Talking to veterinary students about mindfulness meditation

It was surreal to stand in the classroom where I’d been taught, more than 20 years ago, and speak about mindfulness meditation. The funny part was that the broken swivel chair in room 1714 was still causing problems! Ah, fond memories…

As part of the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association’s “Lunch and Learn” series, I was invited to speak about meditation. I had been there before, in the Fall of 2015. This was a new generation of students at the Ontario Veterinary College. And it was being introduced at the beginning of the winter semester, in the New Year, when people are most likely to try a new habit.

Along with having them go through some simple meditations (breath awareness, Three Breath Meditation, One Minute Meditation, body scan meditation), I told them there were scientific studies suggesting meditation helps with neuroplasticity, being less reactive and improving focus. I encouraged them to add this skill to their toolkit, as it has been helpful to me both at work and in life. Even if they just dabbled in a meditation, that would count as a practice. From my own experience, I knew that they would explore more when they were ready.

I was glad to spend time with OVC students today. (Hoping it was the presentation and not just the pizza that drew them to attend. Ha ha!). Grateful to be a part of the OVMA, in promoting wellness in the veterinary profession.