Awareness – and a Bonus Five Senses

9 26  2This is a carry over from Friday, Deac families.  I was making my way back to my office following my observations in the ZSR Starbucks for Friday’s Five Senses post, and saw some signs and daffodils in Tribble Courtyard and on the Mag Quad (aka Manchester).  I was curious and stopped to read the signs.

The signs tell the story of September being National Suicide Awareness Month.  This is a subject near and dear to my heart.  One of my best Wake friends lost a spouse to suicide several years ago, and several of my most beloved Wake friends and family members have dealt with the illness that is clinical depression.

9 26 69 26 5It is good to see these signs out there.  While the statistics can be jarring, sad, and frightening, it is important to raise awareness and talk about these issues.

I was reading an article on Facebook last night about depression, and this line struck me: “Self-care is not gluttonous. I repeat to…everybody: SELF-CARE IS NOT GLUTTONOUS. It is mandatory for happy, healthy living. Do it. Seriously, do it.”

We are working so much on campus on Thrive and helping people maximize their wellbeing.  We just had the hugeThrive kickoff.  Seeing these signs, it seems like a great time to remind everyone that we have a terrific University Counseling Center that is there to see students, or concerned friends, etc.  They have a website with lots of good resources on it.  Self-care is not gluttonous.

And on the subject of Thrive and self-care, the Daily Deac is bringing you a bonus Five Senses (well, four senses really).  This time it is from the Meditation Group that takes place every M W and F from 8:00-8:25 am in the Interfaith Meditation Room (23 Reynolda Hall).  This is one of many options your students have to nurture their spiritual wellbeing.

I see…

– when I first walk in the room, I see square mats on the floor, with circular mats on top of them.

– benches along the walls for people who don’t wish to sit on the floor.

– a tall, Japanese style floor lamp.  It provides the only light in there, sort of a dim, amber light.

– shoes in piles.  You take your shoes off as you enter the room.

– new faces in the group, which is nice.  I am a novice, but it is nice to see some new folks taking advantage of this offering.  They appeared to be students.

– when the meditation starts, I close my eyes.  I see nothing for 25 minutes, just the blackness of closed eyes.

– at the very end, when the meditation is over, I see the others in the group as we form a semicircle facing each other.  We bow to each other.


I hear…

– the room is silent when I enter.  As people arrive, if they speak at all, it is in hushed tones.

– three tinny chimes of the meditation bell that signifies the start of the meditation period.

– the soft, gentle voice of the leader of the meditation.  He speaks some words to invite people to be present:  “Breathing in, I calm my body. Breathing out, I smile.  Dwelling in the present moment.  I know this is a wonderful moment.”

– silence.  For the next 25 minutes, there is no speaking at all, only people breathing deeply.

– occasional breaks in the silence – the entrance doors to Reynolda Hall (which are nearby), open and shut.  I can hear workers in the food service loading dock (on the other side of the meditation room) talking to each other about deliveries.

– a low, buzzy electric hum is coming somewhere from the room, or the ceiling.  It sounds like an old fluorescent light and the hum that it makes.

– two tinny chimes of the meditation bell to signify the end of the meditation period.


I smell…

– incense.  There is one stick that is lit and it wafts through the room, occasionally reaching my nostrils.  It is not an overpowering smell.


I feel…

– a bit warm.  The room is tiny and there is not a ton of air circulating.

– peace.

– calm.

– the cushion against my back as I sit on the bench.

– my hands come together as we bow to each other at the end.

– cushions in my hand as we all work together to put away the cushions and stack them neatly so the room can be used by others later.

– better when I leave than when I did when I entered.  I feel calmer, happier, like I will be less inclined to be stressed today.  I feel more at peace with myself and the world.

– The present moment is a wonderful moment.




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