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Dylan Vandiver
17 November 2014
SOCY 1100
Ms. Jason
Campus Event Activity
We began our long trek from Lynch to Cone on November 12 at 5 p.m. The walk led us
into the maze of Cone for the 5:30 class. After much confusion, we found the large room which
meditation is held. We took a seat on the floor and waited for the class to start. One by one
people came into the room. We ended up with a diverse group number of about twenty
participants. We sat in a circle in a corner of the room. It was time for stress relief. We begin
with a game. A simple game, but you have to concentrate. Many people messed up. It was such a
game where you point which direction to count around the circle, but can switch directions every
multiple of five. The instructor then explained the reason for this silly game. You must be in the
moment of the game, not thinking about anything else. It made perfect sense. When there were
no mistakes, no one was thinking about anything but this game. Everyone was in the moment.
Being in the moment is key. Do what you need to do and do not worry about anything else and
you will accomplish your mission.
Next we took some time learning a breathing technique. The instructor taught us to empty
our lungs to get rid of all the old air. We began by closing our eyes, sitting crisscross applesauce.
We brought our arms up close beside us with our fists in front of our shoulders. She would count
it off and would say, UP and we would throw our hands up and vigorously breathe in and right
after she would say, DOWN and we would forcefully blow out and end in the same starting
positions. We completed about 30 of these.

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The last part of meditation was to listen to a tape. She told us to close our eyes and do
what the tape told us to do, focus in the moment, not what you need to get done or what has
happened. I begin to relax as she turns off the lights and starts the tape. Peace accompanied my
body as I relaxed and stress free in the moment.
In our meditation session, I noticed some segregation, not purposefully though. As we
arrived, I could see the cliques gathering together. I was also part of a clique. Andy, JC, and I
congregated together in our area. There was a group of girls who gathered together. There were a
couple of international students who assembled in their group. And lastly, there were outliers
who did not have a group that they came with. There was not much interaction between the
groups, which I found surprising since it was such a small amount of people. I observed that the
outliers would try to join the cliques they were most similar with. No one meant to do this on
purpose which made my observation even more interesting.
Meditation has stereotypes. It is not a popular custom or activity in our United States
society. Meditation is thought of by being an Indian practice. It is portrayed in our social media
in that way. In movies and shows, if there is a reference to a sort of meditation, it is usually led
by an Indian figure. I asked my friend, Garrett, what he thought of when he thinks of meditation
and part of his answer was, An Indian type person. I believe this is how we associate since the
activity is more prominent in their culture. There are even biases correlating with mediation and
a form of mediation we use, yoga. The social norm in our American society is that females go to
yoga. There is a bias that yoga is only for girls. It is not a manly thing to do. Most yoga classes
have the vast majority of females that result in gender biases. This leads to hateful words such as,
gay and fag, which I have heard being said to someone jokingly or not. I do believe that yoga is
slowly becoming more acceptable in our society for each gender though.

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Meditation is a custom most popular in Islamic and Buddhist culture, but cultures all over
the world have different variations of such act. In each culture, there are variations for the
purpose of meditation. According to Robert Puff, Ph.D. in Meditations of Modern Life, most
Buddhist traditions involve finding the path to Enlightenment and this is their use of meditation
in their society. Islamic cultures have two types of meditation. They have a mainstream version
which is used for reflection upon the universe. There is also a less accepted, subculture version
for mystical form. The subculture usually conflicts with the more popular mainstream. Also, in
the United States, meditation is slowly growing into the culture. It is becoming a more
mainstream trend because of the positive benefits.
Overall, the meditation event was a good opportunity to learn sociological perspectives of
the act. I personally observed certain sociological terms during the event. I then thought through
the situation and activity to then write about how there are stereotypes and biases in our culture.
Also, how in other cultures, there can be a mainstream and subculture versions of meditation.