Category Archives: Study Break

Smith College Festival of Sound and Space

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There is no better way to recharge from a hectic day than by listening to the relaxing sounds of the guitar. That’s exactly what I did last Wednesday, when I attended the Athens Guitar Duo concert, held as part of the fifth season of Smith College Festival of Sound and Space. Continue reading

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Finding Zen in the Art Museum

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It isn’t everyday that one gets the opportunity to practice yoga in an art museum. This past Friday, however, I found myself carrying my yoga mat into the Brown Fine Arts Center, as part of the Mindfulness & Your Museum workshop. With the museum closed with the exception of our small group, we walked through the exhibits barefoot, in awe of the artwork that stood silent in front of us. Continue reading

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Spiritual Places: Nature Walk

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Never underestimate the power of a good walk. This week, feeling fatigued and exhausted, I decided to take advantage of the sunshine by squeezing in a relaxing walk in between my classes. Heading into the woods by Paradise Pond, I was alone, with only the snapping of branches underfoot and the occasional dog walker to keep me company. Here, in this solitude, I took a mini-vacation from the stresses and demands of being a college student. Continue reading

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Lent Book Club: Sunday Nights of Conversation and Engagement

A group of students gathered inside Bodman Lounge during Lent the past couple of Sundays to discuss Can You Drink the Cup? by Henri J.M. Nouwen. Each meeting students discussed various passages that stood out to them, leading to deeper conversation about God, religion’s place on Smith campus, family, and today’s world. Continue reading

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Zazen Meditation: Adapting to a Different Meditative Practice

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We joined together in CC 102 Thursday evening to participate in Zazen Meditation, led by Sensei Catherine Anraku Hondorp, a Soto Zen Buddhist Priest and heal practitioner. Anraku Hondorp Sensei is also a Buddhist Community Religious Adviser for The Center for Religious and Spiritual Life.

Zazen, or seated Zen, is a meditation that is deeply rooted in the Buddhist spiritual tradition and “the very heart of Zen practice.” In her introduction to the participants, Anraku Hondorp Sensei spoke about trying to find “the middle path” in our meditation. She emphasized seating positions and finding one that was most comfortable. To maintain balance and keep thoughts away, she suggested folding your hands and making sure the thumbs were “gently touching” to bring yourself back. Once we settled in, Sensei Anraku Hondorp tapped the Kesu Meditation Gong three times, and we began. Continue reading

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The Power of Good Food

What’s a holiday without food? From Thanksgiving turkey to a fourth of July cook out, certain dishes are symbolic of a national holiday.  Regardless of what you celebrate, food is an opportunity to socialize with friends and family, to communicate love and a thinking of you, and to remember those who came before, from eating traditional cultural dishes to the passing down of family recipes.

Eating food with friends is a shared experience of community, where a tasty meal can often be an excuse for stories, laughter, and a much-needed break from academics. Here at Smith, take dinner seriously: close your books, head to your favorite dining hall, and engage in conversation with those around you. Continue reading

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Taking Time to Relax at Smith College: A Challenge for Smithies

There is a certain intensity that comes with being a student at Smith College. Heavy workloads, constant deadlines and to-do lists, plus endless meetings for extracurricular activities can all take a toll on the average student. There is, however, an extra layer of intensity added by the passionate and ambitious student body. While it is inspiring to be surrounded by such dedicated students, noted for their intellectual rigor and achievements, there can be a downside.

When everyone else is constantly racing on overload to do the most—to get the best grades, to apply to the best internship, to take on as many leadership positions as possible—slowing down and relaxing takes a backseat. Even the society we live in fosters the need to always be on the move, plugged in, working more, striving more, constantly on. What’s a Smithie to do? Continue reading

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