Finding Mindfulness through Meditation

Sophomores Melanie Crawford and Sienna Goren enjoy meditating outside. Photo: Amy Butler

Sophomores Melanie Crawford and Sienna Goren enjoy meditating outside. Photo: Amy Butler

According to the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California-Berkeley, mindfulness increases positive emotions, improves focus and boosts memory. These are only a few of the benefits that come with attending mindfulness meditation.

Woodruff Library Head Librarian Mr. Ball introduced mindfulness meditation to Pace after practicing mindfulness himself for the last couple of years. Since it can reduce stress and heighten awareness, he thought it would be a fantastic idea to share his passion with the Pace community. “If you look broadly at the mission of the library,” said Mr. Ball, “part of our goal is to help students achieve academic success and become better learners. With all that in mind, it seemed like a natural fit for the library to introduce mindfulness to Pace.” 

He hopes that more students “will become interested in mindfulness and want to incorporate it into their daily lives.” He said that many schools even bring meditation into the classroom, with teachers leading sessions for the first several minutes of class. Mr. Ball thinks this could be an interesting experiment to try at Pace, perhaps in homeroom or assembly. This would include sitting quietly with closed eyes and focusing on breathing. The goal isn’t only to “clear our minds of all thoughts, but rather to notice thoughts and sounds when we’re distracted by them, then return focus to our breath,” according to Mr. Ball. “It is extremely simple, relaxing, and will definitely improve someone’s mood.”

Mr. Ball understands that everyone is connected through text messaging, emails and various forms of social media. So, he believes that taking 15 to 20 minutes to disconnect from the hectic social world can be a wonderful idea. As of right now, mindfulness meditation sessions at Pace are in a “holding pattern while we figure out the best time to have our sessions, and find someone who can lead them,” said Mr. Ball. Last year, Ms. Fallon led meditations while Mrs. Eden was on maternity leave. Ms. Fallon is an experienced mindfulness and yoga instructor, and enjoyed leading students in mindfulness.

Some students recognize the benefits of mindfulness, including junior Jabril Sadiq. “When I closed my eyes during mindfulness,” he said, “it felt like I was opening doors in my mind I never had time to open.”