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Mindfulness club cultivate calm and peace for Sandburg students

A room full of people in a deep meditative state lays a blanket on the world, settled with a unanimous breath. With peaceful music in the background and the calming timbre of Ms. Hoven’s voice, it’s all too easy to sink into the pillow of calm and stay there.

Mindfulness Club is one of Carl Sandburg High School’s 70+ clubs offered to students. It was founded and is currently run by Ms. Hoven, a special education teacher. From the outside, it may look like a place for simple meditation, or yet another addition to the many things a high school student has to handle — tests, homework, sports, activities, grades, etc. — but it is so much more than what meets the eye. The club is a resource and place to learn meditations and lessons that members use in their daily lives, like how to focus on the present.

It all began in a classroom. Ms. Hoven first implemented the practice of mindfulness in her class, and around 7 years ago, students started suggesting for her to start a club. They wanted more, and they wanted to share it with others. From there, it has grown, with more than 14 members as of the present.

The club meetings themselves are a mixture of presentations and meditation. For the next few weeks onward, the peer facilitators will talk about a key element of mindfulness of their choice, and Ms. Hoven will then lead a meditation around it. These meetings are not only informative, but engaging with hands-on, interactive experiences as well.

Meditation practice at a Mindfulness Club meeting – Photo by Eileen Li

The members themselves find it a low commitment high gain situation. “There’s not a big time commitment, but yet it helps you a lot to calm down,” sophomore Zinah Hasan explains. It seems that is really is the little things that make a difference, like putting aside time every Monday to focus on yourself.

Ms. Hoven says that how participants apply what they have learned is what most impacts attendees. Previous students have reached out to tell her how they’ve used the practices that she’s taught them to get through their own struggles.

“I use it outside of school all the time,” says Liam Surapiboonchai, a senior who’s starting his fourth year as a member. He says that being a part of the club has helped him a lot, especially with a rocky, COVID-filled start to his high school career. He used the techniques he’d learned in his day-to-day life helped flatten that terrain. 

“If people are looking for a club that expands more than their physical being, but their emotional space, and their headspace, then this is the place to be,” Mrs. Hoven states.

For those who are looking for exactly that, Mindfulness Club is always open for new members. Texting Flow2024 to 81010 will sign you up for Remind notifications that will let you know when and where meetings will be held, so you can step into that space of calm, peace, and present.

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