Tallahassee Community College (TCC) unveiled The Meditation Room, a place dedicated to peaceful reflection and quiet meditation, on Thursday in the Fine and Performing Arts Center. It features large windows, dimmed lights and an open space.
TCC President Jim Murdaugh delivered a special address to guests and participants at the event. He expressed that meditation is an important part of what TCC is about and will help students learn to be effective in relationships through college and life. Murdaugh also spoke briefly about his own meditation practices and what it does for him.
“I take the time to think about all the positive things I need to be grateful for; all those things that give you strength when you come to work,” said Murdaugh.
Melissa Spear, office manager in the Division of Natural Science, pioneered this project when she started working at TCC in July of last year.
“I wanted to help students, faculty and staff have a place to come for private reflection,” she said.
As someone who practices yoga and Zen, Spear expressed that meditation is her most powerful tool. She attributes part of her inspiration to Kermit Harrison, fellow companion and associate professor of Philosophy at TCC who facilitates student meditation.
Funding for the Meditation Room was made possible by a grant from TCC Foundation’s College Innovation Fund. The fund is designed to encourage and provide financial support for students, faculty and staff to develop and implement projects that will improve the quality and/or quantity of programs and services at TCC. The foundation awarded $1000 dollars upon submission of a proposal by Spear.
A brief, guided meditation was led by Harrison at the end of the event. Outside of the academic environment, Harrison began teaching group meditation four years ago after his classes.
“The spiritual connection of oneness is what I tend to talk about when I’m away from an academic setting; meditation goes hand in hand,” he explained.
During the guided meditation, Harrison introduced the participants to the practice of meditation and explored what people are thinking while they’re doing it.
“For this purpose, breathing exercises and mind calm exercises kind of help people usher into the practice of meditation,” he continued.
Lisa Crum, accounting student from Crawfordville, FL, decided to attend the event after receiving notification through campus email.
“This seems like a really good, positive opportunity, especially when you’re standing in line about to take exams,” she said with relief.
The meditation room is open and free for students, faculty and staff, Monday thru Friday, from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m.