Students Turn to Meditation

For stress, focus, health and spirit, you name it and meditation addresses it. Now the collegiate population all over the country is turning to the practice of meditation to aid in dealing with the ever-mounting pressures of higher education coupled with life in today’s world. And it seems to be working.

College students today enter a world of fierce competition, and in the current state of America, questionable security after graduation. Students today are experiencing an unprecedented amount of stress, and are turning toward what was once considered unconventional to find respite. Instead of the traditional escape into unhealthy patterns and habits, a large number of college students are seeking balance and health through campus meditation groups and other avenues of contemplative practices.

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All over the US, colleges and universities are adding meditation courses to their curriculum and their lists of extra curricular activities. Clubs and organizations centered on meditation are also growing in popularity, and many traditional methods of assistance like on-campus psychotherapy are utilizing traditional meditation techniques in their approach. No longer is meditation something to wonder about, instead it is becoming an accepted and beneficial bonus to college life and there is a growing body of research to support its results.

Meditation decreases the stress response in the body and the mind and therefore increases focus, cognitive retention, and physical tension. It improves digestion and circulation and helps to remedy things like insomnia and insecurity. In academia, this translates as improved concentration, discriminative thought, and overall better students. And of course there is the spiritual component. Meditation and contemplative practices are a part of every major religion and spiritual practice. At a time when the mind of the student is taking in more of the panorama of experience and opinion, the practice of meditation is drawing seekers to discovery. Many faith-based organizations are including meditation in their repertoire of activities and services. Ultimately, the practice of meditation is independent of religious affiliation, but as regular meditators know, it plants the seeds of deep spiritual understanding.

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According to the daily headlines, our world is in an increasing state of decline, but if this decline can lead to the opening of awareness, if this decline can draw more people toward practices that deepen our understanding, then it has a purpose which transcends the stress and fear that appear on the surface. Throughout all of the many classes and experiences that higher education can offer, nothing can be more valuable than an understanding of the Self, and meditation can be a tool used to build that understanding.

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