Lecia Bushak Lecia Bushak is a writer and reporter focusing on medical, science, and international news. My Flower Mandalas, photography, and art are about light and energy, the vibrational aspect of our world.
Amy Spreeman is founder and co-blogger at Berean Research and also a contributing blogger at Pirate Christian Radio’s Berean Examiner blog. One of the more worrisome trends in our public schools is the Eastern mystical practices seeping into the classroom under the guise of stress management. An article from Scholastic Parent and Child Magazine (October 2011) was given to children in a public school kindergarten class in Northern Virginia to take home to their parents. The article refers to mindfulness as “based in the philosophy of Buddhism” and quickly adds, “But it’s not religion” and “there are no spiritual overtones.” However, the very concept and practice of mindfulness is religious. The only way to stop this cycle and be free of samsara – which is the goal of Buddhist practice – is to detach from desire. Practicing mindfulness supposedly prepares one for a breakthrough in perception, an awakening to reality, which is formlessness (sunyata, usually translated as “emptiness”). Although presented as spiritually neutral, the origins and goals of mindfulness belie that stance.
Susan Kaiser Greenland, author of The Mindful Child, has been teaching mindfulness and promoting it in inner city schools through her foundation, Inner Kids Foundation. She acknowledges that Buddhism is the foundation of mindfulness, but implies that if mindfulness can be “reframed” using terms related to mental health and stress reduction, then the messy religion issue can be circumvented. Mindful meditation involves breathing a certain way, but it is also a way to transcend thinking. Buddhism absorbed much from Taoism, which sprang from early Chinese shamanistic assumption of a universal force, chi, that infuses the world. Even if the children are not doing a full-on mindfulness meditation (which would be difficult for most children), they are being introduced to it, taught how to do it, and told that it is the way to deal with their feelings and “intense emotions.” Being told that this is how to deal with anger or fear may also give the subtle message that emotions are a bad thing. While it’s true that taking a few deep breaths when upset may calm one down, mindfulness goes way beyond that. We have a right to ask: Is this not a type of therapy being foisted on children without parental consent? The article cites “studies” that mindfulness has done amazing things, such as improving memory, boosting the immune system, and has rendered child practitioners more optimistic, socially adept, compassionate, and less judgmental of themselves. Whenever we see such bold claims based on studies with no further information, we should ask: Who did these studies? Also, there is no way to prove that anything “boosts the immune system” since the immune system is too complex and involves many systems of the body. Most meditation CDs also use forms of hypnosis; that is the nature of this type of meditation. Compassion, therefore, is a religious term, not a secular one, when used in the context of mindfulness. Scholastic is the parent company of MindUP, the program started by actress Goldie Hawn, a practicing Buddhist.
The advocacy of mindfulness by a corporate giant such as Scholastic is a prime example of how Eastern beliefs are being endorsed and disseminated in the culture. Children are the most vulnerable and are totally unable to critique or assess such ideas; for that reason, they make the best targets. The Bible indicates that our bodies are the temple of God’s imminent presence and the biological heart is the organ of spiritual perception.
The story of the two disciples walking on the road to Emmaus illustrates how knowledge of the heart is a form of spiritual perception that is nonverbal and non-conceptual.
The word guarding is similar to the word nepsis: it refers to maintaining a state of vigilant attention. At the University of Pennyslvania, Andrew Newberg did brainscan studies of Franciscan nuns doing Centering Prayer.
I should add to the above that if cortisol and the other stress related hormones remain in our bodies for an extended period of time they significantly compromise health. Research on mindfulness and on meditation shows these practices flush cortisol and other stress hormones out of the body. The Bible refers to nepsis but it does not provide a detailed description of this spiritual discipline. This mental detachment from thoughts is just one aspect of the spiritual discipline of nepsis. The article defines deification as “the transforming effect of divine grace, the spirit of God, or the atonement of Christ.
There is also the statement in 2 Peter 1:4 where he states that we will become partakers of a divine nature. Jesus indicates nepsis is something related to but distinct from prayer and that it is related to self-control. The reason there are similarities between Christian meditation and other religions is due to to how our brains and bodies work. I'm amazed how few Christian discernment articles there are exposing mindfulness in preschools and grade schools. First of all, your claims for meditation in the church are not based on scripture but rather based on the traditions of the Orthodox Church. Many of the points in my article you merely state are not true, but but I backed them up in the article, and there is no further need to do so here. Yes, being in the present moment is from Buddhist teachings but it has implications and meaning beyond the way it is usually said in the West, as I pointed out. Regarding Nirvana: How can one describe a state where the self no longer exists while one still has a self and a state in which there is no more attachment to illusion while one is still in attachment to this world? Yes, I realize that some studies show a benefit to MBSR, but benefits based on what worldview? I believe I demonstrated the essential spiritual nature of mindfulness and its purpose and whether one thinks it is of value or not, imposing such a method or technique on children in schools is at the very least, bringing religion into schools. I will read what you wrote again and address anything I missed that I think should be addressed. Contemplative prayer follows meditation, and involves resting in the open, spacious gaze of faith toward God, beyond words, images and thoughts.
