Meditation Room brings peace to campus in a new efficient way
January 7, 2019
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The Meditation Room is a place on campus where students and staff can go to relax a little and ease off some of the stress of their everyday lives. SWAT and health classes have done their best to spread more awareness about the room’s benefits for overall wellness. While this is a fairly new addition to the school, the room has already made a huge impact for those who have contributed to its development as well as people who benefit from the room’s atmosphere.
Last year, SWAT team leaders went to a Shark Tank competition to pitch their idea of a meditation room. As a result, they won and earned the grant that gave them the funds to build the room. Construction finished around the end of April this year with the help of Gail Salameh, librarian, who planned the location and equipment as supervisor. The Meditation Room is located in the library, where anyone can find and access the room easily.
“It is an open forum for faculty and staff community members to come at any time the school’s open to be an outlet for, in mindfulness approach, to be healthier,” said Shane Hesse, health teacher.
The health classes also participated in learning more about the concept of the room at the beginning of the school year, where they listened to a mindfulness and meditation seminar. Then afterwards, they had the basic information needed to share with the rest of the school. Salameh expresses how essential spreading the word really is.
“This is important because students need to be thinking about more than their grades and their relationships with other students,” Salameh said.
Getting more people to utilize and enjoy the Meditation Room is definitely a goal of hers, and she wants students, in particular, to see the bigger picture.
“Well, I’m a meditator, so for me, it’s extremely important. I think a lot of us, especially with these screens we’re all attached to all the time, you know a lot of us have just lost track of who we really are,” said Salameh.
The Meditation Room is convenient for people to come and meditate during school hours. Here, there are helpful tools that introduce a relaxed feeling, such as app links for music, guided meditation, and comfy chairs.
“You could ask for a pass and go to the library, and then spend five minutes to become present,” Hesse said.
The actual meditation that occurs within the room is meant to allow someone to clear their mind and get back to the right mindset without having to go at a specific time of day.
“And being present just means that sometimes, you’re able to calm down,” said Hesse. “Get yourself back to a good state of mind and then refocus your time and your energy to be able to go back to your classroom and be successful.”
The positive influence of the Meditation Room can be seen through students who use it often. Amber Fairbanks, sophomore, explains that it’s a release from the “stressors at home,” for example, and heads there once a week to escape the pressure of her problems.
“I sit down, I cross my legs and I breathe. I put music on and just listen,” Fairbanks said.
Although the whole school is not completely aware of this section, people who have recently discovered it can give an outside perspective.
“I think it has the potential of helping a lot of students cope, especially with the stress of finals coming up, I feel like it could relieve a lot of anxiety,” said Cassidy Meyer, senior.
Meyer only just heard about it, but she can already tell that there will be future achievements involved.
“I hope that it’ll continue because I really can see it helping a lot of people,” Meyer said. “I know that a bunch of colleges have started doing things similar to this, and I know they’re seeing a lot of improvement in mental health of their students.”
As the Meditation Room reaches for more popularity within OHS, the main reason as to why it was created in the first place will always take prominence. Salameh remarks that she had a difficult high school experience, where loneliness took over. Now, she aims to make sure that the room can be the place where people are comfortable and carried away from the fear of not having some sort of protection.
“So, I’ve just tried to heal a few more hearts, I think, with this,” said Salameh. “There’s mindfulness and there’s ‘heartfulness’ too. If they can go in there and feel their inner love again, that’s a great thing, too.”