Finals & Meditation

Don't lose your head...

As we move into our study period for finals, it’s important to keep a strong practice, even when you think that your schedule is “too busy” for any kind of meditation. In fact, taking a break to just sit quietly can give your tired brain a rest, and help you stay productive. Studying may not seem like a physically demanding activity, but there is a reason we get so tired after spending hours poring over our notes!

So take a break every once and a while. Give yourself regular intervals if you’re going to be in the library all day. Every hour, take five. Or better yet, take ten to fifteen minutes and don’t look at your notes, don’t do anything–just sit still (but comfortably) and follow your breath. In, one. Out, two. All the way up to ten. Then start over. This will allow your mind to settle and digest all that information you’re stuffing into it. Set a timer for yourself–this is your time. If you stick with it, throughout the day you’ll find you’re more efficient and productive, and spending less time getting distracted with things you shouldn’t be doing, like going through other peoples’ Facebooks when you should be focusing on your schoolwork!

Most importantly, don’t stress out over your studies, and get plenty of sleep! A stressed-out, whacked-out, drained and sleep-deprived brain does poorly when it comes to absorbing and recalling information. Especially when compared to a relaxed, calm, well-rested brain. Put two people who meet those two descriptions in the same exam with the same amount of preparation and study time before hand, and guess who comes out with the higher grade?

Don’t sweat those exams, and keep meditating regularly on your own time and you’ll find that you’re more attuned to what your body needs to be at it’s highest performance level.┬áPut it all down and just DO it!

Last Meeting of 2009 – Good Luck with Finals!

While some of us may not want to think about it, our semester is drawing to a close. Soon we'll all be holed up in the library studying and cramming into our heads all the things we should have learned a long time ago (procrastinate, much?).

Believe it or not, this is the best time to have a strong, supportive meditation community. Come to our meeting this Wednesday, at 730 pm, in the basement of Marsh Chapel. Stretch out with some Yoga, breathe out your exam stress as you breathe in the air right in front of you, and then let your mind settle for 20 minutes in which your only job is just to sit.

If you're new to sitting meditation, don't be shy. We are welcoming to anyone who walks in, no matter what kind of experience they do or do not have. We also give simple, clear instruction to beginners.

I hope to see you all there, and that you then take it with you during your daily routines and while you study for finals. Just take 5 whenever you feel like pulling your hair out because you've been studying for 10 hours straight--only sit. Relax and lie back for 10 minutes of mindful rest. Only go straight, don't know, try, try for ten thousand years non-stop, save all beings from suffering.

In the Dharma,
Michael Bruffee
President, Boston University Zen Community

Informal Meeting Wednesday Nov. 11

While there is no class this week due to Veterans' Day, we will still be meeting informally. "Informally" because our advisor Barbara Feldman will not be there, but that doesn't mean we still can't sit!

Same time, same place. 730 - 9 pm, Marsh Chapel basement, Marsh Room.

BU Zen

The Great Way has no gate.