By Naniyah McClain
Student Lifestyle Editor
Inhale, exhale, repeat.
Practicing meditation is a stress reliever and helps us to take time for ourselves in our daily lives. Student Counseling and Psychological Services is offering meditation sessions via Zoom to help students learn this mindfulness practice.
Every Wednesday from 4 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. via Zoom, psychological counselor of S-CAPS, Charles Imbimbo leads a meditation group through a program called “Meditation and Mindfulness.” The program allows students to be more present and engaged with themselves through different types of mediation methods such as diaphramic breathing, zen meditation and love and kindness meditation.
The weekly Zoom sessions have a calm and peaceful atmosphere. Much like the sessions at Dickinson Hall before the pandemic there is a relaxing tone to the Zoom sessions. Students are allowed to keep their cameras off as they were led through a diaphragmatic breathing session.
“If your mind starts wandering, just come back to focus on your breathing,” said Imbimbo.
Originally, the program took place in Dickinson Hall in room 504, but the sessions started being held on Zoom on Apr. 1, 2020, not long after FDU went remote.
When asked about the difference between instructing meditation and mindfulness on Zoom, Imbimbo said via email,“It is a different experience. Being in a room with people is more immediate and you sense that presence; however, I’ve found that Zoom has some advantages too, I’ve actually had students attend the group from Kuwait, Albania, Iceland and New Jersey all at the same time. I find that so amazing and inspiring,” said Imbimbo.
Imbimbo has been teaching mediation for 25 years and has been practicing it since the late 1970’s.
“In the 1990s, I began studying Zen which emphasizes breathing and concentration. We focus on the breath, and we maintain mindful attention while sitting and walking in a focused meditative state,” said Imbimbo.
The sessions help students to go into another world through a meditative state by learning how to let go of their thoughts and refocus on the most important aspects in their lives.
“I knew that conditions at FDU and throughout the region were very stressful, and regarding COVID-19, most of the mental health experts I was reading suggested that mindfulness and meditation were powerful tools to deal with the stress, anxiety, and uncertainty that we were all [and still are] facing,” said Imbimbo.
During each session, students would usually describe the experience as “calm,” “relaxed” and/or “releasing a huge weight off their shoulders” on the chat or on camera.
The supervisors of S-CAPS were very supportive of Imbimbo continuing the sessions online.
“My supervisors, Dr. Alice Mills and Dr. David Mednick were very supportive and encouraging in allowing me to continue the group online as was the assistant vice president for student affairs, Craig Mourton who even gave me some Zoom lessons because I was totally new to the app,” Imbimbo said. “It was what they call a “baptism by fire.” I was learning Zoom as I was doing it, and thankfully it worked out.”
In order to share the same experience, students can join Mediation and Mindfulness on Zoom. Meditation and Mindfulness is available for all students who may be stuck in their thoughts on a daily basis or looking forward to refocusing to prepare themselves for a successful school year.
- For any questions, comments or concerns, contact Professor Imbimbo on Imbimbo@fdu.edu
- Day/Time: Wednesdays 4 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.
- Meeting ID: 967 0349 3564
Inhale, Exhale into the New Semester with Meditation & Mindfulness.
Art by Naniyah McClain.