Meditation is being touted as a way to get students to calm down and focus their attention. But it’s agitating adults, reports Newsweek.
Some schools include yoga in their physical-education classes, private kiddie yoga classes abound and top universities regularly publish research on the benefits of meditation and prayer. TM (Transcendental Meditation) itself, which is promoted as a 20-minute physiological technique that calms the mind and nervous system, is also showing profound results where practiced, according to proponents: better grades and SAT scores, less bullying, longer attention spans and happier kids. They point to a slew of recent medical studies to back up their claims.
TM doesn’t have a calming influence on everyone. Critics believe that TM is a repackaged Eastern religious philosophy that should not be infiltrating public schools. They argue that TM invokes Hindu deities and in some cases is step one toward joining a cult.
A foundation started by filmmaker David Lynch is funding TM research and voluntary in-school programs with a focus on inner-city schools. It seems fairly easy to teach students how to meditate without invoking deities. And it’s got to be difficult to make kids meditate. For all anyone knows, they could be using the time to pray.