Free Online Group Sessions

  • Mondays 11:30am-12:00pm
  • Thursdays 2:00pm-2:15pm
  • Fridays 12:00pm-12:30pm
  • Session descriptions, registration links, and additional ways to support your meditation practice can be found below.

Program Coordinator

  • (301) 314-1493
  • Health Promotion & Wellness Services

    (301) 314-8128

Meditation is a practice that invites us to slow down, breathe, and cultivate a greater awareness of the ways in which our body and mind can work together. It can be a useful antidote to stress and is often recommended as a supplemental resource for a number of health and wellness concerns. 

During meditation the body shifts into a state of restful awareness in which we relax the fight or flight stress response, improve sleep, relieve feelings of anxiety and depression, decrease blood pressure, and, among other potential benefits. 

Meditation isn’t just a tool to support mental health and stress (though, it is that, too). Meditation enhances our awareness, improves the attention span, and increases focus.  When practiced regularly meditation can awaken creativity, healing, and transformation.

Whether you’ve been practicing meditation for years, are interested in trying it for the first time, or find yourself somewhere in between - there’s a place for you here.

Guided Meditation Sessions via Zoom 

Meditation practices at the University Health Center will explore a variety of meditative tools and techniques, all designed to cultivate self-compassion, mindful awareness, and the ease that can arise as you meditate. 

Meditation is a dynamic, diverse, and deeply personal practice, so we invite you to explore the various styles of meditation being offered through the University Health Center to see which styles resonate with you! 

Spring 2024 Schedule: Online Via Zoom


To join us on Zoom please use the registration links provided for each session description below. These are free, drop-in classes, and you may attend as frequently as you like.

Session Details and Zoom Registration

Monday: Guided Visualization

Mondays, 11:30pm-12:00pm

This session is open only to students and will begin January 29 and conclude on Monday, May 13. There will be no sessions when the University is closed. 

Guided Visualization Sessions with Madeleine: Join us as we journey from evergreen forests, to moonlit oceans, to galaxies far, far away - all without leaving the comfort of our own seats.  While practicing simple breath work, participants will be guided through peaceful and relaxing imagery to soothe the senses and calm the mind.

Note: Registering for this Monday session will give you one access link for all Tuesday sessions for the duration of the semester.

Monday Zoom Registration

Thursdays: Back to Basics

Thursdays, 2:00pm - 2:15pm

This session is open to students, staff, and faculty and will begin Thursday, February 8, 2024 and conclude on Thursday, May 16, 2024. There will be no sessions when the University is closed. 

Back to Basics with Olivia: In this short session, we will explore a variety of simple meditation techniques such as focused breathing, body scans, noting, and visualizations. Whether you are new to meditation or wanting to enhance your already existing practice, this session is for you.

Note: Registering for Thursday will give you one access link for all Thursday sessions for the duration of the semester.

Thursday Zoom Registration

Fridays: Wind Down for the Weekend

Fridays, 12:00pm-12:30pm

This session is for students, staff, and faculty and will begin Friday, February 9, 2024 and conclude on Friday, May 17, 204. There will be no sessions during Spring Break, or when the University is closed.  

Wind Down for the Weekend with Sarah: Sessions will explore breathing practices and various meditation styles, along with time for guided reflection. 

Note: Registering for Friday will give you one access link for all Friday sessions for the duration of the semester.

Friday Zoom Registration

Nature Based Meditation Sessions

Labyrinth Meditation: Connecting in Body, Heart, Mind, and Spirit

Join the University Health Center and Memorial Chapel for our Labyrinth Meditation Program. 

Meet at the Garden of Reflection and Remembrance at the Memorial Chapel for a guided meditation, mindful labyrinth journey, and a free lunch on a first come first serve basis. In the event of rain the program will be moved inside to the Garden Chapel. . 

Spring 2024 Dates:

 Monday, April 1st, 12pm-1pm

 Monday, April 8th, 12pm-1pm

 Monday, April 15th, 12pm-1pm

 Monday, April 22nd, 12pm-1pm

 Monday, April 29th, 12pm-1pm

Sessions are led by Olivia Mays and Denise McHugh. For more information email Olivia and Denise at omays@umd.edu and dmchugh@umd.edu.

An RSVP link will be posted soon. We look forward to seeing you there!

Nurture with Nature Series

Join the University Health Center and the UMD Arboretum for an opportunity to participate in a guided hike and mindfulness exercise. This is a great opportunity to connect with nature and enhance your mindfulness practice.

Spring 2024 Dates and Locations: To Be Announced

Sessions are led by Olivia Mays and Meg Smolinski. For more information email Olivia and Meg at omays@umd.edu and msmolins@umd.edu.

Please RSVP for the days you plan to attend. We look forward to seeing you there!  

