Article by Amelia Kunko <email@example.com>
Are you looking for a way to combat the mid-semester stress, or just looking for a space on campus to decompress after classes? Check out Religious and Spiritual Life’s Midweek Meditation, which takes place every Wednesday at 5pm in the Bomberger Chapel.
Midweek Meditation is a welcoming group of students that gathers weekly for the sole purpose of being present in the moment. “For those who are not familiar, weekly meditation isn’t like your other activities on campus,” says Aidan Nadell ’25, co-leader of Meditation. “It is the complete absence of activity: we sit on chairs or cushions in a circle with our eyes closed and nothing but audio cues to guide our breathing.”
There is plenty of evidence that meditating can have tremendous positive impacts on our health and sense of wellbeing. As busy college students, it is important for us to have the option to take part in something like a weekly student-led meditation to relax and feel grounded in the present moment. Nadell has found meditation to be a particularly valuable part of taking care of himself. “I have found meditation to be a personal lifesaver,” says Nadell, “As someone who is compulsively busy and lives with anxiety, I sometimes struggle with burnout and exhaustion. Meditation forces me to take a break when I don’t want to take one but need to take one.”
The co-leaders of Midweek Meditation, Nadell and Alex Bender ’24, are invested in providing a space on campus for all students to take a break from their busy schedules. Nadell has a personal and longstanding connection to meditation. “My experience with meditation started in childhood, when my mom introduced me to a meditation app called Calm,” Nadell says. “Ever since, I’ve been using it [on-and-off] every morning and supplementing my practice with the sessions that we do every week.” Like Nadell, other students may find weekly group meditation useful in learning how to meditate outside of the group setting.
Midweek Meditation was started by recent alumni Evan Stinson during his time at Ursinus. Stinson’s weekly meditation began as Monday Meditation, and was rooted in Buddhism. “After Evan graduated, Alex and I wanted to see the group continue despite our lack of Buddhist knowledge,” Nadell says.
While it’s important to be involved in our academics and extracurriculars, it’s equally as important for us as busy students to prioritize our wellbeing and mental health. “Weekly meditation is a rare chance to unplug from the busyness that is campus life at Ursinus,” Nadell says. “I love that we, as a student body, are as involved and engaged as we are. But, this treadmill of constant stimulation can become taxing to our minds and bodies if they are not kept in check.”
Making time to prioritize mental health is easier said than done, but it’s still important to carve out that time to care for our wellbeing. Meditation is one of many ways to do so. “You might have read this article and thought to yourself, Meditation would be nice… if only I had time for it,” Nadell says. “I would argue that you don’t have the time not to do it if you feel too busy — meditation helps you refocus and become more productive in the outside world.”
All students are welcome to stop by Midweek Meditation, whether you’re a seasoned meditator or are just beginning your meditation journey. If you would like to learn more about Midweek Meditation, do not hesitate to reach out to Aidan Nadell at firstname.lastname@example.org or Aziz Nathoo, Ursinus’s Muslim Life Coordinator, at email@example.com. Remember to stop by the Chapel on Wednesdays at 5pm if you’d like to meditate!