Hesychastic practice involves acquiring an inner focus and blocking of the physical senses, to engage in mental ascesis.
But lets not forget that this all really has nothing to do with modern psychological and medical mindfulness practice, where the goal is physical and mental health and well-being. Whether Greenland or other mindfulness practitioners may have connections to Buddhism is irrelevant given the fact that there are numerous other practitioners that are not Buddhist.


If research done by groups with vested interest was inherently without scientific value, then every drug ever invented by a pharmaceutical company, or every medical technique ever invented by a practicing physician would be inherently without credibility.
The current research suggest that mindfulness practices are useful in the treatment of pain, stress, anxiety, depressive relapse, disordered eating, and addiction, among other conditions. Next you go on to talk about the dangers of compassion, and I'm not sure how much more absurd this could all get.
Secular meditation in schools aims for health benefits, better school performance and increased empathy, emotional awareness and social intelligence among children.
Sex frequency in relationships can influence overall feelings about a partner and the relationship. All rights reserved.Medical Daily is for informational purposes and should not be considered medical advice, diagnosis or treatment recommendation. So much of living, and the magic, is in the moments that happen in between the idea and the completion. It can easily be incorporated into your life, because it only involves becoming aware of what you are doing right now, without judgment. The article, “It’s All In Your Mind,” by Lynne Ticknor, promotes mindfulness, a Buddhist concept and meditation practice, along with a brief interview of Goldie Hawn and her Eastern-based Mind-Up program for schools. It teaches that reality as we see and experience it is not, in fact, reality.** We think it is only because we identify with our body, feelings, thoughts, sensations, and reactions as a result of having been born into this world. Mindfulness is particularly emphasized in Zen Buddhism and, aside from TM (Transcendental Meditation), is the Eastern practice that has most deeply penetrated the West. Many are not aware that the true goal of Buddhism, nirvana, is not some kind of Buddhist heaven, but is actually the state one reaches when one has shed all attachments and illusions, thus freeing oneself from desire and rebirth. In fact, Zen Buddhism is a mixture of Taoism and Buddhism which came from China and was called Chan (called Zen in Japan).
Mindfulness as taught in schools is communicating to a child that he should always be calm, always clear-headed, always in control. And do parents really want teachers trying to “regulate breathing rhythms” in their children? The word “compassion” is being joined with the term “mindfulness” (one example is a book recommended at the end of the article, Mindfulness: Mothering with Mindfulness, Compassion, and Grace by Denise Roy).
Compassion includes the Buddhist view that all non-human beings (called “sentient beings”) are in need of rebirth as humans, because only humans can attain enlightenment. The same thing has been happening with Yoga, which is being offered in the workplace by corporations as well as by government agencies (along with the promotion of such practices as Feng Shui, Tai Chi, and many forms of New Age alternative healing). It can help you think through the implications of how our brains are related to our experiences of God.
Part of the reason this might sound foreign to you is due how strongly our Western culture has been influenced by a dualistic separation of the physical from the mental and spiritual. What do you think Paul is talking about when he refers to guarding the heart and mind and how is it related to the peace that passes understanding? Not only is the practice similar to other religious contemplative meditations in Judaism and the east, the brain scans show similar patterns of positive neural stimulation, especially in the areas of moral reasoning, empathy, compassion, and kindness and generosity toward others, all key issues in the Hebrew scriptures and New Testament. This improves health and reduces our vulnerability to our brains being hijacked by the fight or flight response.
I intend to cover some more passages in the Bible that are related to nepsis and the research on mindfulness. How can you maintain that nepsis is not Biblical when it is a word used in the Bible in the above examples? At Gethsemane Jesus asked his disciples to keep watch and pray with him so that they would not fall into temptation.
This, as opposed to the huge number of articles and books favoring this and instructing teachers how to teach it. I'm hoping to write a series of articles about mindfulness in preschools and public grade schools, similar to the format I used with my Roma Downey blogs.
