Dr. John Lawry (GSE, ’72, Educational Psychology) is professor emeritus at the former Marymount College of Fordham University. He recently published “Searching for the Right Way to Begin Class: Disengage From the Busyness of Life” in the November/December issue of About Campus (an American College Personnel Association publication).
In the article, Dr Lawry describes how, when Marymount College eliminated the prayer to the Holy Spirit as the formal opening of class, he sought to fill the silence with another spiritual ritual:
“While visiting the yoga ashram Kripalu in Lenox, Massachusetts, a former Jesuit seminary named Shadowbrook, I discovered that yoga classes there began end ended with the chanting of “OM,” which was followed by the Sanskrit greeting by the instructor, “Jai Bhagwan,” which roughly translates into “I honor the Divine within you,” to which the students repeated the greeting. Struck by the atmosphere created by such an opening ritual, I decided to experiment with the ritual in my psychology classes at Marymount.”