Swiss Primary Schools Implement Buddhist ‘Mindfulness’ Practices

(Evangelical Focus) Christian parents in the Swiss Canton of Valais are concerned about the implementation of Buddhist practices in some primary schools.

Several families have recently approached the Valais Evangelical Network (REV) and the French-speaking Swiss Evangelical Alliance (RES) because “pupils were offered meditation times to ‘return to calm’ inside the classroom.”

The Le Matin newspaper reported about the practice as well, informing that a Buddhist specialist is training state school teachers in “mindfulness,” and has even organized activities directly with children.

In a statement, the Swiss Evangelical Alliance raised “the question of whether these practices of Eastern religions has a spiritual dimension that should be debated.”

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  • DrIndica

    On Mani Padme Hum

  • ID9192

    I had a very pious Christian grandmother, but I am Buddhist. My grandmother had a lot of compassion and many people loved her. What I have realized is that Buddhist teachings cultivate compassion to a higher degree than Christians – there are special meditation practices (called “loving kindness meditation”) that is specifically geared at cultivating compassion on a daily basis. Ethical living is also very much emphasized in Buddhist teachings, and research studies seem to suggest that mindfulness meditation could positively influence ethical behaviour [see: Lampe, M., & Engleman-Lampe, C. (2012). Mindfulness-based business ethics education. Academy of Educational Leadership Journal, 16(3), 99.].

    • DrIndica

      The banality of parochial judgement can be frustrating, and mindfulness helps in that regard…an existential perspective also helps. ?

    • Garden of Love

      What concrete proof do you have that “Buddhist teachings cultivate compassion to a higher degree than Christians”? Just calling yourself compassionate doesn’t cut it. You need to provide some real-world evidence that they are more compassionate than Christians.

      • ID9192

        Hi ‘Garden of Love’: I had Christian cousins and relatives, as well as many friends from all religions. I liked my Christian friends and relatives as much as friends from all other religions. I noticed however that Christians (and other religions) ‘pray’ for people of their own family, people they like, etc. (ego is involved). For people who genuinely practice Buddhism however, there are no boundaries – one extends thoughts of loving kindness to people of all races, religions and also gradually towards enemies (if they have any). This meditation is ideally done as a daily sitting practice (since this site does not seem to allow links, you can use the search term “loving kindness meditation” on YouTube to find out how this meditation is done).

        By the way, when considering my many friends from all religions, I had the feeling that we all are after the same “spiritual quest” – although the terminologies we use are different. I had felt that the word “God” stands for “ultimate truths” rather than a “supreme being in the sky.” This idea is also somewhat presented in the book titled “The Mystic Heart: Discovering a Universal Spirituality in the World’s Religions,” written by Brother Wayne Teasdale. Additionally, this idea can be understood by reading the following academic article (freely available on the web): Karunamuni, N.D. (2015). The Five-Aggregate Model of the Mind. SAGE Open, 5 (2).

        By the way, when my grandmother’s friends asked about us (who are Buddhists – this by the way was a result of my father being a Buddhist), she would tell them we are not Christians, but would add “but they are better than Christians!”

  • james blue

    Thought evangelicals were against separation of church and state.

  • Vince

    Americans and Europeans who claim to embrace Buddhism are just spiritual “dabblers,” knowing very little about the religion itself. The shallow and trendy types have always dabbled in Eastern religions, to them it sounds more hip and exotic than being a Christian.

    If you look at the history of Buddhism, it’s full of violence, just like all other religions. No religion has been truly effective in exterminating human flaws. Progressives are so blind to reality that some of them even claim (in face the lots of evidence) that Islam is really peaceful and that it does not oppress women.

    • ID9192

      Hi Vince: How can you judge what Buddhism is when you don’t know anything about it? Buddhism is not a belief system – it systematically explains how the human mind works.
      Also, Buddhism is non-violent. In fact, non-violence is the foundation of Buddhism. I am assuming that you are thinking of recent Rohingya incidents. The Buddha emphasized it is one’s wholesome ACTIONS that makes one a Buddhist – nothing else counts (i.e., not the type of family one is born into, the ‘Buddhist’ label, the clothes one wears, etc.). If someone engages in killings (that are intentional), then that person simply cannot be called a Buddhist.

      Buddhism is the only religion where its dissemination happened without shedding a single drop of blood (I should be able to provide a historic reference for this). So, please do not spread misinformation. I think one of the Ten Commandments refer to not lying – so, hope you will attempt to obey that.

      My other comments here are related to this comment – so, please take a look at them as well.

  • MCrow

    This is why you should not have any teacher led religious practice