UK Gov. Plans to Introduce Buddhist Meditation Techniques into Schools… We should resist!

The State Should Not Promote Eastern Religious Practices in Schools

 

UK Gov. Plans to Introduce Buddhist Meditation Techniques into Schools… We should resist!

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UK Gov. Plans to Introduce Buddhist Meditation Techniques into Schools… We should resist!

Minister of State for Vulnerable Children and Families at Department for Education, Edward Timpson, wants to introduce Buddhist meditation techniques and yoga into schools.

Mr Timpson said that schools across the country should start teaching "mindfulness" as a "normal part of the school day".

The meditative practice, which has its roots in Buddhism, encourages people to focus on the present, rather than on the anxieties of the past or future.

Speaking during a debate in Parliament, Mr Timpson said that mindfulness is “a modern innovation born from the deepest traditions of meditation” and that schools and colleges using the technique “to enable all children to enjoy good mental health and emotional wellbeing”.

“We want schools to have a whole-school approach that makes talking about feelings, emotions and wellbeing as normal for pupils as talking about their physical bodies. That might include lessons taught as part of the PSHE curriculum, whole-school programmes such as mindfulness that become a normal part of the school day, role play in drama lessons, or offering meditation or yoga sessions.”

While helping to improve children’s mental well-being is indeed commendable, we should be concerned about this development.

Being inspired by ancient Buddhist meditation, it is doubtful whether mindfulness can be separated from its religious roots. As such, the state should not be promoting this particular religious practice which is foreign to our tradition.

The introduction of mindfulness into schools would amount to the introduction of a particular state sponsored religious practice. Whilst this is done to a certain extent within particular faith schools, it is not appropriate for the state to do this more generally.

It is the job of parents to look after the spiritual well-being of their children, not the state.

http://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2016-09-06/debates/16090642000001/M...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/09/07/teach-yoga-and-meditation-to-...

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Regarding Plans to Introduce Mindfulness Into Schools

Dear Mr Edward Timpson,

I am concerned about possible plans to introduce mindfulness into schools.

Whilst I recognise that child mental well-being is indeed something which we ought to be concerned about, I want to caution against the introduction of mindfulness into schools.

The practice is essentially an Eastern religious form of meditation with its roots in Buddhism, and it not clear to me why the state is encouraging a particular religious practice in schools.

The state should not be promoting one particular religious tradition as a solution to poor mental well-being among children. If, for example, the state informed me that they would be ecouraging Islamic prayer and meditation practices in schools to help with stress, I, along with the vast majority of non-Muslims, would be extremely displeased. Why is the situation any different with Eastern religious practices such as mindfulness?

While faith schools might encourage their pupils to pray, the state should not introduce Eastern religious practices.

It is doubtful whether mindfulness and other meditative techniques can truly be separated from their Buddhist roots, and the state should not be promoting a particular religious creed across all of its schools.

[Your Name]

UK Gov. Plans to Introduce Buddhist Meditation Techniques into Schools… We should resist!

Sign this petition now!

010,000
  8,783
 
8,783 people have signed. Help us reach 10,000 signatures.