Meditation: It’s one of those things that you probably should be doing, but definitely aren’t, like eating five fruits a day or not looking at artificial light before bed. But considering the health benefits according to studies, like reducing anxiety, insomnia and making more folds in your brain which helps transmit signals faster, there’s no reason not to. And as a certified person with literally no chill, it’s been my goal to meditate at least a few times a week. My mom even bought me a real-life CD with guided practice on it.
It’s recommended to meditate right before bed, but that doesn’t always work, especially if you’re a stressed student like me, and just fall asleep if you lay down past 10 p.m. So I’ve gathered up some places to meditate on campus! All you need is a quiet place, some headphones, a guided practice (many free one can be found online) or mantra, and at least 15 or 20 minutes.
I say this in a general sense because there are a few great Grassy Knolls or Hills on campus. The one to the east of the old Annenberg building (behind Taper) is a favorite of mine.
It can get a little chatty at lunch time, but if you have headphones it’s no big deal. Other campus knolls include in the music school if you don’t mind acoustic guitar, and the big hill on the side of McCarthy Quad (not recommended on Wednesday during the Farmer’s Market). These are great if it’s sunny and not great if it’s rainy or cold, and the soft grass is great if you want to take a post-meditation nap.
Stretch of Grass behind Bridge/Hoffman
It may be close to the road, but that means traffic will drown out any conversations that make take you from your zone. There’s some cool statues to hang near — and as far as grassy spots on campus go, this one is pretty quiet and sunny, with most students only really walking by. The place is good for a quick 15 minute session.
Honestly, The Library
OK, hear me out on this one. It’s quiet (especially when you go up to the third or fourth floor of Leavey) and no one will judge you if you put your head down and close your eyes. The chairs may not be the most comfortable, but doesn’t the just keep you mindful of your body? And chances are, since it’s midterm season, you’re already in the library, so you might as well get some relaxation and focus on your study break instead of refreshing instagram again. Or do both. Good for a study break!
The guided meditation albums can get pretty expensive, but there are so many more resources (like the entire Internet) out there to create the program that is perfect for you. Some mantras work better on other people than they may for you. Just remember, you’re giving back to your body just by trying to meditate. And your body will love you for that. Soon enough you will be zen.