I am not going to go point by point as I already made a case for many things you say you disagree with. You need to use scriptures if you want to support a type of meditation that is not using the mind to read and actively reflect on scripture. I said that the Buddhist meaning of it goes beyond what most Westerners realize and I explained that.
Even if there are texts that define it, most Buddhist writings I've read state that it is not able to be articulated with words. That is the point of this article, the point being that such benefits need to be measured by God's word and the biblical worldview. Mahayana Buddhists) do not aim to extinguish desire all together, but to transmute it from personal greed into Universal Love (Metta, or Agape).
So whether you’re making breakfast, cleaning up, taking care of someone, creating something beautiful, sitting, or any of the myriad of things you do, you owe it to yourself to bring awareness to each moment, to live it fully with appreciation. You’ll be more fully aware, improve the quality of your life, and experience reduced stress.
My hope is that each viewer will experience a connection to the spirit, the truest essence of my subjects, and this in turn will assist them connecting to their own peace and perfection.
This article is only one of many that have been written documenting and promoting the latest invasion of Eastern spirituality in our schools.
Its increasing visibility and acceptance in the West is largely due to its promotion by Buddhist adherents, such as Jon Kabat-Zinn, a Zen Buddhist who has heavily influenced the health community, and by Thich Nhat Hanh, a Buddhist monk and bestselling author. There is no self (no-self is called anatman or anatta); the concept of self is a result of these false identifications with the world.
Mindfulness involves altering one’s thinking and outlook via Buddhist mindfulness meditation practice by detaching from mind and self through nonjudgmental observation. Nirvana means “to extinguish” and is the state of cessation of desire and illusion, and therefore of suffering. Breathing in this way brings one into an altered state where critical thinking and judgment are suspended.
Controlling breath was part of controlling and balancing chi, thus achieving health and longevity (in Taoist thinking).
This certainly could convey a negative message to more emotional children, and to children with various psychological, neurological, and emotional problems, as well as making them self-conscious about their feelings. Buddhist teachers make frequent use of the word “compassion” (this is very common with the Dalai Lama) but the problem is that non-Buddhists do not know all the implications of this term. Since rebirth can bring a human into a non-human state, the Buddhist must spread Buddhist teachings and work at his own enlightenment in order to help advance Buddhist truths so that all can eventually be liberated from the cycle of rebirth.
It is a global enterprise, creating and distributing “educational and entertaining materials and products for use in school and at home, including children’s books, magazines, technology-based products, teacher materials, television programming, feature film, videos and toys.


Parents can talk to the teacher or principal and ask to opt their child out based on religious views. Their verbal, conscious minds are unable to recognise Jesus, but at a deeper level their hearts are burning within them. Christian nepsis is not identical to either Buddhist Mindfulness or to Mindfulness as defined in Psychotherapy research.
Whatever form of meditation they may practice or have practiced in the past is still not evidence from scripture. Compassion usually is used in reference for the hope and working for the (Buddhist) enlightenment of all beings, including non-human sentient beings. A Christian is to look to Christ and to God's word for comfort and strength in daily struggles and worries (I am not speaking here of serious mental problems that need professional help), not to techniques that come from a religion that is totally incompatible with a Christian worldview and belief system. This includes the commonly heard maxim, “Be in the present,” since the goal includes detaching from past and future.
This idea of the breath as centering is very similar to the Taoist teaching that one must base one’s self in the flow of chi and thus balance the two forces of yin and yang. At the very least, using mindfulness should be a decision for a parent, not for the school or educators. In short, this reference to studies should be questioned since no scientific references or data is given, and the contentions are unreasonably overstated.
Even if the school denies that mindfulness is religious, the parent can state that it conflicts with his or her faith. But modern people also use the word heart as a metaphor to refer to emotions in contrast to logical thinking. This is why the body was viewed as the temple of the Holy Spirit and the biological heart was literally believed to be the organ of spiritual perception.
Meditation is now taught by Jesuit and Catholic priests, Protestant, Evangelic and Episcopalian ministers at major university hospitals throughout the country. It’s a waste of time and energy to get on to yourself, when a gentle reminder will do nicely. Birth in this world, along with our physical and mental processes, feed desire, thus continuing the cycle of desire and suffering through continual rebirth (samsara). If these studies were done by mindfulness-based or friendly organizations, then there is no scientific credibility.
Buddhism may give lip service to an embrace of all religions, but Buddhism teaches that only the Buddhist path can liberate.
