The Current

Mindfulness meditation moves into the classroom

When did you last take any time at all to do nothing? No emailing, no internet, not chatting no reading. Simply. Doing. Nothing. There's a new trend in some classrooms aimed to incorporate this kind of meditation called mindfulness as daily practice for students. Today, our producer Peter Mitton takes us on a trip inside ourselves....
Mindfulness is everywhere ... organizations from Google to the U.S. marines offering classes on mindfulness practice for their members. Now schools are incorporating the practice in their curriculum too. (Dennis Larson/Flickr cc)

Mindfulness has been a cultural craze in recent years, with everyone from Google employees to U.S. Marines being trained in the Buddhist-inspired meditation practice. ​

Proponents say it helps to calm and focus the mind, helping especially with depression and anxiety. But now, mindfulness is making its way into the curriculum at more and more Canadian schools. And consciousness raising in the classroom has led to raised eyebrows from some parents.

It's religious because it is teaching students a practice that Buddhist monks use. But because they have taken the robes off and they're in the classroom, they're calling it non-religious. There seems to be a double standard of religious practices in public schools. As long as you call it "brain breaks" or "neuroscience" and you don't call it Buddhism, it seems to be allowed. If someone were to stand up and lead the students in the Lord's Prayer, but they said that it wasn't Christianity, people would be up in arms about that.- Tina  Olesen , a teacher who used to work in the B.C. public school system

The Current's Peter Mitton joined Anna Maria in studio to go deep into the mind and world of mindfulness, including sharing his own experience with Monica Maurin, a mindfulness coach in Toronto.

Do you use mindfulness practice in your daily life? What do you think of mindfulness meditation being incorporated in the school curriculum?

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