Yes, Meditation Should Be Taught In Public School


Photo by Mre770

A recent article in the local paper “Breathing or Buddhism, parents ask” highlights a few parents who are upset their children are being taught “religion” in school.

“We’re concerned that mindful education is a Buddhist practice masquerading as science at the school,” Rebecca Kavanagh said yesterday. She and her husband believe the program contravenes the B.C. School Act, which prohibits the teachings of religious dogmas or creeds in public schools […]

I’ll admit, I like Buddhism. Since I first began studying it over 4 years ago, it stuck a chord that just feels right. But while its iconography is not for everyone, the technique of insight meditation is invaluable to all.

Unfortunately, many people wrongly classify the technique as a religion, even though it’s much closer to a practical philosophy.

That said, the controversial school program doesn’t even touch on the cosmology of Buddhism. Rather, it stresses the technique of mindfulness.

In the program, students are asked to pay attention to their thoughts, feelings and sensations, practise deep breathing, and do affirmations and visualizations.

The benefits of mediation are well documented. At a time when most kids are brainwashed to worship senseless violence and socialites, mindfulness is a critical tool that offers massive potential, especially being offered a young age.

One woman commented on the article, saying:

Breathing deeply and learning to relax are excellent skills for children to learn as a stress reduction technique and for concentrating.

I work as a mental health counsellor and many of my adult clients with anxiety and high stress would have benefitted from learning some of these coping techniques earlier in life. This isn’t religion, it’s another tool in managing emotions and being able to think more clearly.

With the proper education, I believe most parents would understand the value (and non-religious nature) of meditation, and these types of programs will become standard in classrooms all over the world.

What do you think? Should meditation be taught in public school?

2 Comments

  1. Hey Ian, I have to admit to being a bit biased as well – I also love Buddhism. But I was drawn into as an adult for the same reason you were – it just made sense, and it worked.

    I agree with the woman you quoted, however, – mindfulness has got nothing to do with religion. It is increasingly being accepted by western psychologists for the beneficial aspects. For a lot of Buddhist texts, we can often strip out the flowery language and what we have left is a psychology manual, and I think western society is increasingly coming to recognise this as a system of healing and growth, and not a religion.

    Great discussion!

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