“Meditation and Reflection Rooms” formally opened on March 16 at University of Nevada-Reno (UNR), claimed to be one of the “nation’s top public research universities”.
These “Meditation and Reflection Rooms” feature two individual rooms and a larger space for reflection, meditation and prayer. It includes various cabinets where each group can keep their required religious icons and articles locked to be brought out when needed by individuals.
Religious statesman Rajan Zed has commended UNR for accepting the longstanding need of campus community for a neutral space for meditation, prayer, reflection, etc., and thus recognizing the intersection of spirituality and education. It is a step in the positive direction, Zed adds.
UNR President Dr. Marc A. Johnson told Zed and some other religious leaders gathered on the occasion that this Room would be open and accessible to all members of the campus community of various religions/denominations and non-believers for meditation, reflection and prayer. It would be a quiet place for all campus community to use free-of-charge, he added.
Religious community gathered on the occasion entered the “Meditation and Reflection Rooms” with a prayer read by Don Watts of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Religious leaders gathered on the occasion, besides Zed, included Gene Savoy Junior, International Community of Christ Bishop; ElizaBeth Webb Beyer, Rabbi of Temple Beth Or and North Tahoe Hebrew Congregation; Roger Canary, Senior Pastor of Spirit Filled Church in Sparks; Sherif A. Elfass, Northern Nevada Muslim Community President; Matthew T. Fisher and Shelley L. Fisher, Reno Buddhist Center resident priests; Stephen L. Child of American Clergy Leadership Conference; David Mitchell, Divine Mission President; Tim Oates, Associate Pastor of Spirit Filled Church; Sarah Canak-Brown, Unification Church youth leader; Daniel R. Sanchez, Jewish youth leader; Sumayya Beekun, Muslim youth leader; June H. Canak of Unification Church; Rafik I. Beekun of Northern Nevada Muslim Community; Carma Watts of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Matt Goddard of Reno Buddhist Center; Baha’i leaders; etc.
Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, stresses that with the presence of “Meditation and Reflection Rooms”, UNR students will have a spiritually meaningful life in addition to material success after they graduate from here. “Meditation and Reflection Rooms” will be another feather in UNR’s cap in making it a world-class educational institution, Zed points out.
“Meditation and Reflection Rooms” is located in the $44 million 78,000 square foot Student Achievement Center (also opened on March 16), which also includes Writing Center, Math Center, Tutoring Center, Career Studio, Advising Center, Veterans’ and Military Center, Disabilities Resource Center, Counseling Services, etc. This building “will help our students to become great scholars”, a UNR brochure indicates.
“Social Stairs” which features areas “where students will sit, congregate and informally gather”, also forms a part of this Center.
Many universities in USA and Canada already have prayer/meditation room for quiet reflection and spiritual exercise.
UNR, the flagship institution of Nevada constitutionally established in 1874; is helping create the world’s most accurate atomic clock “which will lose only a fraction of a second over the next 14 billion years”, “home to one of the largest earthquake-simulation labs”; and boasts of several Pulitzer Prize winners and about half-a-dozen Hollywood films shot on the campus. Recognized as a National Tier 1 University, it has about 21,000 students and its “vision” includes improving “social progress”.