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Interfaith Mindfulness and Prayer Room

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Looking down, this view shows permanent bench seating along the left and center walls and flexible seating on the opposite center wall.
Looking down, this view shows permanent bench seating along the left and center walls and flexible seating on the opposite center wall.

In the upper right on the floor is a symbol indicating the Qibla--the direction to Mecca that Muslims face during prayer. View from Above

A view of the meditation space from the back of the room, looking toward the ablution area.
A view of the meditation space from the back of the room, looking toward the ablution area.

Bench to Ablution

A view of the meditation space from the ablution area, at the front of the room, toward the back.
A view of the meditation space from the ablution area, at the front of the room, toward the back.

Beyond the benches is a westward facing window that overlooks N. Linden Street. Ablution to Benches

The Meditation Space will be constructed in the older section of Cabell Library, in the northwest corner of the third floor.
The Meditation Space will be constructed in the older section of Cabell Library, in the northwest corner of the third floor.

This rendering looks at the room from its exterior and shows a series of vertical partitions at exterior windows that help provide privacy. Outside from stacks

The meditation space with the partition wall in place.
The meditation space with the partition wall in place.

It allows two groups engaged in different faith practice or meditation to use the room simultaneously. Inside Meditation Space Wall Down

A view of the full space featuring warm finishes and lighting.
A view of the full space featuring warm finishes and lighting.

The room features a vertical partition, open here, that can be lowered to divide the room into two smaller spaces. Inside Meditation Space Wall Up

As the most diverse university in Virginia, VCU proudly embraces its community. Students come from all over the world, fit into all age groups, reflect all income groups, and express many faith traditions and spiritual practices. VCU Libraries aspires to provide an appropriate and respectful space for all to engage in prayer, to practice meditation, to seek a wellness or mindfulness respite, or to simply retreat briefly into peaceful and solitary contemplation. An area on the third floor of Cabell Library has been identified a possible site. The proposed location is easily accessible, provides water for ablutions and rituals, and meets the needs of many in the community.

Design for the room is moving forward in consultation with stakeholders and faith community representatives throughout VCU. Policies governing the use of the facility will be developed in consultation with students, faith communities, and others. The final name for the space will be chosen through a process that involves the entire VCU community.  Key goals for the project include

  • Creating an exemplary interfaith mindfulness and prayer space that other universities will wish to emulate.
  • Complementing and extending our existing excellent spaces for academic pursuit and physical refreshment with much-needed space for spiritual retreat, mindfulness, and prayer.
  • A design that will serve all faith traditions as well as mindfulness meditation and spiritual retreat not affiliated with traditional faith practices.

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VCU Libraries

James Branch Cabell Library Monroe Park Campus
901 Park Ave., Box 842033
Richmond, VA 23284-2033
Toll-free: (844) 352-7399
(804) 828-1111
All Libraries
Tompkins-McCaw Library MCV Campus
509 N. 12th St., Box 980582
Richmond, VA 23298-0582
Toll-free: (844) 352-7399
(804) 828-0636

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