The article below is a few years old, but it’s worth reading in light of the fast-growing move to get mindfulness meditation into ALL public schools in America. The headline, “Mindfulness Meditation in Public Schools: Side-Stepping Supreme Court Religion Rulings” certainly drew our attention when a reader recently sent it our way, partly because the source is Huffington Post, a highly popular liberal mainstream online media source, a source we would not expect to carry an article refuting allowing mindfulness meditation in public schools.
“Mindfulness Meditation in Public Schools: Side-Stepping Supreme Court Religion Rulings”
By Cathy Gunther Brown, Ph.D.
Since the 1960s, the United States Supreme Court has found it unconstitutional for public schools to teach religious practices such as prayer. But today, mindfulness meditation—a Buddhist religious practice similar to prayer—is promoted by schools nationwide. Why aren’t the courts intervening? Because promoters assert, as the Associated Press did recently, that “Western culture has secularized” this “centuries-old” religious practice.
But what does it mean to “secularize” mindfulness? It boils down to a simple change of vocabulary. Promoters drop the terms “Buddhism” and “meditation” and add the terms “neuroscience” and “scientific research.” Meanwhile, the same practice is taught in both public schools and Buddhist basics classes.
Indeed, the Associated Press notes that the Portland, Oregon high-school mindfulness program it features, Peace in Schools, is the “brainchild” of European-American Caverly Morgan, who “trained at a Zen Buddhist monastery for eight years,” and who, according to Morgan’s personal website, remains committed to “Zen Awareness Practice” and “maintains her own spiritual practice while offering the gift of practice to others.” Click here to continue reading.
To read the Lighthouse Trails booklet on mindfulness, click here.
(Photo from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission.)