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Hamline News

Meditation Event Draws A Crowd for Joseph Goldstein


Mindfulness meditation is a growing part of Hamline’s culture. The Hamline University Mindfulness and Meditation (HUMM) student group leads weekly meditation sessions; a few Piper athletic teams implement it; members of the counseling staff sometimes recommend the practice; and, professors Serena King and Mark Berkson teach classes on the topic.

Beyond campus, Hamline has an ongoing relationship with Common Ground Meditation Center, a leading Minneapolis meditation center dedicated to the practice of mindfulness. Common Ground has welcomed nearly a thousand Hamline students on field trips over the years.

When Common Ground's 25th anniversary approached, Mark Nunberg, the guiding teacher at the center, mentioned to religion professor Mark Berkson the idea of bringing noted Buddhist scholar and mindfulness teacher Joseph Goldstein to Hamline, as a way to recognize the 20 year old connection between the two institutions. 

Berkson like the idea and agreed to host a mindfulness meditation event with Goldstein in the Anderson Center. Hamline staff including, Amy Dostal Dauer, Brian Johnson, Ed Kreitzman and Malia Glaraton ensured the success of the July 14th afternoon event.

“Everything came together beautifully. Over 600 people gathered together to meditate with and receive teachings from a man who was pivotal in bringing mindfulness meditation practice to the United States,” said Berkson.

Joseph Goldstein co-founded the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts. He’s been a leading voice in the Western Buddhist teachings since the 1970s. For the Common Ground Celebration he led a 30-minute guided meditation and answered questions from the audience, which was the largest he had ever spoken to. The event ended with a poem, sung by Louis Alemayehu, a member of Common Ground.

It was a remarkable afternoon for all involved.

Describing the guided meditation Berkson said, “I'll never forget. I can honestly say that the Anderson Center has never been quieter than when it was filled with over 600 people.”

Mark Nunberg, the Guiding Teacher at Common Ground thought the event went well and was grateful for the collaboration.

“I think it is safe to say that people were moved by Joseph Goldstein teachings and by the generous spirit and competence of Hamline University,” said Nunberg. “It was a real blessing to have such a beautiful space for so many people and to be able to partner with Hamline in creating such a meaningful event for the larger Twin Cities community.”

Photo credit: Ann Silver