This week I attended my first meditation session in Fava Chapel, and it truly changed my outlook on how to deal with my mental health and stress of being a first year student. I found a sense of inner peace while sitting on the mats in the chapel and being completely silent for the duration of the session. Peace is a part of Jesuit education because while trying to live for and with others, you are trying to bring peace, happiness, and faith into the lives of others and yourself. From attending this meditation group I have a better understanding of how to bring those elements into the lives of others and my life. During my introduction to how to properly sit, fold your hands, and relax my thinking, I did not think it would be too difficult to stay focused on the meditation. I was very wrong because it was extremely difficult to sit through the entire session not trying to think of anything and sitting in a particular way that is not very comfortable. However, trying to stay focused presented a sense of discipline, but I could not help but think of how this meditation experience connected to the play Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare.
Throughout the play there are several love triangles that are difficult to keep track of. Similarly with the meditation it is hard to keep focus and not think or keep track of the time. During the play Orsino is madly in love with Olivia, but due to the death of her brother she vows to keep hidden away for seven years to pay her respects. In the second half of the play, she falls in love with Orsino’s servant Cesario and continuously asks him back to her palace to convince him to love her. However, she does not know until the end of the play that Cesario is actually a woman, Viola, disguised as her twin brother Sebastian. Once the truth is finally revealed Viola winds up marrying the man she was after, Orisino, and Olivia marries Sebastian on accident thinking he is Cesario, but then there marriage is accepted due to the circumstances. The similarity between meditation and the Twelfth Night is the difficulty of acceptance. It was difficult for me to accept a new way of sitting and trying relentlessly to have deep thoughts, while in the play it was difficult for Olivia to accept that Cesario could not love her as Olivia could not love Orsino.
This class definitely had some interesting and surprising aspects throughout the semester. I would not have experienced so many events presented at Loyola if it weren’t for this course and I am truly happy I did. These events helped broaden my horizons on different topics over the semester because each event was not like the last. I thought it was interesting how the students ran the class mostly with discussion and presentations of the various literary materials we covered. Overall I was truly pleased with this course and I have slightly become more well-rounded specifically because of these analysis assignments.