I write to invite readers to be more present with themselves and with others.
As a senior on The Sun, I’ve produced a lot of material. While I’ve written most recently about political moral responsibility and relating the Uyghur genocide to our lives here in Ithaca, I have also written about the state of local arts, music and literature as they contribute to our capacity to just be, and to be together. Advocating for presence is a common thread throughout my writing — the concept is immense to me.
What does it mean to be, or to be present? What greater implications does presence have beyond feeling good on the meditation cushion?
There is more than one way to find calmness and relaxations on this semester’s first Wellness Days. If you’re swamped with work and studying, especially in preparation of this upcoming round of prelims, consider trying meditation. Not only does Cornell offer a ton of online resources to help you learn on your own, there are also guided meditation sessions over Zoom.
At 4 a.m. I am woken by the harrowing sound of the gong. In a large hall separated into rooms with the use of ropes and curtains people reluctantly begin their movement. It’s 50 degrees in the room and even colder outside, and I wince at the thought of getting out. For the first time in seven days I give myself a break and stay in the warmth of my sleeping bag for another 20 minutes. Finally, I get out, put on a few layers of clothing and walk into the meditation hall, where 60 people are already sitting in complete silence with their eyes closed.
Life can begin to feel like a dull routine, especially in an educational institution. You go to the same classes day after day, talk to the same people, eat the same food, etc. This repetitive lifestyle can get boring and depressing. On the other hand, each day is a new beginning. Today is the most important day of your life – because it’s today!
Do you feel weighed down by stress? Do you ever get lost in thought for long periods of time? Do you find yourself judging others, or even yourself? Do you constantly replay moments from the past or imagine hypothetical future situations in your head? Do you catch yourself repeating negative thought patterns?
Sunsets. We are sitting on top of a rock in Park Güell, feet dangling off the sides. It’s late December, but a warm wind ruffles my hair and blows across my skin. From our spot high up, we can see all of Barcelona sprawled out in front of us. La Sagrada Família’s unique structure and style stands out among the many buildings and, beyond and almost hazy, is the sea.