Meditation Sessions at College of Law Begin

Sofia Galiano meditates at least three times a week. According to her, it can prevent heart disease, reduce stress and significantly lessen ADHD.

“It’s a place that allows me to examine myself in a nonjudgmental way,” said Galiano, sophomore education major. “As a college student and a full-time employee, I get really stressed throughout the semester. This is just a way for me to relax and reflect on certain situations in my life.”

To meet the needs of University students and staff, the University’s College of Law Library has started offering a series of workshops called Guided Meditation for Relaxation.

Last spring, Pushyamitra Veeramachaneni, Head of Access Services and Outreach at the University’s College of Law Library, attended a meditation session conducted by the Religious Studies Department.

She loved it and, after that, the project took off.

“I mentioned it to the library director and she said that she would be happy to have sessions here,” she said. “Meditation is a path to well-being and inner transformation. It is important for balanced management of sensory perception and it helps in developing concentration power, decision power and memory.”

Veeramachaneni thinks these classes could be useful for the University community.

“We need these classes at the University because most of us start the day with the stress of driving to work and classes, academic load and also with personal issues,” she said. “A few minutes of meditation classes during the day at the University helps to calm us down.”

Workshop attendees will learn the different techniques of Preksha Meditation, the practice of purifying the emotions and conscious and realizing the own self.

According to Veeramachaneni, it is a combination of spirituality and science and helps develop “attitudinal and behavioral change.”

Andrea Seidel, associate professor in the Department of Religious Studies, thinks that meditation is a “strategy” for calming the mind and developing self-awareness of negative conditions, in particular.

“In a culture where nearly everyone is externally focused and multi-tasking on IPads, IPhones, computers and other media, meditation provides a tool for observing the mind and its often chaotic nature,” she said. “Success in life and career is largely rooted in the behavior and psyche of an individual. If one is not well-balanced, it will affect every aspect of life.”

Seidel teaches Yoga at the University and, over the course of a semester, sees many changes in students who apply themselves to the class.

“I tell my students: if your life doesn’t change somewhat for the better, then you have probably done very little in the class,” she said. “The rewards are reaped according to the amount of effort, dedication, and commitment to learning and applying the various tools and philosophical principles.”

For her, yoga is not a religion but a “spiritual science.”

“[It’s] a science of life, so one can learn great lessons in how to live a life of integrity, responsibility and dedication to higher principles that serve humanity,” said Seidel. “Yoga is a tool that helps to integrate the mind, body, spirit and emotions.  If furthers the invaluable process of “knowing thyself” and it fosters great moral values.”

Though the workshop series initially started for law students, it is open to anyone in the University community.

“Not only [does] it benefit law students, it benefits all of us,” said Veeramachaneni. “Meditation helps in developing insight and wisdom through which a student becomes better able to release stress, improve communication skills, and to have content mind which helps them to stay positive.”

The workshops will be held in the Modesto A. Maidique Campus’ Law Library Seminar Room, RDB 2080, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

To sign up and view the specific workshop dates, go to

They are free and open to the public.

“[Meditation] is better than sleeping,” said Galiano. “When you’re sleeping, you’re not reflecting on your life. There’s no illumination or grand realization. When you’re meditating, it’s a whole different experience. You dig deep and find things out about yourself. You’re more relaxed and attuned to your body and feelings. There’s nothing better.”

Photo Courtesy of Creative Commons

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