The highly anticipated “Meditation and Reflection Room” in the $44 million William N. Pennington Student Achievement Center at University of Nevada, Reno.
Fortunately, I have received the great opportunity to serve as president of Universal Society of Hinduism, and I definitely commend UNR for accepting the long-standing need of students for a neutral space for meditation, prayer, reflection, etc., thus recognizing the intersection of spirituality and education. It is a step in the positive direction.
According to various studies, claims and experiences; meditation brings peace of mind. It helps one focus, improves attention and memory, lower the stress and anxiety that results from academics, improves academic performance, creates a positive self-image, brings self-confidence, heightens optimism, reduces fatigue, etc. It’s incredible that the university has waited this long to create these rooms.
President Johnson shared that this room would be open to all campus students belonging to various religions/denominations and non-believers for meditation, reflection and prayer. This room would include various cabinets where each student could keep their required religious icons and articles locked to be brought out when needed by individuals.
President Johnson also informed me that initially the “Meditation and Reflection Room” would be open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, with the possibility of opening it for 24-hours depending on need and feasibility in the future. It would be a quiet place for all students to use free of charge, he added.
A potential 24 hour center such as this being easily accessible to all students would promote the idea of greater wellness in our community.
I can’t stress enough that with the presence of a “Meditation and Reflection Room,” UNR students will have a more spiritually meaningful life in addition to material success after they graduate from here. The meditation rooms will be another feather in UNR’s cap in making it a world-class educational institution.
The 78,000 square-foot Student Achievement Center, which is home to the “Meditation and Reflection Room”; will also include Writing Center, Math Center, Tutoring Center, Career Services, Advising Center, Student Veterans Affairs, Disabilities Resource Center, Counseling Services, etc. This building “will help our students to become great scholars”, a UNR brochure indicates.
Many universities in USA and Canada already have prayer/meditation room for quiet reflection and spiritual exercise.
This room provides a place for spiritual reflection and an escape of stresses all students face, is very essential and is just a step in the right direction to promote wellness on our great university campus.
Rajan Zed can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @TheSagebrush