Stress and worry affects all of us and in many ways. College students arguably have one of the biggest drivers for stress, which is the need to do well with their studies, extracurricular activities, and work a part-time job. Realizing this it is essential for students to find a way to alleviate this stress and I have found such an outlet here at Shippensburg University.

The answer is meditation, one of the oldest and most well-known methods for relaxing, focusing, and finding peace with whatever situation you find yourself in. Directed by Dr. Toru Sato of the Psychology department and Dr. Tomoko Grabosky of the Counseling Services Center have been coordinating the Mindfulness Meditation Series for fifteen years on campus.  Each session is free and open to all students, staff and faculty. 

I decided to attend their first session for the semester, having never attempted meditation before and already beginning to feel the stress of school. I snagged myself a large pillow on the floor as the room began to fill with students. The session began with Dr. Sato and Dr. Grabosky introducing themselves and the workshop. We were told to forget about the things going on in our lives, the worries we had or the tasks we had to do later that day. The instruction was to simply focus on our breathing and only that. It seemed so simple that there was no way it would have any impact on my stress, but after the session I had a complete change of heart. My body had not felt so relaxed and my mind was clear and happy. Dr. Sato led the session and stated “mindfulness meditation doesn’t change life. Life remains as fragile and unpredictable as ever.  Meditation changes the heart’s capacity to accept life as it is.” Although he did not claim to be any kind of meditation master, he was certainly an expert in my book.

-Jeremy Aiello

Jeremy is a senior at Shippensburg University majoring in Human Communication Studies with a minor in business. When he isn't busy with school he will spend time with the campus theater group Act V and working at Bard Townhouses Student Community. Jeremy plans to move to New Jersey after graduation and work for a Non-profit organization in economic and community development.