AN INTERVIEW WITH a Koru student
Mindfulness has given me a toolkit to manage my stress.
Katherine Zhang, took Koru while studying Economics and English at Duke University.
What was the motivation for learning about mindfulness?
I wanted to take a deeper and more serious approach to mindfulness.
What does mindfulness mean to you?
Mindfulness is an awakening. Sometimes when we work/eat/live as if we were asleep: going from class to class, ticking things off our to-do lists. Mindfulness doesn’t necessarily mean idleness—it just means doing things with full attention and intention. I find that it is extremely compatible with “productive” lifestyles.
How do you find yourself using mindfulness in your daily life?
I’ve sometimes used mindfulness to get through painful experiences (when I’m really stressed—like for an exam or paper—I’ve sometimes shut off all my lights and put on a guided meditation exercise). But I’ve also used it to appreciate happy moments. Sometimes a happy moment can pass us by without actually registering. If I find myself the lucky recipient of a good experience—the glow after a long run, a celebration with friends, a really funny joke—I may sometimes use mindfulness to acknowledge, “I am happy right now.”
How has the practice of mindfulness influenced your life?
Mindfulness has given me a tool kit to manage my anxiety. I am by no means an expert practitioner—I still struggle to maintain a daily meditation routine—but I know that, even when my mind wanders off or my daily practice dwindles, that I can return to these principles and start over again.