LSU opens doors to spirituality on campuscsudhbulletin September 23, 2016 0 COMMENTS
By Julissa James
Editor in Chief
Holistic approaches to well-being have gained popularity in recent years. From naturopathic medicine to acupuncture, to meditation and beyond, people are beginning to give alternative methods of wellness some legitimate credit.
Such holistic treatments are not only sought out by those who need physical care, but, in large, by those seeking emotional support. These new-age practices act as a tool for mental wellness and, many times, a solution.
The Loker Student Union (LSU) is working to be part of this movement with, those behind the scenes say, the best interest of the Dominguez Hills community in mind.
A meditation center opened Sept. 6 in a small corner of the LSU. With a muted, green and lavender color scheme, wooden floors, meditation cushions, and meditation instructions on the wall, students have everything they need for reaching spiritual transcendence in the newly renovated space.
“My hopes are that we are able to expose students to different practices, which will support their well being,” said Cecilia Ortiz, director of the LSU. “We’re looking for ways to support the holistic development of students.”
When the LSU was renovated in 2007, the same space where the meditation center is now served the same purpose.
It was decided to change the old meditation center to a general student lounge after the space was not being used. This time around, the meditation center construction costs were $42,000.
Ortiz said that the idea for reopening the center came about in 2013, when the LSU board began receiving requests from students who were seeking a place to meditate, pray and withdraw from the havoc of campus life.
The new and improved meditation center is one of three additions the LSU has made this semester. It has also made space for KDHR, the on-campus radio station and a new TV lounge.
Ortiz hopes the center will support those who already practice meditation, spark curiosity in those unfamiliar with it and provide a safe space to those who need it.
“With the climate we have in our nation with people who are severely stressed or experiencing mental health disorders, this might be a place from which we can begin to have that conversation or (offer) respite for someone,” Ortiz said.
Along with the meditation center, the LSU also plans to sponsor complimentary educational events. These events are intended to expose students to other forms of self-care.
Installment one of this series was a two-hour workshop, “Crystal Healing for the Chakras.”
The purpose of the class was to learn how to use healing crystals for the chakras, a system originating from India describing the body’s seven energy centers.
Julianna Davis, certified crystal healer and Reiki master who taught the class, brought it to a close by guiding students through a meditation where they placed the LSU-provided healing crystals on each chakra in their bodies.
“I think (having a workshop like this on a college campus) is amazing and incredible,” Davis said. “It shows a lot about our society evolving and being more open spiritually.”
Classes like these, along with the opening of the meditation center, is the LSU’s way of recognizing the link between spirituality and wellness expressed by students.
The fair amount of stress everyone faces in their daily lives is a consequence of the student, if not human, experience.
The LSU is aiming to provide resources that decrease that mentally taxing stress.