A temporary exhibit in the Joseph F. Smith Building promotes BYU students to build a mindful life amidst their studies.
The exhibit titled “Be still: Building a Mindful Life” has been open since September 2021 and will continue through Spring 2024. It features quotes and information on every wall to teach the viewer how to be mindful as well as the benefits of slowing down and being present in the moment.
Kayla Williams is a BYU student and tour guide of the exhibit. She said her favorite part of the exhibit are the walls that focus on how mindfulness and being still are the same thing and how to we can implement that into our lives.
“Sometimes we are taught in church about how being still means reading scriptures and saying prayers, and it does, but it also can mean living with intent, being closer to people around you, and noticing God’s hand in your life. I think those are small things that we forget,” Williams said.
The exhibit showcases the physical and mental benefits of mindfulness including improvement of self-esteem, sleep quality, immune response and more. It also features the spiritual benefits of mindfulness and quotes from what prophets and apostles have to say.
For visitors who are interested in learning more about this exhibit, scheduled tours are held on Mondays twice a month. These tours include a Family Home Evening night in the exhibit titled “Am I still?”
“Whenever I give this tour, I feel like my personal main goal is that people can feel more in control of their lives and they can feel like they have the power to change their circumstances through changing themselves first,” tour guide Natalie Rasmussen said.
During the FHE activity, everyone gathered into the gallery and participated in a mindfulness meditation activity. Everyone closed their eyes and breathed as one of the guides read a script to help the students know what to focus on.
Lauren Neibaur was one of the students that came with her FHE group to participate in the tour. “I also did like the meditation part and how it was relaxing and mindful and how it talked about living with intent,” Neibaur shared.
Following the meditation activity, the guides turned the students’ attention to the wall of quotes. On the east wall there were about 12 quotes displayed from various people such as Oprah Winfrey, Siddhartha Gautama and Russell M. Nelson.
A popular quote among those that participated in the event was one by Henry David Thoreau which says, “You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Let us spend one day as deliberately as Nature, and not thrown off track by every nutshell and mosquito’s wings that falls on the rails.”
Before the students left, they were able to make goals about how they were going to be more mindful. One of the walls of the exhibit explained how people can be more mindful in their daily lives. Some of the ideas included meditation, yoga, disconnecting from social media, working on relationships and more.
These activities and tours help students realize that being mindful can bless them as they go throughout their education, according to Williams.
“This room helps me understand that education is learning how to live a better life and being closer to God, closer with your fellow man, understanding yourself better, all of those things,” Williams said. “It helps me realize that’s what Heavenly Father wants. He doesn’t want us stressed and miserable he wants us to be happy and close with him.”