May 22, 2017

Mindfulness Meditation at Tuck—Why Students are Making Time to Practice

By Carole Gaudet

Three T’18s are taking the helm as student leaders of the Tuck Mindfulness Society, a group of students, faculty and staff who meet on campus twice each week to practice meditation together. Catherine Boysen, Zoltan Czinkoczky and Brad Martin are making mindfulness meditation—a simple technique for cultivating calm, focus, empathy, and kindness to oneself—a part of Tuck’s everyday culture.

Tuck Mindfulness Society Participants

What inspired you to get involved with meditation at Tuck?

Tuck Mindfulness Society Zoltan Czinkoczky T'18Brad: I had done a lot of hiking with a friend who has been meditating his whole life. We would go on long hikes in the Adirondack Mountains, and he would say, “you have these shocks of being in the present moment when you hike, and you feel so grateful.” Meditation has aroused that gratefulness and joy in my day to day life.

Zoltan: My mind is always racing, and I felt that maybe some balance would be beneficial. Having a set period of time once or twice a week helps me stick to the habit.

What are the benefits to meditation? What keeps you coming back?

Brad: The club has built a sense of community that is totally different from everything else at Tuck, which can be very focused on careers, sports, and classes.

Zoltan: It’s great for keeping things in context and managing stress. I often felt myself getting carried away, especially in the fall, and then I’d stop and ask myself, does it really matter? Staying calm is useful in any kind of setting.

Catherine: It’s like slowing down to speed up. When I take that time for myself, I find I can handle more.

Tuck Mindfulness Society Brad Martin T'18What do business leaders have to gain from meditation or mindfulness?

Brad: I had the Mindfulness club on my resume, and I was shocked at how often mindfulness and meditation came up during interviews. It’s great for listening and empathizing. Both of which are critical when managing people.

Catherine: As a business leader, you’re going to be in a better position if you’re good at managing emotions when you have to make a decision.

What has surprised you about meditation?

Catherine: There’s no way to do it wrong. Everyone has the same experience of thoughts wanting to come in while you’re trying to meditate, and everyone has the same experience of working with putting them aside. It teaches you to be generous and forgiving with yourself.

The Tuck Mindfulness Society sessions are free and open to the entire Tuck community. The classes are taught by Bruce McClelland, a business analyst at Dartmouth College, who has been practicing meditation for 35 years and teaching for the past 25 years, and supported by Tuck staffer Carole Gaudet, who has been practicing for the past 13 years.

Tuck Mindfulness Society Team