There is much data online that would help make a parent’s case that mindfulness is religious. That dichotomy of logic versus emotional feelings is absent from the Biblical concept of heart. Buddhist meditation is not actively using the mind but rather bypassing thoughts and thinking. Jenny Morber delves into the legally and ethically fraught world of post-mortem sperm donation. Take a nice slow breath, and bring your attention back to this moment, or just back to what you love and appreciate. The Biblical concept of heart includes both logical thinking and emotions, but it also refers to a form of knowing that is underneath and deeper than both logical conceptual thinking and emotions.
Mindfulness in psychotherapy research is limited to practice that is empirically supported, so it is different from both Buddhist mindfulness and from Christian nepsis. Under the HoodBehavior, Neuroscience & Your Brain Domestic Violence Drops When Men Take Psychedelic Drugs Ex-convicts who used psychedelic drugs after being released from prison committed fewer acts of domestic violence than those who did not take psychedelics. God created the positive neurotransmitters and hormones that are released by contemplative prayer and the practice of keeping watch. So if the oral tradition was unreliable we would also have no basis for trusting our new testament documents. These neurotransmitters have a powerful positive impact on our psychological and physical health. Both the Jews and the early Christian were reluctant to write down the most sacred aspects of faith. InnovationTechnology & the Business of Medicine Antibodies From HIV-Resistant Monkeys May Help Humans Fight The Disease Promising results from a recent animal study suggest that we may be closer to developing a shot to help protect individuals from contracting HIV.
Because this name was so sacred the Jews never wrote it down and that is why we do not know for sure how to pronounce God's name Yahweh.
To get a greater expansion of what Jesus meant by the spiritual discipline of keeping watch we need to turn to the early church and desert fathers.
If what the early church fathers have to say on prayer is completely wrong than the original apostles must have been very poor teachers.
All of the various groups of the earliest Christians were in agreement on this: contemplative prayer and the practice of Nepsis were at the very heart of our faith. The HillHealthcare, Policy & Governance Oklahoma Lawmakers Approve Bill To Revoke Licenses Of Abortion Doctors If signed into law, exemptions would be given for those who perform the procedure for reasons including protecting the mother or removing a miscarried fetus. The GrapevineBreaking News and Trends What It's Like To Put On A Prosthetic Leg Every Morning Young amputee shows us how she puts on her prosthetic leg each day. Weird MedicineScience is Stranger Than Fiction Parasitic Worms May Be Just What People With Crohn's Disease Need A new animal study suggests that parasitic worm infestations may be able to restore balance to the erratic gut microbiomes of people with Crohn's Disease. The benefits it has on reducing stress and depression have also been touted in studies, but a new large meta-analysis finds that it may be just as effective as antidepressants in treating depression.Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) involves patients working in groups and learning skills to manage their feelings and experiences, as well as employing mindfulness to reduce depression. It’s something of a mix between cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness, and meditation, and the researchers noted that it could be used as a substitution for antidepressants or as a collaborating factor with medications.“While the evidence is from a relatively small number of trials, it is encouraging for patients and clinicians to have another option,” said Richard Byng, professor of primary care at the University of Plymouth and an author of the study, in a statement. This, along with varied individual study and wide combined study confidence intervals, means that clinicians need to be cautiously optimistic when tapering off antidepressant medication, and treat each patient as an individual who may or may not benefit from both MBCT and other effective treatments.”For the study, researchers examined nine trials and found that 38 percent of people who had MBCT experienced a depressive relapse within 60 weeks. The researchers calculated that MBCT gave patients a 31 percent lower risk of relapsing during 60 weeks. When taking age, sex, and level of education into account, the researchers found that MBCT still remained effective, hinting that it could be helpful for a wide range of people.But perhaps most interestingly, the researchers also examined trials that involved patients receiving MBCT while continuing, slowly weaning off, or completely stopping antidepressants. It turned out that people who received MBCT and in some cases stopped using antidepressants, were still 23 percent less likely to relapse than people who continued with antidepressants and didn’t receive MBCT.Despite the hype about mindfulness, however, some scientists remain cautious about its benefits.
In another recent study, researchers found that many reports on mindfulness are biased and possibly exaggerated. Indeed, more research will need to be done before doctors can begin prescribing mindfulness instead of antidepressants, but it’s an area worth exploring.Willem Kuyken, lead author of the study, called the results “heartening,” noting that “while MBCT is not a panacea, it does clearly offer those with a substantial history of depression a new approach to learning skills to stay well in the long term,” Kuyken said.



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