Monthly Archives: September 2018

Seven Tips for Centering Yourself and Reducing Stress

Seven Tips for Centering Yourself and Reducing Stress
From the staff of the Charles P. Scott Center for Spiritual and Religious Life

1. Utilize one of the four great meditation spaces around campus for a 5-minute “sit” to settle your mind, or try some yoga stretches!
• The Meditation Room at the Scott Center in Hathaway House, 135 South Main St.
• The Sanctuary Room at the Anderson Freeman Resource Center
• The McCullough Reflection space – 3rd floor, up the staircase opposite the Grille
• The Unplug and Recharge room at the Davis Library:

2. Keep a small bell around your study area. Before you begin studying, pause to ring the bell, gently, and simply wait until the sound dissipates entirely. The sound of a bell is known to have a physiological effect that reduces stress. Periodically throughout your study time, or whenever you feel tension rising or tiredness setting in, pause again to ring the bell, wait for the length of the sound, and return to your work a little bit more refreshed and re-centered. Here is a useful link if you’d like to learn more:

3. Grounding: begin by feeling your feet connected to the earth/floor. Next, feel your body’s weight being fully supported by your chair. Lastly, take deep slow breaths, inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth.

4. Take a Walk on the TAM (Trail Around Middlebury)! Here’s the trail map:

5. Visit the The Knoll, sit on the stone bench blessed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama during his 2012 visit, walk the labyrinth, and contemplate the blessings we have just by living in such a beautiful place.

6. Try some meditative movement practices. When we are busy studying, we often get tense muscles in our necks and shoulder. Or we start to feel problems from so much typing and mousing that can lead to repetitive stress syndrome.  Watch Ten Mindful Movements by Thich Nhat Hahn here:

7. Designate one walking route a day, between your residence hall and a class, for instance, as a mindful walk. Do not text, talk on the phone, or even listen to music during that walk. Instead, try to pay full attention to everything around you–from the temperature of the air, to the sound of the birds, to the pressure of your feet hitting the ground.

It So Happened

A poem from our friend Gary Margolis, Executive Director Emeritus of College Mental Health Services, looking back at the 2012 visit of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.

It So Happened

the Dalai Lama was stepping
from his limousine.
And I happened to be
there. As you happen

to be here. And he was
as happy as a September
bee farming a field
of goldenrod. His
Holiness reaching out

to my hand. Which could
be yours. Simply
by reading the palm
of this poem’s memory.
He was wearing his usual

maroon visor. To help us
feel more comfortable.
And was more one of us
than us. And let it seem
he could have been

in a twosome with me,
stepping onto a first tee.
Anywhere in the world
there’s a fairway, a view
to the mountains

and clouds. Like there is
here. Across the way.
I thought I didn’t think
it would take too much
to ask my hand-holding

partner, Tenzin Gyatso,
if he wanted to ride
in a golf cart. Or walk
eighteen. Clasping his
hands, smiling at the trees

and all the Tibetan refugees
who heard he was
in Middlebury. To be
among us again
and the leaves.

Suggesting we think of them
as no more than ourselves
and the breeze.
And take any hand
as an offering.