Distinguished Faculty Lecture Features Zen

Christine Gillette

Complete bliss, comfort and relaxation filled Kreider Hall and the audience Thursday when GCC English Professor Chris Juzwiak presented his Distinguished Faculty Award recipient lecture.

Juzwiak presented the tools and practices, or “The Nirvanic Toolbox,” to accomplish a place called “nirvanic consciousness,” a mental state where one can reach supreme spiritual paradise that provides ease and nourishment for the mind.

Juzwiak, who has been teaching at GCC since 2001, brought 17th and 18th century Tibetan singing bowls, kaleidoscopes, essential oils, and soothing music to enhance the meditation process that the whole audience was able to experience.

“I’d like you all to take a deep breath and close your eyes,” were the first calming words Juzwiak said when he walked up to the podium. “We’re going to center ourselves individually and together as a group of human beings.”

Juzwiak began the presentation by demonstrating how to play the singing bowls, which he said was like making love because it’s a very intimate and private occurrence. After demonstrating, he passed them around the audience along with the other nirvanic tools.

He discussed the different ways of reaching nirvana, through sight, sound, touch, and smell with the kaleidoscopes, singing bowls and essential oils. Before he turned to this lifestyle 15 years ago, he thought that using oils, meditating, and all associated with this spiritual lifestyle were “voodoo.”

“I was not a believer; it was all silly hogwash at first,” Juzwiak said.

This plane of consciousness has completely changed Juzwiak’s life. He can now appreciate, forgive, and love all that surrounds him, even the students who like to cause ruckuses in class. What turned him around as a professor was a deep meditation practice that allowed him to begin to love all of his students.

Juzwiak tells his students that they have an intellectual humanity, and once they get excited about learning they can’t be stopped.

“The intellectual high is cheaper than shopping, safer than drugs, and it’s easier to get than sex,” Juzwiak said.

Not everyone was trained to have their brain reach alternate dimensions, but Juzwiak believes that this kind of consciousness is completely nourishing and healing.

“Nirvanic consciousness is a birthright,” Juzwiak said. “It doesn’t belong to religion or politics, to science or scholarship.”

The audience of about 100 faculty and students were able to practice meditation with Juzwiak and left Kreider Hall with smiles and embraced others around them. Good vibes lingered as the audience left the hall.

Juzwiak chairs the Developmental Composition program and is a research director in the “Full E-mersion” program that provides assistance in developmental English students.