Victor M. Parachin is director of the Tulsa Yoga Meditation Center and author of books about yoga, meditation, and Eastern spiritual practices.
We have given him three S&P Book Awards: in 2007 for Eastern Wisdom for Western Minds, which models hospitality as a way for Christians to enrich their faith with the principles and practices of Eastern religions; in 2012 for Eleven Modern Mystics and the Secrets of a Happy, Holy Life, an impressive book with an interspiritual flair and a deep appreciation for mysticism; and in 2012 for Swami Vivekanda: Essential Writings, a top-notch collection of pieces from the spiritual teacher who introduced yoga to the West.
In the introduction to Buddha U, Parachin notes that a recent survey found that as many as eight out of ten college students said they frequently experienced stress in their lives. That was an increase or more than 20 percent from surveys done five years earlier.
Of course, there are many factors contributing college students' anxiety -- being burdened with a lifetime of student loans, frequently feeling overwhelmed by all they have to do, the drop in time available for socializing with friends, and a growing number of complaints about the mishandling of sexual violence by universities.
Parachin points out that in Japan, many Buddhist temples will chime a bell 108 times to signify the completion of one year while welcoming a new one. So he presents 108 Buddhist principles and practices which speak to the many stresses and strains experienced by college students.
Here you will find practical suggestions and concrete ideas for walking in a peace rally as one example of engaged Buddhism, sharing your notes and being the friendliest face on campus as kindness practices, turning away from dorm room gossip and swearing off swearing as two examples of right speech, nurturing compassion as a Buddhist ideal, and seeing goodness as an antidote to fear. These classes at Buddha U are available 24/7 and open to all students, young and old, who want to be mindful, cheerful, and lifelong learners!