Meditation and mindfulness exercises start the day at some New York City schools, reports the New York Times. Advocates say it reduces stress, though “evidence is thin.”
Chancellor Carmen Fariña, visited a fourth-grade classroom in Queens where children sat cross-legged on the floor.
“Please let your eyes close,” said a small boy named Davinder, from his spot on the linoleum.
Davinder gently struck a shallow bronze bowl. Gong! “Take three mindful breaths,” he said, and the room fell silent.
At the Brooklyn Urban Garden Charter School in Windsor Terrace, 15 minutes are set aside at the beginning and end of every school day, when students must either meditate or sit quietly at their desks, reports the Times.
Public School 212 in Jackson Heights, Queens has “converted a large closet in a subbasement into a room devoted to mindfulness, complete with dim illumination and a string of rainbow Christmas-tree lights, allowing users to switch off the harsh fluorescent light overhead.”
The David Lynch Foundation, started by the director of “Blue Velvet,” funds transcendental meditation training at schools — and at banks, hedge funds and media companies.
“Remove the pesky “God” character, and you’re good to go,” writes Ann Althouse, who thinks the meditation exercises sound a lot like school prayer.