Goldie Hawn Pushing TM and Buddhism in Public Schools

Did you ever notice how the separation of church and state never applies to any religion except Christianity?

This is certainly the case for Goldie Hawn’s new program. A Jew who is also a practicing Buddhist, Hawn became involved in Eastern philosophy during the Ravi Shankar days of the early 70’s. Her Hawn Institute is pushing Buddhist techniques and mindfulness training in public schools. The program, called MindUP™,  is described on the Hawn Institute website as “a comprehensive social and emotional learning program for pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade students, and is informed by current research in the fields of cognitive neuroscience, mindful education, social and emotional learning, positive psychology, and evidence-based teaching practices.”

But underneath all the scientific sounding language is nothing more than good-old fashioned Buddhism.

In this article by New Age expert Marcia Montenegro, even though proponents are quick to say Hahn’s mindfulness meditation programs “is not religion”, nothing could be further from the truth.

” . . . (T)he very concept and practice of mindfulness is religious; mindfulness is the 7th step in the Buddhist Noble Eight-fold Path,” Montenegro writes.

She goes on to explain that mindful meditation involves breathing a certain way, but it is also a way to transcend thinking. In fact, the mind is seen as a barrier, she says.

“Focusing on slow breathing is meant to transcend conceptual thinking. Breathing in this way brings one into an altered state where critical thinking and judgment are suspended.”

But can children really practice something like this?

“Even if the children are not doing a full-on mindfulness meditation (which would be difficult for most children since they cannot stay so still for long), they are being introduced to it, taught it, and told that it is the way to deal with their feelings and ‘intense emotions’,” Montenegro explains.

“Being told that this is how to deal with anger or fear may also give the subtle message that emotions are a bad thing,” she warns.

Some say it’s nothing more than taking a few deep breaths to calm down, but mindfulness goes way beyond that.

“Mindfulness as promoted in schools is communicating to a child that he should always be calm, always clear-headed, always in control. 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,” she writes.

Is this healthy for children? We don’t know. According to this article in USA Today,  studies about the supposed benefits of meditation have been lacking in one way or another, and the latest research has also left scientists saying the subject needs more study.

Which raises the question, how are these practices, which are thus far unproven, getting into schools in the first place?

For one thing, Hawn has linked up with Scholastic, which is the U.S. publisher of Harry Potter books and the purveyor of many materials and programs in public schools. It is also being popularized in the West by personalities such as Jon Kabat-Zinn, a Zen Buddhist and University of Massachusetts researcher who created the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program which introduced it into the medical establishment, and Thich Nhat Hanh, a Buddhist monk and bestselling author.

Can you imagine what would happen if we suggested that public school children be allowed to meditate on the life of Christ for five minutes every morning before classes begin? God forbid!

The bottom line is that parents of children in public schools should no longer assume that classrooms are religion-neutral, because this is no longer true. Eastern meditation and techniques such as yoga and tai chi are making their way into our schools – and bringing a taste for eastern religions right along with them.

For more information on Mindfulness Meditation, read Mindfulness Meditation vs. the Sacrament of the Present Moment

Send your New Age questions to newage@womenofgrace.com

3 Response to “Goldie Hawn Pushing TM and Buddhism in Public Schools

  1. Hi! Just wanted to stop by and say that I found this article really amusing 🙂 You’ve got some really interesting points like ” Can you imagine what would happen if we suggested that public school children be allowed to meditate on the life of Christ for five minutes every morning before classes begin? God forbid!”
    I think a whole lot of teachers would like to have the kids take a little moment and meditate before class.
    Looking forward to another great post!

  2. Thanks so much for your thoughtful response, Sarah. I have read the document you quote here and would like to point out to our readers the rest of what it actually says. While the Church rejects nothing of what is true and holy in these other religions, the Church remains duty bound to “ever proclaim Christ who is the way, the truth and the life.” By leaving out this essential phrase, one can understand why these documents were very much misunderstood in the 60’s and 70’s when a false sense of ecumenism brought about widespread adoption of religious practices that resulted in leading people out of the Church rather than into it. These meditation practices are far from harmless because they are designed to induce an altered state of consciousness during which time a person is left wide open to suggestion by an over-zealous teacher or worse. It should also be noted that these seemingly harmless meditation techniques are precisely what led so many Christians into eastern religions in the 60’s. Just because they don’t preach Buddhism outright, doesn’t mean they can’t give a child a taste for practices that are associated with religions that are incompatible with Christianity. If public schools want to be religion neutral, then Goldie Hawn’s program needs to be kicked to the curb just like Christianity has been. Otherwise, they should drop the facade and declare themselves to be who they are – anti-Christian.

  3. Just look at that picture of Goldy Hawn and you can see the “vacant” look she apparently lives in… as though her soul is in suspended animation. Surely this is not a person of joy. So much for her example to follow. The proof is in the pudding, and she is the pudding. Me thinks she is too full of herself.