Allie Lake ’14 has helped organized a series of lectures and workshops, “Manage Your Mind: An Introduction to the Practice and Science of Mindfulness,” designed to expose the Haverford community to various perspectives on mindfulness meditation. Lake, along with Arman Terzian ’14 and Dan Feller ‘13, has devised a program that emphasizes the role of meditation in stress-management and emotional well-being and examines it in the context of neuroscience, disease treatment and ancient contemplative traditions.
“I wanted to make more knowledge of mindfulness available to the Haverford community, not only as a useful tool in a rigorous academic environment, but also as a topic of intellectual and academic interest,” says Lake. “More and more neuroscientists are researching the physical effects and health benefits of mindfulness, and doctors use these contemplative techniques to help chronically ill patients cope with severe pain.”
The series, sponsored by Students Council and Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), runs on Saturdays through April 14. This Saturday’s event, “The Teachings of Zen,” will include a talk and meditation practice with Pat Jikyo George, the director of the Zen Center of Philadelphia. Also scheduled in the coming weeks are student-led meditation, a mindfulness for caregivers workshop, a talk about the intersection of meditation and neuroscience, and a talk on the teachings of Buddha (see full schedule for details below).
Lake hopes that these workshops and talks will benefit the Haverford community, especially in the busy lead-up to exams season.
“I have been interested in meditation since I learned about it at summer camp when I was 13, and I have practiced yoga informally for several years,” she says. “It wasn’t until later that I learned that meditation goes beyond the practice of sitting in silence with a straight spine and can be extended to an entire way of living that involves attentiveness to the present moment, awareness of one’s own physical and emotional state, and calmness of mind—this is my personal definition of mindfulness… These practices have helped me with issues such as anxiety, academic stress and time-management—all of which seem quite pronounced on Haverford’s campus, especially during the hectic time of exams season.”
Lake, Terzian and Feller hope this event helps them establish a connection with other Haverford community members interested in meditation practice, and they plan to established a weekly meditation practice for them. They are also hoping to integrate mindfulness into the College’s physical education requirement.
Manage Your Mind: An Introduction to the Practice and Science of Mindfulness:
March 17: Pat Jikyo George of the Zen Center of Philadelphia, “The Teachings of Zen,” 11 a.m., Campus Center 313
March 24: Student-led meditation practice, 11 a.m., Campus Center 313
March 31: Michael Baime, MD, co-founder of the Penn Program for Mindfulness and professor at Penn Medicine, “Healing the Heart and Mind: Mindfulness for Caregivers,” 11 a.m., Campus Center 313
April 7: Eileen Cardillo, Ph.D., “The Intersection of Mindfulness and Neuroscience,” 11 a.m., Campus Center 313
April 14: Glenn Wallis of the Won Institute, “The Original Teaching of the Buddha,” 11 a.m., Campus Center 313