Canadian Police Officers Practice Meditation in Buddhist Temple as Part of Training

Police 5TORONTO – A Canadian police department that is reportedly experimenting with new training methods recently had a group of new recruits participate in a meditation lesson at a Buddhist temple.

On April 7, a group of approximately 35 police officers visited the West End Buddhist Temple and Meditation Centre in Mississauga, Ontario. The officers were all new recruits in training with Peel Region Police, which is a law enforcement department that serves the Toronto area.

While at the Buddhist temple, the officers received a lecture from a Buddhist monk on “mindfulness meditation and Buddhist philosophy,” according to a report from The Mississauga News. Photos posted on Facebook show the police officers, in uniform, taking up the cross-legged Lotus position inside the temple, with a large statue of Buddha in front of the meditation room.

Lori Blashuk of Peel Region Police’s Diversity Relations Unit said their department is experimenting with new training methods and thought the visit to the Buddhist temple would be beneficial for the officers.

“It’s good for the well-being of our officers, particularly with the stress they experience on the job,” she stated.

Magdi Younan, Inspector at Peel Regional Police, described the temple outing as “a field trip.”

“They are on-duty as training. This was [part of] training. Their duties are to be trained,” he said. “It was, for lack of a better term, a field trip.”

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According to The Mississauga News, the department is looking into allowing officers to attend regular meditation sessions at the temple. The Ontario Regional Police will be holding a similar session at the temple next month.

The Buddhist monk who lectured the police officers, Bhante Saranapala, said Peel police asked him to organize the event. In his lecture, he spoke to them about “Buddhist philosophy and mindfulness meditation.”

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Peel police officers meditating in the Buddhist temple

“I am delighted that I was able to share some insights by giving spiritual support to help them continue daily their service with a peaceful mind,” he posted on Facebook. “Sending them Metta and all blessings of the Noble Triple Gem!”

As previously reported, a growing number of major corporations—including Google, Facebook, Apple, Target, and Bank of America—are offering meditation, mindfulness, and yoga programs for their employees. A number of Christians, recognizing these practices’ ties to New Age beliefs and Eastern religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism, have expressed concerns at their increasing popularity in the U.S.

“Differences in various forms of Eastern meditation aside, they all aim at a supposedly ‘higher’ or ‘altered’ state of consciousness,” wrote Douglas Groothuis, author of the book “Confronting the New Age: How to Resist a Growing Religious Movement,” in a Christianity Today article. “Meditation guides claim that normal consciousness obscures sacred realities. Therefore, meditation is practiced in order to suspend rational patterns of thought.”

“The answer to our plight is not found in some ‘higher level of consciousness’ (really a deceptive state of mind), but in placing our faith in the unmatched achievements of Jesus Christ on our behalf,” Groothuis continued. “If it were possible to find enlightenment within, God would not have sent ‘his one and only Son’ (John 3:16) to die on the cross for our sins in order to give us new life and hope for eternity through Christ’s resurrection. We cannot raise ourselves from the dead.”

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  • hytre64

    I wonder how they would feel about a trip to a local Christian monastery, where the good monks would give them lessons on quiet meditation on the scriptures?

    • gizmo23

      Maybe they did

    • Guest

      No indication they taught any scriptures. Meditation is a technique that requires no particular belief – it is exploiting the way the human brain works when trained to do a single repetitive task. The task isn’t important, its the mental discipline you develop from learning to stop all the mental distractions that crop up trying to keep you from accomplishing the task.

      The reason that buddhist meditation techniques are so transferable is that they depend on no belief in anything particular, they are a secular technique that has objective benefits no matter the beliefs of the person practicing them, same as yoga.

      I agree that there should be safeguards to insure that religious indoctrination doesn’t occur, but just as many in the clergy work for the government in secular capacities so can these.

      • hytre64

        Actually, according to the article, the lecture was on “Mindfulness Meditation and Buddhist Philosophy”, not just meditation techniques.

        • Guest

          And it is just a philosophy, not religion. That doesn’t help your case.

    • Hatch Jerod

      They’d be fine with it since those monks practice a form of eastern meditation, mindfulness.

      Isaiah 2:6 For You have abandoned Your people, the house of Jacob, Because they are filled with influences from the east, And they are soothsayers like the Philistines, And they strike bargains with the children of foreigners.

  • Josey

    It’s ok to visit a budist temple in uniform but see the reaction of a uniformed officer speaking at a Christian church let alone a whole lot of trainees sitting in uniform in a Christian church meditating on God’s word, hypocrisy! The devil, that sly old serpent and his worldly followers could care less what religion someone chases after as long as it’s not faith in Christ alone for Jesus Christ is the Truth and He alone can bring peace and deliverance from sin, ah that old serpent hates Christ and God’s salvation, too bad for that old serpent for his time is short.
    Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
    John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

  • ComeOnPeople!

