VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Nov. 22, 2016 /CNW/ -- A Vancouver Dad has launched an online petition calling for the removal of all Mindfulness Meditation from Canadian public schools. If he is successful, the impact could cause a ripple effect and change how public schools implement Mindfulness programs in the U.S.A., U.K., and elsewhere.
School officials claim that Mindfulness sessions are simply breathing sessions, without any association to meditation, spirituality, or Buddhism. Chwartkowski says, "Mindfulness sessions are 'Buddhist Meditation sessions.'"
At his child's school (Elsie Roy Elementary), students participate in Mindfulness sessions, 3x per day. Mindfulness sessions last 1-3 minutes and require students to close their eyes, remain seated, and follow instructions from a Mindfulness Guide who leads the sessions and rings a chime at the beginning and the end of each Mindfulness session.
In his petition, Chwartkowski details six reasons why public schools are not the right place for Mindfulness programs. A summary: 1) Legislated mediation is not lawful in Canada; 2) All Canadian public schools are legally designated as secular schools, which means meditation is off limits; 3) Students meditating without parents informed consent, is unethical; 4) There are many Canadians who practice a Faith, Religion, or belief system that requires them to refrain from practicing Buddhist Meditation – therefore, 100% automatic enrolment is unfair; 5) No known long-term case studies that prove the safety of children practicing Mindfulness Meditation; 6) He quotes a clinical psychologist and hypnosis author, who compares Mindfulness to hypnosis.
If Chwartkowski can prove that Mindfulness sessions are meditation sessions – then he may have a shot at seeing Mindfulness programs removed from public schools.
He says, "I cite more than 20 articles of evidence on the petition https://www.change.org/p/minister-of-education-please-remove-the-mindfulness-program-from-canadian-public-schools, and more info on the website, www.whatismindfulness.ca which proves these sessions are 'Buddhist Meditation sessions.'" One example of the 20+ articles is a quote from a Zen Buddhist Priest saying, "The main practice of Mindfulness – is meditation."
Chwartkowski describes himself as a "Follower of Jesus" but says, "I'm not campaigning for the reintroduction of The Lord's Prayer in public schools. Nor am I asking for special privileges. In fact, I'm not even asking for the law to be changed - since the law already prohibits legislated meditation."
To view change.org petition details, please visit https://www.change.org/p/minister-of-education-please-remove-the-mindfulness-program-from-canadian-public-schools.
The petition is open for anyone to sign, from anywhere in the world.
SOURCE Ray Chwartkowski