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Rector opens room for meditation and prayer

It is not only a room for worship, and it is more than just a quiet place. The Room for Meditation and Prayer at campus Kristiansand is a room for both believers and non-believers.

Rektor opnar Rom for tru og tanke
Rector Sunniva Whittaker (in the middle) performs a reversed ribbon-cutting ceremony by tying two ribbons together to mark the opening of the Room for Mediation and Prayer at UiA. From the left: Liv Mørland (Forum for Religion and Spirituality), Rinmei Esperanza Skjefstad (student and Soto Zen Buddhist), Thoi Lam (teacher in Buddhism), Rector Sunniva Whittaker, Benedicte Nordlie (president of STA) Rebekka Haukelid (vice-president of the Christian Student Organization of Kristiansand), and Erland Grøtberg (student priest at UiA).

“The room for meditation and prayer does not guide you in what you should believe – or whether you should believe at all. This is a place where you can come for reflection together with others. Here, you can take a break from the daily rush.” 

Rector Sunniva Whittaker said this when she opened the Room for Meditation and Prayer at the University of Agder (UiA) on 3 March.

Representatives from different organisations who will use the room were present during the opening ceremony – from the Student Organisation of Agder to the Forum for Spirituality as well as Buddhist teacher Thoi Lam who will regularly lead mediations in the room. 

“Whether we are students or staff members, we all need to find peace of mind, stability and harmony in our daily lives. We are very grateful that we can use this room to cultivate the mindfulness that helps us concentrate and puts our daily problems in perspective”, says Lam during the opening ceremony.

Diversity at UiA

The forum for Religion and Spirituality gathers religious and spiritual groups and organisations within Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and humanism. Liv Mørland represented the organisation at the opening and said that she hopes the room will be used actively.

“We may rush through life without any breaks that can give us the peace of mind to think new thoughts. All the impulses we get from our surroundings can take the attention away from our inner layers. A quiet room for prayer and reflection will be good for the university”, she says.

The president of student organisation STA, Benedicte Nordlie, explains that UiA needs such a room. She points out how the room shows the diversity of people at the university. 

“One of the exciting things about being at university is that we are all different. This is a good way to show that our university facilitates for diversity”, says Nordlie.

Opening with a knot

True to the intention of diversity, the Rector opened the room not by cutting a ribbon, but by tying two ribbons together. 

“Daily life can be so hectic, and the mental health of each individual benefits from taking a break and think other thoughts. I am pleased that this room will be used for this purpose”, says Whittaker.

The Room for Meditation and Prayer is on the second floor of the F-building at Campus Kristiansand (F2 033). Next to it, you will find a quiet area and a lounge.