Meditation and mindfulness

19 December 2019

Mental health is a widespread topic of conversation on campus. Often our focus is on student wellness, but faculty and staff also benefit from developing healthy practices. One program offered by Carleton’s Student Health and Counseling (SHAC) is Koru mindfulness classes, designed to provide an evidence-based introduction to mindfulness and meditation. This four session course helps build the habit of using mindfulness in your daily life on a regular basis.

Koru mindfulness was originally developed at Duke University for “emerging adults,” but SHAC reserves several spots in each Koru class for faculty and staff.

The 2018-2019 Koru pilot program at Carleton included 32 students, 18 staff, and 2 faculty members. To explore the impact of the Koru course, participants were asked to fill out a pre/post assessment (the Cognitive and Affective Mindfulness Scale-Revised). 

Results show that participants experienced a increase in four aspects of mindfulness — attention, awareness, acceptance, and present-focus — with an effect size of 0.8. Participants also reported less stress, more in-the-moment awareness, better sleep, and increased focus. These results are consistent with finding at Duke University that Koru produces meaningful changes in participant self-compassion, perceived stress, and sleep (Greeson et al. 2014).

If you are interested in participating, or if you want to recommend that one of your advisees participates, the winter term 2020 schedule is:

  • Koru Section I: Wednesdays,  1:15-2:30 pm, Jan 15, 22, 29 and  Feb 4 (weeks 2, 3, 4 and 5)
  • Koru Section II: Tuesdays, 4-5:15 pm, Feb 11, 18, 25 and Mar 3 (weeks 6, 7, 8 and 9)

For more research about correlates of mindfulness in higher education, check out the summary sheet with bibliography, compiled by Betsy Lane-Getaz of SHAC.