Student Activities

Johnnies who Meditate

Photo Credit: Fatmanur Yokus

“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” 

-Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

By Sanju Baral

Last spring break was quite unusual for some Johnnies. Usually surrounded with books and conversations, this time they set out to experience silence and meditation for ten days. This extra-ordinary journey gave them deeper insight into the nature of their own mind. Although they could not read, write or talk to anyone for ten days, several deep realizations followed as they explored themselves. After completing the meditation camp, they had their own experiences to share.

Sasha Gesmer (A’17), who has been to the camp several times, says, “Vipassana meditation turned out to be the best things that ever happened to me. It’s actually a logical next step from the program. We spend four years trying to find the truth by looking at other people’s mind. It’s crazy that in 10 days, just by looking within, everything opens up. I left St. Johns with more questions that I came in with. At least with meditation, I have a compass: to be the most compassionate person I can be. That’s all that really matters to me anymore.”


Sanju Baral (A’20) shares, “I started meditating out of curiosity. But as I went within myself, a whole new dimension opened up. I could observe my own thoughts and see how they are affecting my mind-body system. I realized that it is no one but me, who is responsible for my own happiness and misery. I am meditating ever since- be it while walking, talking or while discussing ideas in seminars.”

Aashish Dhakal (A’20) felt that it was the one of the most peaceful times of his life. Xin Ye (A’20), who also attended the camp says, “Mind precedes everything.” He has been continuously meditating everyday ever since his first meditation camp.

The student writing staff of the johnnie chair blog

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