be a place to rest and recuperate after a long week of classes.

Van Meter Hall

While it is a trek from most places on campus, the view from the steps at Van Meter Hall can help with the meditative process of reflection. 

Looking out in the distance at the Alumni Center and downtown Bowling Green can provide clarity for students who are seeking composure and allow them to reflect on their experience on the Hill so far, preparing them for the weeks, months or years to follow.

News reporter Damon Stone can be reached at [email protected].