Lithuania’s first meditation room was established in the VMU dormitory
On the initiative of the Student Affairs and International Cooperation Departments of Vytautas Magnus University (VMU) and the Students’ Representative Council, a meditation room was opened in the dormitory No. 5, located at Universiteto str. 8, Akademija, Kaunas district. This is the first room of its kind in the students’ dormitories in Lithuania, where students can use this space for meditation, concentration, and other personal spiritual or psychological needs.
The idea to establish this kind of room arose even before the COVID-19 pandemic. The original idea was to establish a prayer room for students of different religions, who need such a place in the dormitory due to the fact, that it is located in Akademija (Kaunas district), and unlike in the City Centre of Kaunas, there is no possibility to find a place for religious services very quickly. However, in the wake of the pandemic, the purpose of the room has been broadened.
“During the pandemic, we realized that our students are in need for a quiet place where they could do their activities without being disturbed. Although there are only single and two-beds rooms at the University dormitories, it is because of the latter (two-beds rooms) that students cannot always have his or her own private space for meditation, remote psychological counselling, etc,”, says Mr. Mantas Simanavičius, Director of the Student Affairs Department, about the need for a meditation room. “We believe that in future, we should open more of these rooms in dormitories in Kaunas, as well as in Vilnius”.
Mrs, Laura Lapinskė, the Equal Opportunities Coordinator at VMU, says that in a today’s society, people are moving between different activities at a very fast pace, so space for peace and relaxation (a separate room or area) allows you to take a breather, to relax, to hide from the hustle and bustle, to sit in silence, or to simply calm yourself down.
“I see the establishment of a meditation room in the VMU dormitory as a very welcome initiative. I am convinced that the establishment of such spaces, which help to strengthen the psychological and emotional well-being of the members of the University community, is a successful step forward, learning from the best practices of universities in other countries, for example Scandinavia, or business companies. I believe that we should move towards further development of relaxation and meditation spaces as an important part of the university’s infrastructure, which is accessible to both students and staff members”, says Mrs. Lapinskė.
Individual students are already using the meditation room, and we think it will be particularly useful for our Muslim students during the Ramadan, as well as for students who are meditating or just want to concentrate and spend time alone with their thoughts. In conclusion, we kindly invite you to use the meditation room and leave all your everyday worries behind, calm your mind and soul, and develop only positive emotions.