I was surprised to hear a CBC radio program (see Links below) December 1, detailing mindfulness (Pali – the seventh element of the Noble Eightfold Path) being taught to grade six schoolchildren in Surrey, British Columbia as classroom behaviour control. Connections to Attention Deficit Disorder and drug therapy elimination through mindfulness are highlighted.
The reporter calls it “self regulation” probably because public opinion on teaching Buddhist principles in school would likely start a sectarian argument among parents and taxpayers funding public education. The program teaches children to spot inner tension, engage mindfulness and become calm and productive to enhance their learning.
Mindfulness is also being taught at my local health clinic to brain injured patients having trouble conducting their lives. Again, there is no mention in the clinical program that mindfulness is a spiritual or psychological faculty (indriya) that, according to the teaching of the Buddha, is considered to be of great importance in the path to enlightenment.
Whatever it’s called, it’s good to see the medicine and education communities supporting and practicing centuries-old principles!
Peace and abundance to all.