by Gary Smith
“Sit in a comfortable position, relaxed but alert and choose a place to notice your breath: your nostrils, your abdomen or your chest and just experience it,” said Mary Haberman, a teacher on campus trying to start a meditation club.
There isn’t a meditation club on campus yet, Haberman is determined to start one. She says that meditation can be helpful for anyone under stress but for students especially.
“We live in such a multi-tasking, over-stimulating world, I think it’s important to know how to take breaks and to slow down, and get a fresh perspective,” Haberman said.
The interest is there. Haberman has had several students tell her they want to be involved in the club. “We just need to get it off the ground,” she said. “Sometimes it’s hard to get things rolling.”
While Haberman may not be an expert on meditation, she does know one. He is a Buddhist monk, and he happens to have been a Whatcom Community College student, albeit some years ago. His name is Pannobhasa and he lives in Burma. Haberman said he is willing to help interested students.
You don’t need to be as skilled as Pannobhasa to meditate, you just need to know the basics, and there are plenty of places in Bellingham that can teach you that. There are even free meditation retreats offered through www.Dhamma.org. Haberman doesn’t recommend those for beginners.
“They are pretty intense and not for everybody, but if you want to dive in, it’s a great experience,” she said. “You get up at 4:30 in the morning to meditate and are pretty much meditating all day with stretching,walking and meal breaks.”
It may take some more time to get a meditation club started here at WCC, but you can always practice it at home or at the various clubs in town. If students or faculty are interested then make it known to Mary Haberman, and she will meditate on it.