Part 1 of How to Mount an Invisible Political Coup: Contemplative Education

What do I mean by contemplative education? Exactly what you fear I mean. And this is not a matter of personal religious preferences. This is a matter of the same individuals pushing social and emotional learning in the classroom as a legally mandated component of education reform and the Whole Child initiative of the Common Core. Then turning around and pushing the same programs and practices as core components of incorporating Buddhist and Eastern spirituality practices directly into the classroom.

Somehow it is deemed “secular” though because although the teachers may get lessons on “Educating the Whole Person in the 21st Century: An Evening with Sraddhalu Ranade” or Shamatha techniques to enhance meditation, you just ditch that B word at the classroom door. But you deliberately keep the practices. Which means the intentions come right along with it. Whatever the parents and students and teachers targeted through professional development are told.

And this is not an aberration either. As the 2012 article “Contemplative Practices and Mental Training: Prospects for American Education” makes clear, this is where 21st Century Skills is actually going. This is where CASEL’s work (see tag to right) is going and the article was written by founders and affiliates of CASEL. Also the creator of PATHS that I wrote about here  http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/promoting-alternative-thinking-strategies-is-this-really-mental-health-first-aid/ goes back and forth pushing the practices as creating New Agey Mindfulness for entities like the Garrison Institute (where Systems Thinking Advocate Peter Senge serves on the Board) and then calling it SEL, depending on the audience. Same with Inner Resilience’s Linda Lantieri. Just look at the back and forth on her schedule in recent years. Contemplative Education also cites Tools of the Mind as one of its amenable programs. Being introduced like PATHS in Kindergartens and elementary schools.

These articles I will mention today make it clear that the metacognitive skills that David Conley also calls College and Career Ready   http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/now-more-than-five-years-into-an-attempt-to-help-organize-a-near-total-revision-of-human-behavior/ are also to be grounded in these contemplative practices. So this is not a lurid detail designed to get you alarmed about what’s really taking place in K-12 education. Instead as this 2010 Mind and Life Summer Conference brochure makes clear, creating these “mental skills and socio-emotional dispositions that we believe are central to the aims of education in the 21st century” becomes the whole point of preschool and the K-12 years.

And it’s not just students being targeted, educators will also be expected to use these contemplative practices.http://www.mindandlife.org/pdfs/sri_conference_brochure_2010.pdf That’s you teachers, like it or not. Apparently such practices foster those to be mandated “communities of practice” that determine who is an effective principal. No coercion there. Just look at the pictures and speakers and topics and tell me how you would ever turn this into “secular” practices.

All of this is to be introduced first and then investigated to “explore the development of mind and the effect of contemplative practices on mind, behavior, brain, learning, and health of young people and those who care for and educate them.” And if that sounds like students are to be made into guinea pigs of the State, all these articles I have mentioned so far want and expect that these regular practices and experiences in the classroom will produce physical changes to the brain. Specifically the Prefrontal Cortex that we already knew CASEL wanted to target. We were just missing where these practices originated.

There is no ambiguity here that “Many people believe that the kind of education needed in the 21st century includes developmental outcomes well beyond academic learning, including young people’s social, emotional, and ethical development.” The cite after the quote is to Nel Noddings (who also has her own tag), thus making it quite clear that this Contemplative Education push aligns to what is called the Student Wellbeing Initiative in Australia. Explained here about a year ago.  http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/if-education-transforms-values-and-feelings-and-beliefs-to-control-behaviors-are-we-free/

The articles make it clear that these physical neural changes to the brain are hoped for as a means of fostering compassion and empathy for others and other politically manipulable “prosocial behaviors.” It does rather feel like something that belongs in a book or short story of science fiction, doesn’t it? And not coming to a classroom or school (including privates. I saw the list) with the intention of “bringing together the converging disciplines of developmental neuroscience, contemplative traditions, education, and social and emotional learning our goal is to create a synergy to inspire and support rigorous research and action to support the development of the whole person (including both students and educators) within more caring and effective families and school communities.”

And yes the word “Growth” which is to be how students are now measured, and what the feds have decreed teacher effectiveness be tied to, is used over and over again in all these Contemplative Education papers. Virtually synonymous with what constitutes “positive habits of the mind and heart.” Or “more adaptive brain functioning and prosocial behavior.”  Here’s one more link since what is sought really does have to be seen to be fully appreciated  http://www.garrisoninstitute.org/component/docman/doc_view/62-developmental-issues-in-contemplative-education-april-2008?Itemid=66

To link this even further to our earlier discussions of global awareness and global competency, the 2010 MLSRI brochure even mentions that at this point ” the use of contemplative practices in educational settings is hypothesized to promote resilience, decrease at-risk behavior, and cultivate positive qualities.” Just a theory in other words and thus ripe for research in American classrooms determined to squelch individualism and the rational mind. The brochure then goes on to mention that this desire for research was the topic of a 2009 “agenda-setting meeting in Washington, DC that brought together world renowned developmentalists, educators, neuroscientists, and contemplatives including HH Dalai Lama.” then it cites to the website created to commemorate that meeting. How’s this for a name that gives up Intentions? educatingworldcitizens.org .

