University of North Dakota (UND) meditation community was very sad when they saw Lotus Meditation Center (LMC), where they had been meditating for about 20 years, had been taken down and debris being removed when some of them entered the campus today, reports suggest.
It was difficult for them to comprehend that while many universities and colleges across USA are patronizing meditation and opening new meditation centers; UND, a public research university at Grand Forks, has demolished an exuberant meditation center without the promise of building a such designated center or even providing a befitting designated replacement.
It was shocking and hard to understand that UND had destroyed a well-functioning donor funded LMC with no definite plans yet to build anything on that piece of land, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed noted in a statement in Nevada today.
“We are not yet sure how we will make use of the resulting space”, UND President Mark R. Kennedy wrote in an earlier email to a query of Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism.
Rajan Zed suggests that in view of importance of the meditation in the lives of students and other campus communities, UND should erect a designated decent Meditation Center; a quiet calming space for meditation, reflection and prayer. Until that happens, UND should provide an exclusive meditation facility for usage by students, faculty and staff; clearly marked as Meditation Center.
According to reports, meditation community has been told to make prior reservations for their meditation needs in a shared multi-use Room 17 of Swanson Hall (Co-ed hall for transfer or returning students); which is stuck in the basement without any direct sunlight; is a much smaller facility than LMC; and shall be utilized for various purposes. UND has also reportedly refused to rename it as LMC. From their actions on this issue, UND did not seem to be serious about the all-round and wholesome development of their students and had failed to recognize the intersection of spirituality and education, Zed commented.
Rajan Zed stressed that meditation was quite helpful in combating stress that challenges faced by university students brought, and to increase the powers of their minds. So it was quite important that the meditation center be housed in an appropriate setting. With the presence of an active dedicated Meditation Center, UND students would have a spiritually meaningful life in addition to material success after they graduated from here.
Texas A&M University recently opened an all-inclusive and designated Prayer and Meditation Room.
While Kennedy said in this earlier email that the “University has identified several buildings that have aged to the point that they need to be demolished”, but the meditation community pointed out that LMC was only about 20 years old and could have been possibly detached from the International Center and saved at this location or moved to another location.
Zed explained that meditation was a condition of profound internal wakefulness; and added that ancient Hindu scripture Taittiriya Upanishad stated: “Meditation is Brahman (the supreme being)”. Lord Krishna told in Bhagavad-Gita: With mind and senses disciplined through meditation, bonded with the Self within, the seeker achieves tranquility and nirvana, the state of permanent peace and joy in me.
State’s oldest, UND was established in 1883. It serves nearly 15,000 students from 50 states and 85 countries in over 225 fields of study.