By Gabriel Bugarin
FSCJ’s choice of clubs and groups allow students opportunities to better themselves and meet like-minded individuals. Oftentimes these meet-ups impart valuable knowledge and skills that would otherwise cost buckets of money to learn.
One such group is the Meditation Club, located at South Campus. It was started by Professor Indrani Sindhuvalli about four years ago. She has personally been practicing meditation for the past 17 years–at least the form of meditation that she aims to teach through the club.
Sindhuvalli grew up in India, where meditation is widely practiced, though she says it wasn’t until 1998 when she was introduced to Natural Path Meditation that she began to do it with fervor–and her enthusiasm is apparent in the way she talks about it. She smiles as she discusses how meditation has helped her, and how she has seen it help others.
This firsthand experience is the major drive behind her efforts to start a club. Sindhuvalli has designed a six-week workshop for interested students, where she guides people through the basics of meditation, and presents evidence of the physiological, biological and neurological benefits meditation has. Sindhuvalli also wants the meetings to be a place where members discuss meditation as a whole, as well as their own experiences with it. She wants people to be aware of the fact that meditation isn’t tied to any religious affiliation, further emphasizing meditation is for everyone.
“Religion and spirituality are separate,” Sindhuvalli said. “But many religious groups practice meditation. It is because many religions often share the same premise–seeking oneness with the absolute, as well as understanding why we are here. I believe meditation can help with this.”
Recruiting members for her club hasn’t always been easy, Sindhuvalli stated. People have trickled in and out over the years, but there currently aren’t any official members. Despite these difficulties, she is absolutely passionate about getting the club going and finding new ways to make people aware of the its existence.
“The two benefits I see most often are the short-term of more peace, and the feeling of being more centered,” She said. “Long-term, I see shifts in the way people view the world towards why they are here.” Sindhuvalli highlights these points as to why it is important for members to be consistently engaged with the club.
“Just try it, don’t be afraid,” Sindhuvalli said. “Meditation gives you resilience against things such as stress and anxiety. It is natural for your thoughts to wander, and meditation helps gently bring your mind to a single thought–your center. It is a self-fulfilling cycle.”
The Meditation Club’s next meeting will be held on June 24 around 11 a.m. at Professor Sinduvalli’s office, room D121 of South Campus.
Photo by Sebastien Wiertz