Above: Fr. Michael Holleran '67 with seniors enrolled in the Meditation in Action elective.
Last month, Fr. Michael Holleran '67 visited Dr. Eelka Lampe’s Senior Elective "Meditation in Action." During his visit to the classroom, he inspired Regians with his unique ability to bridge the perceived gap between different faith and spiritual traditions.
On his own journey, Fr. Holleran served as a Jesuit for 5 years, before becoming a monk with the Carthusian Order in Vermont, France, and England for 22 years. In 1994, he decided to leave the Order and returned to New York City where he now serves as a parish priest. Since his return to New York, Fr. Holleran also became a Sensei (Zen teacher) in 2009.
Fr. Holleran introduced the class of Regis seniors to the Catholic monastic tradition of centering prayer, which concentrates on using a short word to focus the mind within and thereby realize that God dwells inside of us rather than "somewhere out there."
Fr. Holleran then guided students to experience the different-yet-related practice of Zen meditation, which involves sitting with eyes open, focusing on the breath, and counting each exhale (beginners’ practice), so as to rid oneself of incessant thinking.
Fr. Holleran’s guidance provided the opportunity for students to practice meditation and experience religion from a new perspective, and they thanked him for being generous with his time.
Dr. Eelka Lampe, member of the Language Department faculty, contributed to this story.