Meditation Mondays on campus

The NDSU Counseling Center provides weekly meditation sessions using iRest

College can be a time of particular stress, pressure, adjustments, changes and competing demands. That’s why the North Dakota State University Counseling Center provides one hour meditation sessions for their students at 3 p.m. every Monday.

“For many years I have run various meditation groups at the Counseling Center at that time, and it seems to work well for many students, and is also practical with the office schedule,” Licensed Psychologist, Certified Mindfulness Meditation Teacher and Level I iRest Teacher Ronni Arensberg said.

Each session involves a brief introduction to iRest and a guided meditation of approximately 30 minutes followed by a brief time for discussion or questions. Because the meeting is a drop-in group with no pre-registration, space is limited on a first-come, first-serve basis; face masks are also required.

“Learning skills to manage stress and anxiety can be extremely beneficial for college students,” said Arensberg. “Learning iRest meditation and developing an iRest practice during college offers helpful skills that can be of benefit throughout the rest of one’s life.”

iRest (Integrative Restoration) is a secular meditation practice based on the ancient tradition of Yoga Nidra and adapted to suit the conditions of modern life, according to their website. During iRest, people enter receptive states of deep relaxation and meditation, while remaining aware and alert.

“When practiced regularly, iRest enables you to meet each moment of your life with unwavering peace and wellbeing, no matter how challenging or difficult your situation,” said Arensberg. “It can help you stay connected to your inner peace despite everyday stress or life-altering events. iRest teaches tools that you can use throughout your lifetime to deal with difficult situations skillfully, and to develop a deep and secure sense of well-being.”

The iRest website states that the practice was developed by Dr. Richard Miller, a spiritual teacher, author, yogic scholar, researcher and clinical psychologist, who combined traditional yogic practice with Western psychology and neuroscience. 

The simple steps of iRest, which have been tested in clinical trials, calm the nervous system, release stress, increase resiliency and restore a sense of balance and control, according to Dr. Richard Miller’s research.

iRest consists of 10 basic steps, so each meditation session will focus on a different step of iRest. According to Arensberg, the sessions do not need to be attended consecutively or in order. 

“iRest is simple to learn and easy to practice,” said Arensberg.” It can be practiced by anyone, regardless of experience with meditation.”

For students who are not available to attend the group and would like to learn and practice iRest on their own, Arensberg suggests starting at the official iRest website at 

There, students will find guided audio practices and the book, “The iRest Program for Healing PTSD,” by Richard Miller, Ph.D. Arensberg says “Even though the title has PTSD, it is actually a beneficial book for anyone dealing with any type of stress or anxiety.”

Leave a Reply