    Oh I get it. Any religion other then Christianity can be helpful and implemented in government offices. Meditation is ok but prayer is a big no no. Separation of church and state only cried with one loud voice only applies to those who belief in the ONE True God but hey all other gods are welcomed.

    • Tangent002

      You get that this happened in Canada and not the U.S., right? Canada does not have explicit separation of church and state.

      • ComeOnPeople!

        Canada of which I was born is quickly becoming infiltrated by every religion under the sun other than Christianity as is Europe and more and more intolerant of Christianity every day.

        • gizmo23

          Maybe no one has the right to make everyone else obey their religious laws

          • ComeOnPeople!

            No one has the right to deny freedom to practice religion either. Oh but wait yup the courts now do so.

          • gizmo23

            Where and when?

          • Hatch Jerod

            Your most obvious example is the Obergefell decision, then the Kim Davis fallout from that decision, then the Phillips case in Colorado 2013 the Supreme Court of Colorado has neglected to hear, and that messianic jewish couple in Oregon 2012, et al.

  • Amy

    Trendy nonsense, this is sophomoric, southern California stuff. If these cops were real men they would stand their ground and refuse to be any part of this drivel.

  • Grace Kim Kwon

    Pagan Canada cannot conduct justice. They should go to a Christian church in order to get both compassion and justice to all. Eastern spirituality treats injustice as a fate and a culture. Jesus Christ is what the Buddhists have truly dreamed, and He alone provides salvation and the right way to live. The Westerners run after Eastern spirituality for the desire of self-worship and not for the pursuit of the Truth. Jesus is the Way and the Truth and the Life.

    • atlbravosfan

      Christianity does not have sole possession of compassion and justice for all. The Buddha denied fatalism as a false view, hence why he taught Right Action as part of the Noble Eightfold Path. By most accounts in the Bible, Christ is indeed a compassionate person but the Buddhists are quite happy with the teaching and life of the Buddha as an example to follow.

      • Grace Kim Kwon

        Yes, Christianity alone does. Other religions and ideologies have defects. Buddhism does not have salvation and cannot conceive such thing as everyone’s rights and freedom and equality. Buddhist-majority nations still persecute other religious people, no matter what the constitution says. Existence of Christianity alone requires mankind to provide everyone the literacy and freedom and equality, and Christianity alone practically abolishes all types of slavery. Christian truth sets people free. Many of Asian Buddhists still never heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ; those who hear accept Jesus Christ in spite of severe persecutions from their countrymen because Jesus alone is the Saviour of the world.

        • atlbravosfan

          You obviously have not studied other religions if you think Christianity is unique in advocating compassion and justice for all.

          What countries or people do is not always indicative of the religion they claim to follow. You do realize that slavery in Africa was supported by Christian doctrine, right? Have you ever heard of the Inquisition? Entire cultures and peoples were obliterated by Christians. That does not make Christianity evil, however.

          Other religions are also very concerned with literacy, freedom, and equality. Jews are taught to read the Torah from a young age. Muslims are encouraged to memorize the entire Qur’an and the Hadiths. Buddhists are taught to memorize the Suttas of the Buddha.

          Buddhism does not concern itself with salvation because it has a different teaching and aim than Christianity. Christianity focuses on sin vs salvation; Buddhism focuses on ignorance vs understanding.

          People convert to all kinds of religions – that does not make the religion true. Otherwise, people converting from Christianity to Islam despite persecution would make Islam true; people converting from Islam to Hinduism despite persecution would make Hinduism true. It is a fallacious and specious argument.

          I’ve read the entire New Testament, but thanks for the recommendation.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Non-West was suffering from universal illiteracy, demon-worships, and various barbarisms against women and children and minorities. Christians brought the Word of God, universal literacy, charity, medicine, fairness, and the religious classic music. People willfully convert to Christianity because Christianity is exceptionally true and good. Inquisition persecuted Bible readers and Bible translators more than any other groups. Other religions have no concept of the one true living God who is great and holy and who loves everyone and forgives anyone based on the atoning death and resurrection of Jesus Christ the Saviour. Buddhism has noble ideals but those are only wishful thinking about self; its center is self, not God. It is as futile as self.

            The world’s majority of persecuted people(75%) are Christians. Christians alone provide freedom to all because liberty is necessary for free conversion to Christianity. It’s the quality of the Truth that makes one religion true. Except for Biblical Christianity, religions do not provide salvation to anyone; some of them restrain mankind from committing utter evil, though. You don’t remember anything in the New Testament; it’s same as you’ve never read it. Read it again. The Old Testament Bible, too. Jesus Christ alone is the Saviour of the world. Canada is too well-fed and seeking an amusement, not any objective eternal truth or God’s holiness and honor; that’s what is so tragic about all Ex-christendom.