Bearded Thoughts | A Moment of Guided Silence

By Gryphon MacThoy

A life of Academia may seem a dream of calm and peace to those not currently living that life. However, those who are attending or ever have attended college know the truth. It’s STRESSFUL!

There is a little known secret to sanity at Seattle Central Community College. The esteemed Physical Education teacher and local Health Guru, Kelli Murphy, offers a silent Meditation Class at the Mitchell Activity Center. You don’t even have to register! The class is offered for free, on a drop-in basis. For the Spring 2012 quarter, it was on Tuesday from 12:10 – 12:30 PM. This summer quarter, she is not offering the meditation class, but it will return in the Fall 2012 quarter.

(Since publishing meditation classes have returned to SCCC for Fall quarter. As noted above they’re offered every Tuesday 12:10-12:30 PM)

If you’ve never had the opportunity to learn from Kelli, this is a great introduction. Her clear and simple instructional style makes it easy for a student to just learn, without struggle. Kelli also teaches the Weight Training class at SCCC, where I was a student this last quarter. Being a rather rotund man, I found that Kelli taught me to just work at becoming more healthy, without any sense of shame or impending failure. These are problems that any person who has dealt with obesity can tell you about. In Kelli’s class, these problems evaporated in the presence of fitness science, clearly presented, with the goal of Better outshining the old goal of Perfection.

In the Meditation Class, the students stretch out comfortably on mats. Kelli briefly guides the students through mindful breathing, reminding us that it is OK if our minds wander, so long as we keep returning to concentration on our breath. My mind wandered to Chemistry. Back to breathing. My mind wandered to chores around the house. Back to breathing. My mind wandered to doubts about my career path. Back to breathing. In less than 20 minutes of mindful breathing, I felt more relaxed than I had in years.

Check the Mitchell Activity Center for posters about the Meditation Class this Fall quarter. If your schedule permits, drop-in on a class whenever you can. (Be sure to be on time! Late arrivals would disrupt the other students.) Drop-in early in the quarter, before the burdens of Academia get your shoulders all hunched up. Learn how to find a moment of silence guided by your own breath.

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