When I was a kid growing up in western Pennsylvania we used to say the Lord’s Prayer every morning in school followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. About a decade later a family living in eastern Pennsylvania filed a lawsuit to stop the schools from saying the Lord’s Prayer. Eventually the east won.
While reading the paper recently, I noticed that the east has won again. This time it is the victory of eastern world religion. Here is the story as covered in the Los Angeles Times.
Mindful meditation at school gives kids tools for emotional expression
Hundreds of schools in California alone have mindful meditation programs, and educators see benefits. Mindfulness is said to help with focus, attention, calming the emotions and school performance. February 28, 2014|By Mary MacVean
It seems mindful meditation is not considered a religion. Fine, then let’s not call prayer a religion either. Prayer assumes there is a powerful being who listens to us humans. Mindful meditation assumes that we are part of the universe. There is no all powerful being in charge, just the universe and we are a drop in the ocean of the universe. The more we focus inward, say OMMMM, and chill for a few minutes – the better the world or our classroom will be.
I submit that consciously praying to an all powerful being is also calming, leads to better focus, and better behavior – think, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” (Hey, little kids even learn the meaning of the word “trespass”.)
These hundreds of California public schools teaching mindful meditation are charter schools. May I humbly suggest we add western meditation to these charter schools where the kids are trained to pray to a force greater than themselves. I will write another blog soon giving guidelines for western meditation.
Children could be trained to apologize and make amends when they bully or insult someone. They could pay back their dessert when they steal french fries from some kid, and fess up when they cheated on a test. These are all Judeo-Christian teachings. These are Muslim teachings. Buddhists have rules against stealing and telling lies, so these religious rules would fit in both Western and Eastern meditation charter schools.
Tina Oleson has written a excellent article on mindful meditation being taught in public schools. If you wish to read more, here is a link to her post:
She is from Canada. Looks like our northern neighbors are having the same debate.
The image I have used for this article comes from here:
http://www.philosophymatters.org/2012/05/why-meditation-matters-33-reasons-to-meditate/ You will note that all the reasons JJSylvia gives for meditation are personal. This fits with the goals of eastern meditation. I plan to post some goals for western meditation in my next post. Keep reading!!!!
Jackie Evancho sings the “The Lord’s Prayer” – no, I could not sing this well at age 10! She is amazing!