Californian Catholics Against Teaching of Meditation in Public Schools

August 6, 2007

Source: The Buddhist Channel,4611,0,0,1,0

Oakland, CA (USA) -- At Oakland’s Emerson Elementary School, students may not be able to say a public “Our Father,” but they can publicly practice “mindfulness” techniques, adapted from Buddhism, in which “the children learn to follow their breath, watch their thoughts and focus their attention by listening to the tone of a Tibetan singing bowl until the sound is too faint to hear,” reported the July 27 Oakland Tribune.

Emerson Elementary, however, has but one of many such mindfulness programs, the number of which have grown nationwide to more than 100.

One organization that is encouraging schools to adopt meditation practices for students is the Hollywood-based David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace. The Lynch Foundation promotes Transcendental Meditation, which David Lynch calls a technique for “diving within.” In a message on the Foundation’s web site, Lynch holds out the hope that “someday, hopefully very soon, ‘diving within’ as a preparation for learning and as a tool for developing the creative potential of the mind will be a standard part of every school’s curriculum.”