University of North Texas
To promote good health, Dallas-area colleges realize need for meditation rooms
by Minnie Payne | February 27, 2019
Even though college is rewarding and fun, it can sometimes be stressful for students, faculty and staff. Among other schools, the University of North Texas – Denton, Texas Woman’s University – Denton, and Dallas Baptist University are providing meditation rooms to help promote good health.
University of North Texas coordinator of spiritual health Elijah Cumpton describes the university’s tranquil meditation room as occupying a big two-room space with a modern stained-glass window on the fourth floor of the Union Building. “No reservation is needed and it is open during Union Building hours to students, faculty, staff and visitors,” he says.
Oftentimes, busy schedules deter students from taking time to be still and meditate. “Time crunches are stressing us all out these days,” say experts at Mindful, a mission-driven non-profit. “But taking a pause from the rush-rush-rush may just help you use your time better while decreasing stress.”
Texas Women’s University recently opened its new wellness room for students, staff and faculty; it is located on the third floor of the campus library. Jennifer Morton-Riggs, manager of library events and external relations, describes it as a swipe-access space specifically designed to offer a quiet place for meditation, reflection and prayer. It offers a water feature, meditation and prayer cushions, storage cubicles and large windows to allow openness and natural light.
The collaborative vision for the space, Riggs says, is to offer the TWU community a place for yoga and meditation along with a quiet area for students to pray.
Dean of TWU Libraries Suzanne Sears adds: “We believe in providing our students with a space that not only promotes their physical and emotional well-being but a place for spirituality if students choose.”
The meditation room concept is not new to DBU. For the past 30 years, DBU has provided students with special locations for not only academic study but also for spiritual quietness. They also have a designated campus room where students, faculty and staff can pray.
Dallas Baptist University president Dr. Adam C. Wright prioritizes wellness in general on campus in addition to meditation and reflection. “We encourage the DBU family to engage in a well-balanced, healthy lifestyle and offer a variety of workout options on campus,” he says. “Our wellness program provides options and benefits for employees to engage in exercise and other fitness programs.”
Many colleges are recognizing the need for these meditation rooms or quiet places for students to take a break from stress. “Mental pain and anxiety are a background noise that can underlie much of what we do,” say the experts at Mindful. “Excess stress causes lots of illnesses and makes other illnesses worse.” That makes the need for these spaces all the more vital.
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