UCLA MARC, Mind Awareness Research Center, is one of the unique centers that only a school with a budget as huge as ours can afford. The center offers a number of meditation classes and single event workshops that are free to UCLA students. And if you’re not sure about committing to an entire class, stop by the center for its free meditation drop ins to talk to some people and try it out.
Anyways, I know I’m waxing PR for MARC right now, but seriously though, you should take advantage; not because I have to praise it but because it actually is that awesome. Meditation is an interesting tool for anyone looking to relieve anxiety, foster a sense of enjoyment for the mundane, and/or build empathy for the people in your everyday life. If you’re looking for a temporary space to escape from the constant overstimulation we’re overwhelmed by in our jam-packed schedules, look no further.
I myself am currently taking a class called MAPs1 which is the first level meditation class, and it’s helped me to meditate more often in my everyday life. I decided to take the class because I’ve spent a lot of time on the grass lately on Janss Steps; the extra time alone with my mind has helped me to realize all I ever think about these days are my worries for the future or my regrets about the past. It became clear to me that I wanted to think about something else because it’s not cool to be worrying all the time. And while I guess I could’ve pulled out my earbuds and turned up some Tyga, that seemed a little too escapist for me.
So I signed up for a class. And as of two classes in, I’m already feeling the benefits. I’m a pretty undisciplined person, so I haven’t formally meditated yet; but I’ve found myself meditating informally throughout the day whenever I began to notice I was feeling stressed. That sounds unnecessarily complicated because you could just think about something else or tell a friend, but there’s something very liberating about being able to solve your own problems with a few breaths and a will to focus. So please, take advantage of MARC; let’s take control of our own minds.