Individual Meditation Sessions

Individual meditation sessions are not being offered during the Spring 2024 semester. If you have questions please email Sarah Wilson at wilson72@umd.edu.


Meditations for Your Class or Group

The Meditation unit offers meditation sessions by request. To schedule a session for your class, office, or group please complete this interest form

  • At least two weeks' notice is required. 
  • All meditation offerings for University of Maryland students are FREE. 

Please note: As of Summer 2023, we have moved to a new fee structure. When available,  by-request meditations for non-UMD students, community groups, and faculty/staff are available for a fee. A one hour meditation/mindfulness workshop and guided session is $80. Pending your preferred format (online via zoom or in-person), participant minimums and maximums may apply.

 

Interviews

For an interview or consultation related to meditation please email Sarah Wilson at wilson72@umd.edu.

 

Meditation: On Your Time

Can’t make it to one of our weekly group sessions? Looking for on-the-go options? Enjoy pre-recorded meditations from our team, featuring instructors from both past and present.

Pre-recorded Meditation

So Hum Breathing: 3 minute audio

Connecting in Mind, Body, & Spirit: 36 minute audio

Calmness: 5 minute audio

Deep Breathing: 3 minute video

Meditation Library

Exploring the Spiritual Roots and Traditions of Meditation

At the University Health Center we believe spiritual wellness involves seeking and having a meaning and purpose in life, as well as participating in activities that are consistent with one’s beliefs and values. It is more than prayer and believing in a higher being. A spiritually well person seeks harmony with the universe, expresses compassion towards others, and practices gratitude and self-reflection. When we integrate practices of spiritual wellness we are able to connect in mind, body, and soul.

For many, meditation is an important part of their spiritual wellness. 

Whether you are practicing a secular form of meditation, or one that is closely connected to your faith, meditation is a deeply spiritual practice and has the power to impact all dimensions of wellness.

The University Health Center practices a secular form of meditation, not connected to a religious practice, and we honor and respect the spiritual roots and traditions of this ancient practice. 

There is no single origin story of meditation. The practice of meditation has connections to India and Africa and appears in visual depictions and written scriptures dating back thousands of years. Many religions and spiritual practices have some form of meditation practice. 

To learn more about the spiritual roots of meditation we recommend connecting with the Memorial Chapel or a librarian at the University Libraries

Understanding the Science of Meditation and Mindfulness

Meditation is a specific practice with various spiritual and cultural origins, where an individual uses a technique such as loving kindness (also known as Metta), breathing, visualization, or others - to slow down the body and mind. Meditation often involves setting aside time to engage with the practice. For those new to meditation, we recommend starting with a small amount of time, anywhere from two to ten minutes, at any time of the time of the day, in a location where you can feel comfortable and supported. 

Mindfulness, on the other hand, is an overarching intention to pay attention in the moment. Mindfulness can be attached to a variety of physical, mental, or day-to-day practices. 

It’s important to note that neither meditation or mindfulness is a “cure-all” practice. Neither eliminate hardships, or systemic issues. Both, however, can be supportive wellness practices that can alter the way we approach certain situations. 

Scientific fields like psychology and neuroscience, for example, have helped us 

understand how the brain is affected by meditation practices. As we learn more about meditation we continue to discover more and more benefits, including, but not limited to: stress relief, mental health support, improved focus, enhanced sleep quality, increased creativity, and more. 

NIH National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: Meditation and Mindfulness: What You Need To Know

Complementary and Alternative Medicine Guide from the University Libraries: https://lib.guides.umd.edu/PublicHealth/ComplementaryMedicine

Guided Sessions with Apps and Podcasts

While it is great to have options, we know the vast number of meditation apps available for download can sometimes feel overwhelming. The UHC meditation instructors have identified these apps as an option to support your wellness, but they are not endorsed by the University Health Center. Meditation is not a replacement for medical, mental health, or behavioral health care. 

Insight Timer

 

Insight Timer has the world’s largest library of free recorded meditations.

Calm

Calm offers guided meditations, sleep stories, educational content, and nature scenes and sounds. This app contains free and fee-based services

Headspace

Like Calm, Headspace offers a mix of recorded meditation and sleep sessions, along with a variety of educational content. This app contains free and fee-based services. You can also watch their video playlists on YouTube for free.

Meditation Minis

 

Meditation minis are short 5-12 minute guided sessions, available for download via their website, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or Spotify. 

 

 

Additional Campus Resources

University of Maryland Memorial Chapel and the Garden of Reflection and Remembrance. The Memorial Chapel is an interfaith space and among its many resources is the Garden of Reflection and Remembrance, which is an open space for meditation on campus. The Memorial Chapel also offers meditation programming throughout the year. 

Muse™ Biofeedback Headbands are available through the Counseling Center. Stop by the Counseling Center front desk with your UID to check out one of our headbands for up to 4 hours at a time!