The following comes from a Feb. 28 story in the Los Angeles Times.
Erica Eihl speaks in a voice that her kindergartners can hear only if they are as quiet as the church mice in children’s storybooks.
And with a couple of squirrelly exceptions, they stay that quiet for 15 or 20 minutes — a near eternity — as Eihl guides them to use all their senses to consider a piece of apple, with directions such as, “Looking at the apple, look on the outside. Look on the inside.… Remember, keep it in your palm and just look at it.”
When she asks for their input, she gets raised hands and comments such as: “It smells juicy and apple-y” and “I see little tiny white spots.”
Mindful eating is just one of the mindful practices at the Citizens of the World charter school in Mar Vista, with 160 children in kindergarten through second grade.
“We are mindful and heartful” is the golden rule at the school, and the children practice mindful meditation in the mornings and after recess, among other times, often with 30 seconds to five minutes of silence — time when they can notice what is happening at the moment without judgment, which is at the heart of mindful meditation.
“They’re very receptive to it,” Eihl says. “They’re so emotional at this age. It’s allowing them to have the tools to be expressive” about their emotions and cope with them.
Educators are catching on to the benefits of mindful meditation.
Indeed, schools in 48 states, and hundreds of schools in California alone, have programs, says Chris McKenna, the program director at Mindful Schools in Emeryville, Calif., which has trained more than 2,000 teachers in mindfulness.
“One of the reasons it’s growing is because the kids are under so much pressure now, with the testing culture and the pressure put on them by teachers and parents to be successful,” says Vicki Zakrzewski, the education director at the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, which studies the science behind mindfulness.
Mindfulness helps with focus, attention and calming the emotions, she says. Teachers and administrators, she adds, see it as a tool that also can boost school performance.
“Schools are absolutely paying attention to the benefits of mindfulness,” says Lorraine Hobbs, the director of youth and family programs at UC San Diego’s School of Medicine and Center for Mindfulness. “When we can teach kids to pay attention to this inner landscape,” they can learn kindness and compassion….
To read the original story, click here.
To an extent, the Catholic Church is to blame for this, because she NOW teaches that there is good in all religions. Up until Vatican II such nonsense would never have been uttered, but now because of the false ecumenism, why be a Catholic since everyone is saved, and all religions are good. Because most Catholics stand for nothing, but fall for everything, the meditation room has replaced the chapel in most Catholic hospitals. The logical conclusion then is private periods of silence and meditation are permissible, but organized ‘canonical’ prayer is not. Every minute we drift further and further away from God, and closer and closer to Satan and his minions.
“Satan and his minions?”
Give me a break!!!
The children are being taught mindfulness, which is also a very Catholic thing.
As opposed to non-stop babbling, the inability to be silent and think, and so forth.
You can’t expect “canonical” prayer to be part of public schools, because they are, as the name suggests, PUBLIC.
However, if schools can teach our children how to respect others, how to enjoy silence, how to sit and be quiet, they can use this in all aspects of life — whether they are visiting the Blessed Sacrament, lifting up their own needs to God after the celebrants says “let us pray,” and so on.
BRAVO – For A Catholic School that Actually Is Catholic:, and Proud to Speak the Truth of the Magisterium as transmitted by Popes John Paul 2 & Benedict the Wise:
“… Principal Brother Thomas Dalton said, “In the footsteps of Saint Patrick, IHM does not condone and will not appear to condone the homosexual lifestyle.”
He reportedly said, “We must stand firm with the Church which states in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, promulgated by Pope John Paul II, that ‘homosexual acts are acts of grave depravity’ and ‘are intrinsically disordered.’ ”
– See more at: https://www.cardinalnewmansociety.org/CatholicEducationDaily/DetailsPage/tabid/102/ArticleID/3045/Catholic-School-Will-Not-March-in-St-Patrick’s-Day-Parade-with-Group-that-Supports-Same-Sex-Marriage.aspx#sthash.4H0W8q9I.dpuf
Thank God the schools are doing something so sensible, which depends on no specific religion — such as Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, etc.
Our children need to learn how to be quiet, and it’s hard in this world filled with so many gadgets and ‘things’ vying for their attention.
By attending such a school, and learning such tools, these children will be able to then use the SAME tools when they attend Mass, go to Bible study class, etc.: not be distracted, be able to focus, and be comfortable with silence.
Praise the Lord!
peter, just what is excellent about this emotional perspective?
Mindful meditation? Isn’t this a story about how Buddhist are taught to meditate? I wonder how many parents know this is being taught to their young children?
The picture reminds me of that old Steve Martin/Lily Tomlin movie “All of Me.”
“Put Edwina back in the bowl.”
This is very wrong. Teaching children to meditate in a place with no judgment is a recipe for disaster. Everything in life has judgments. Why do you stop at a red light? Because someone made a judgment that traffic lights reduce accidents. Even if you take all of man’s laws and judgments away, nature will judge you. How can you teach children to be in a place of no judgment when it is essential to honestly judge our character, weaknesses, strengths, and spirits on a daily basis. How else can we correct ourselves? It’s funny how you have the children meditating on an apple without judgment, when it was an apple and a bad judgment that convicted man of our first sin.