Ramapo’s Krame Center for Contemplative Studies and Mindful Living helped students relieve the stress of finals week. From Tuesday to Wednesday afternoon, members of the Krame Center provided stress-reducing exercises in the Potter Library, truly helping students increase their focus and prepare for finals. Many participants took a short break from their studies in an attempt to regenerate their minds.
Throughout the day, Peter Shalit, a Krame Center employee, instructed brief ten-minute mindful meditation sittings for students looking for a break from the stress of finals. Within the sessions, he spoke on relaxation, kindness, stress relief and self-awareness within the conference center of the Potter Library. The room was a warm and peaceful escape for students, with meditation mats placed on the floor and a traditional singing bowl.
Ramapo student Charlene Roberts, who has participated in meditation before, appreciated the session saying, “Though afterward I felt slightly tired, it was really relaxing and I actually wished the session was longer than ten minutes.”
Students spoke on their own methods of stress relief including yoga, Reiki meditation, relaxing music and more. The meditation sessions were open to everyone and completely free of cost for all Ramapo students and faculty members.
Meditation is a very inclusive practice and therefore beginners were encouraged to participate. Shalit, a certified yoga instructor, explained that meditation is really about awareness, so it is perfectly fine for the mind to begin to wander during any type of meditation.
“If you begin to think about your to-do list or the rest of your day, that’s completely fine,” he explained.
Shalit is a qualified mindfulness-based stress reduction teacher and has developed and instructed multiple programs with the Krame Center.
Senior Michaella Bermudez spoke on the importance of mental health in college, and relaxation during times of stress saying, “It’s so important to take a break from the books and focus on yourself for a minute, if you forget about your own mental health during finals week you can easily become overwhelmed. Whether it’s meditation, exercise or even a nap, it’s beneficial to take breaks.”
The Krame Center’s mission is to provide education on contemplative and mindfulness practices for the betterment and wellbeing of individuals within the community. Throughout the year, the Krame Center employees offer meditation workshops, silent retreats, weekly meditation and stress reduction courses to help Ramapo students succeed.
The Krame Center’s website offers online mindfulness meditation practices and instructional videos for anyone interested in clearing their mind and reducing their stress level.
Recently at Ramapo, the Krame Center has begun offering a minor in contemplative studies. The interdisciplinary minor will begin offering courses in the spring of 2018. The minor’s requirements include a mindful-based stress reduction seminar, yoga, world wisdom traditions and contemplative practices in education along with a few electives.