Buddhist Chaplaincy excited for growth in 2021

The Buddhist Chaplaincy has continued to share the practice of meditation to groups around campus, as well as growing their base through their student organization, the Buddhist Meditation Association. This semester, the first level of the Meditation Certificate Program will also begin.

Groups around campus, such as Food Services, Internal Communications and WISE (Women in Science and Engineering), have reached out to JoAnn Cooke, Buddhist Chaplain, to ask her to offer meditation instruction to their group.  “It’s such a joy to meet people from across the campus," says Chaplain Cooke. "Each time, there are people who follow up with me with the hopes of beginning a meditation practice in their life.” 

The BMA has been growing as a result. New student leadership will begin this Spring semester, including new BMA President Rosalie Turner. Over winter break, the group met Monday evenings to discuss the book "Wholehearted: Slow Down, Help Out, Wake Up" by Koshin Paley Ellison. Participants have been sharing experiences and thoughts about how to better live their lives while aware of what they do and how their actions affect the world. Koshin is a cofounder of the Zen Center for Contemplative Care in New York City, and is originally from Syracuse. The BMA plans to have him come to Syracuse University to speak in Fall 2021.

The first semester-long mindful meditation certification program will begin in February with an introduction to meditation workshop on Sunday, Feb. 14, at 4 p.m. It is not too late to join! Those interested can contact JoAnn Cooke at

If COVID-19 health precautions allow, some of BMA's plans for the semester include community service with We Rise Above the Streets and the Food Recovery Network. Tentative community-building activities include ice skating, a meditation retreat at Highland Forest, and a trip to Dai Bosatsu Monastery. Contact Rosalie Turner at