Mountains and Mindfulness
Hamilton has one meditation intern – the singular Emma Reynolds ’17. She’s a comparative lit major whose extracurricular pursuits have taken her from the Sangre di Cristo Mountains in Colorado to the first On-Campus Mindfulness Retreat, which she organized with College Chaplain Jeffrey McArn.
Reynolds has succeeded in studying what she loves in class and out of it. After another student turned her on to meditation her sophomore year, Reynolds stayed with it. She noticed that as she meditated she created an interior landscape that was all Colorado, her home state.
“So I was really interested in the power of geography and literally whether being in a different place would affect my consciousness during meditation,” she says. That led to a College grant that funded a summer of research into meditation and geography. Reynolds studied the religious history of meditation and landscapes, read books by people who meditate and traveled around Colorado to meditate in different landscapes, keeping a blog along the way.
From there, with McArn’s support, came the newly created the “mindfulness” internship. Reynolds’ responsibilities in that role include building up a webpage and writing profiles of faculty and students who meditate.
She’s involved, too, in leadership. She’s led two Hamilton Adirondack Adventure trips and trained other student leaders in how to incorporate meditation and mindfulness into their trips. As a sophomore, Reynolds and another student organized and led a spring break backpacking trip to the Smokey Mountains of North Carolina. Eight Hamilton students made the trek. “We called it Mindfulness for the Soul, and it incorporated mindfulness and meditation every day,” Reynolds says.