With love in the air thanks to Cupid, several Beacon College student organizations sought to amplify the positivity by collaborating last month on a “Music & Mindfulness” event at the Leesburg Public Library.
Pegged to Valentine’s Day and staged by the college’s Community Mindfulness group and Beacon Voices glee club, the event honored the theme of “loving kindness” and leaned on loving-kindness meditation, which members of the Community Mindfulness group had studied and practiced since the fall semester. Loving-kindness, also known as metta meditation is a wisdom practice that originated thousands of years ago in Northern India and translates to means positive energy and kindness to others.
It involves repeating specific words and phrases to evoke “unlimited, positive, warm-hearted feelings of loving kindness towards ourselves, others, and the community at large,” said Michele Patestides, a learning specialist who leads the Community Mindfulness group.
Music and mindfulness were centerstage during the event. Beacon Voices’ flutist Sofia Picon serenaded attendees with Elton John’s “Your Song. Beacon student Summer Mavros delivered a loving kindness meditation which Patestides narrated. Beacon junior Chandler Lucas, who is president of Beacon Voices, sang and played on harp “The Nightingale” by Deborah Henson-Conant and “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran.
Beacon Voices, led by learning specialist and music director Lisa Mauro, performed “Seasons of Love” from “Rent.” And lastly, Beacon junior and violinist Helen Chinn closed out the event with violin renditions of “La Vie en Rose” by Louis Guglielmi and “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley.
In addition to the music, attendees were schooled on research that suggests the metta meditation may promote self-compassion and positive social connection while also reducing stress, anxiety, and physical pain, she added.
Beacon Voices glee club is open to all Beacon students and meets weekly on Mondays at 5 p.m. in Beacon Hall room 107. All singers and instrumentalists are welcome.
Beacon College Student Community Mindfulness is open to all (including the public) and meets weekly Wednesdays at 5 p.m. at the Leesburg, Public Library, 1st floor Story Room.