Drop-in Meditation offered on Zoom expands reach for Yale affiliates

Labyrinth of the mind diagram
January 2, 2020

Do you know that free, afternoon group meditation is available for Yale faculty, staff, students, and alumni? And, that thanks to Zoom, participants can join from across campus or across the globe? Are you a Yale affiliate who’d like to practice meditation with a group but can’t get to an in-person session? Zoom is an online meeting application which provides free audio and video conference service to Yale affiliates. No account is required to join a Zoom meeting. Joining by phone is also an option! 

During the afternoon meditation, practitioners find a comfortable seat in a chair. Meditation sessions are held 12:15-12:45 P.M. E.S.T. and are partly-guided and partly-silent.  Instructions are provided at the beginning of the session and time for questions, reflections or optional sharing is included at the conclusion of each practice. 

Beginners are always welcome. There’s no need to have previous meditation experience, though those with experience are always also welcome. There’s no special equipment required - just an open mind. Danielle Casioppo, MS, RYT, Health Educator for Being Well at Yale, leads the Monday and Friday meditation sessions. The physical location of the Monday Drop-in Meditation group is at the Rose Center, 101 Ashmun Street, and the location for the Friday group is 333 Cedar Street, SHM, L-300. Danielle gets to each location early to set up and is available to answer questions and provide guidance before and after the meditation sessions. Both the Monday and Friday on-site groups have been going for quite some time and each has a robust group of regular participants. 

To attend, there’s no sign-up required, just, as the name implies, simply “drop-in”. Then Danielle invites you to, “drop-in to yourself, to your body, to your mind, and to presence”. And as Danielle says, “if you can’t be there from start to finish, that’s okay! Come anyway! Some practice is better than no practice. Just slip in or out as quietly as possible. I don’t want people stressing out about something that is supposed to help them with stress reduction.” However, it’s recommended to make every effort to be on-time as often as possible so you don’t miss the opening instructions or topic for that session. 

Now Danielle is very excited to be adding the Friday meditation sessions via Zoom based on the success over the past year of the Monday sessions and because many participants have requested an additional day as an option. As Yale alumna Laura Brennan, ‘88, recently told Danielle, “Thank you for opening the Monday Zoom meditation sessions to Yale alumni. The part-guided, part-silent meditation has taught me that I can actually meditate. It had always seemed overwhelming before… I now also meditate on my own, which was unimaginable a year ago.” 

The Zoom sessions have even been helpful to faculty and staff who join. Longtime participant Stephanie Argraves, MS, Data Manager / Biostatistician, at the VA Connecticut Medical Center, says, “The Zoom meditations are amazing.  They are much more personable than I would have expected.” And Amanda Masters, MHS, PA(ASCP)CM / Pathologists’ Assistant, Autopsy and Morgue Manager, at Brady Memorial Laboratory shared, ”It was great! I am so glad this is available. It’s easier to make it a priority if I can do it right in my office! Thank you so much.” 

If you’d like to join the Monday or Friday drop-in meditation sessions via Zoom, please send an email request to danielle.casioppo@yale.edu.  Please specify which day you’re interested in (or both) as each day has different Zoom link (one for Mondays and another for Fridays). Once you have either link, it will be the same week to week. To make things easier to remember, you may also be added to the recurring Outlook calendar Zoom meditation invitation for Mondays and/or Fridays - just ask when you request the links. This way, if a session needs to be cancelled, you can easily be notified. 

Danielle also sends out a weekly meditation email with the topic, quote, or poem for that day’s meditation session. If you’d like to be added to the Yale mindfulness meditation email listserv, please also include that in your email to Danielle. 

Lastly, session recordings are available to Yale affiliates in Box by request. For Yale alumni and retirees, recordings may be shared via secure file transfer.  Please contact danielle.casioppo@yale.edu for more information. 

Monday drop-in meditation schedule

Friday drop-in meditation schedule

There are two other Yale Community afternoon meditation groups that meet but are not currently offered on Zoom. They are Wednesdays at the Haas Family Arts Library and Tuesdays or Thursdays at 344 Winchester with Library Tech Services. 

For more information, please contact Danielle Casioppo or beingwell@yale.edu or call 436-8270.