Classroom transforms into sacred sanctuary
February 25, 2009 7:10 PM
Next week a sanctuary will be formed. The room will be filled with nothing but candlelight and ambient music. The ground will be covered with tapestries to lie or sit on. This peaceful place is not located in a garden, temple, or monastery; but in the HSS building.
Starting on Monday, the Holistic Health Network will be hosting weekly meditation meetings. The group will turn a classroom into a quiet, sacred space where students and faculty can "sit and ground themselves", according to the network's president, Carlee Ann Brown.
"It is beneficial for all to listen to their body and have a moment of silence," said the 4th year biology student.
For 18 years, the Holistic Health Network has served as a community for students interested not only in health alternatives but also in ecological, social, and political issues. The group's library, located in the HSS building, is a place filled with resources including books, DVDs, CDs, and art.
But it's the non-tangible offerings that make the center so special. Guests are always greeted with a smile, a sincere "hello" and are encouraged to grab a free cup of tea to enjoy on one of their two soft, old couches.
Vita Tihen graduated last spring but continues to frequent the campus for the sole purpose of volunteering at the Holistic Health Library.
"Our place is a living and working experiment with the community," she said. "Over the years it has become a family for me."
The network hopes to gain recognition from the biweekly mediation. It has also hosted heath care conferences, political meetings and free massages. The center reports that it has doubled its daily visitor average since last semester, when they first started keeping record.
"People show up and like the people they meet," said Kenn Burrows, the library's founder and faculty adviser to the network. "Like anything good, it seeds itself."
No matter how many come, the Holistic Health Network will offer a method of healing they feel many know little about.
Anne Salsbury, a 60-year-old volunteer, came up with idea of regular meditation.
"The tension in your body, and the disquiet in your spirit get a chance to be calm," she said about meditation." In and of itself, this is healing in both the short and long run."
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