Dear College or University Chaplain:
Thank you for visiting Dharma Care. If you are like most college and university chaplains, you do not identify as a Buddhist, yet it is likely that your religious character traits (as found in Galatians) are very similar to the Buddhist character traits called "the perfections". Together, these traits include: love, compassion, equanimity, determination, faith, generosity, awareness, truthfulness, wisdom, morality, renunciation, patience, and energy. When we reflect on how the major faith traditions go about forming people's character, we see our many similarities.
Our many differences are highlighted once we leave home and move onto a demographically-diverse campus for higher learning. Students are often surprised by what they learn, who they meet, and what they are attracted to. They are curious. Sometimes they become curious about other religions, and sometimes that religion is Buddhism. How can you be a support to students' interest in Buddhism?
Help them find a quite space, on campus, for meditation at least every other week. A recommended time for meditation for college students is about 20 minutes. After meditation, a student leader can share a brief recorded dharma talk, read a sutta, offer their own reflections, and facilitate a brief conversation. Given the demands of college and the developmental stage of the "typical" college student, a Buddhist gathering for meditation and reflection should not last more than one hour. For the 2013-2014 school year, I will prepare some resources for chaplains and student leaders interested in creating and supporting a space for Insight Meditation Community on Campus. Please send me an email if you're interested in receiving this information.
Let me know how I can best serve you.