Since popping over to that site might be inconvenient at the moment, let me tell you what you would find. A conference with the title “Educators, Scientists and Contemplatives Dialogue on Cultivating a Healthy Mind, Brain and Heart.” And if you still do not believe this will permeate the actual implementation of the Common Core and related global ed reforms, how about sponsorship by the Ed Schools at Harvard, Stanford, UVa, Penn State, and U-Wisc/Madison? How about the college at George Washington where Communitarian Amitai Etzioni teaches (also has his own tag). Rounding up the list of sponsors are CASEL and the American Psychological Association.

Finally, since we just had a poignant July 4 holiday in the US where many of us saw symbols but not enough celebration of the integrity of what the Declaration of Independence really means, there is the overall title of the conference.

Educating World Citizens for the 21st Century

Who apparently are no longer to know what freedom from government oversight and direction actually means.

At least that’s the current intention. Getting on to being time for a Civil Insurrection. Because clearly without one we are about to get invisible mental and psychological ones.

 

41 thoughts on “Part 1 of How to Mount an Invisible Political Coup: Contemplative Education

  1. Hi Robin,

    You are so on it!

    Centering prayer/close reading/ lifeskills/guided reading/ going deeper…. American Ashram replacing school, replacing church.
    Look how it has worked in the East, Madrassa light for Americans.
    They just change the names like OBE… Sinster folks.
    So devious.! And so creepy!!!

    Cat out of bag.

    You are dead on

  2. Robin,

    I was reading through the brochure and I would be really interested to see if you ever run across anything relating to the amygdala. “Progressives” have attempted to characterize it as the “fear center” of the brain. The passage that aroused my curiosity is on page 9, from the the description of Carolyn Zahn-Wexler’s presentation:

    “Human infants enter the world with a built-in receptivity to the suffering of others. It is first seen in their reflexive cries upon hearing the cries of other infants. Over the next two to three years of life, this empathic distress becomes transformed into empathic concern for the other and acts of caring. … The plasticity of young humans suggests that this could be an opportune time to augment prosocial potentials, as well as to reduce aggressive and fearful responses. We consider these possibilities through exploration of theory and research on the early development of concern and disregard for others. This includes insights from work on[, among other things,] … cognitive, and neural development ….”

    I think there’s some wider interest in this particular issue as well. See, e.g., http://www.anonymousconservative.com/blog/?s=amygdala

    • Dan,

      I will keep a look out. Of all the people listed I would look into Richard Davidson’s work and see if he has written about it.

      That Sraddhalu presentation and all we are is within us now. We merely need to unfold and not be stunted by the current ed practices is something you have to read to believe.

      This really was a post that just started gushing once I saw link. These docs and planned practices really have to be explored. Also look into my previous posts about the Ikeda Center at Harvard.

      Part 2 is not about Contemplative Education. I am moving on to using the schools to organize students for political change. I very graphic published paper.

      3 is something I have been astonished to have for more than a week now. It is binding on high schools and colleges and is not somewhere it was reasonable to look. Once again mentioned in a footnote.

      We are at a place that seems to accept no boundaries anymore on what is permissable.

      • Robin, I read your post regarding Contemplative Education, Senge and Garrison Institute. There is a PDF out there from Garrison Institute that details their discussion regarding contemplative education and how using those terms in Public education would lead people to assume spirituality was being taught, so they decided to use “deep learning” with the existing SEL. And everyone out there, don’t underestimate Senge’s influence on the business communities to use his influence to push his futurist vision on your school district. Before you know it, you will be a follower. Or better yet, your children will be followers. Garrison Institute is also partnering with Goldie Hawn’s “MindUp” to promote SEL and contemplative education. Yes, that Goldie Hawn. You didn’t even mention Otto Scharmer’s Presencing Institute that you have brought up in previous posts. Scharmer also uses Garrison Institute to promote his workshops and products. That might have taken the post off topic a little. Thanks for the great information in the post.

        • Yes, the Hawn Foundation showed up in a few of the links. I had no idea.

          That definition of Deep Learning is consistent with Hewlett hiring Robert Kegan (who partners with Ken Wilber on the Integral Learning) and Senge for that July 4, 2012 report that I wrote about here back in March. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/viewing-education-as-the-prime-lever-for-international-social-change-community-organizing-everywhere/

          It is Spirituality being taught but it is all a means of accessing that unconscious realm that drives actions. To gain psychological change.

          This does remind me of Scharmer’s U but regular readers are likely to make the connection. New readers are likely to feel overwhelmed.

          Senge is influential but criticisms of people in districts like Winston-Salem that is is not acceptable to bring up his Buddhist faith don’t really fly when it so clearly informs what he wants systems thinking and deep learning to change in the student. To get the desired new mindsets that will be consistent with a new society.

          This particular topic almost makes me feel ill to write about it is so invasive. But it clearly describes what is to be going on. There really are no barriers now to what an administrator can do as long as there is no physical assault. Everything else appears to be authorized and the level of deceit going on now is enormous. But every safety valve anyone would think is protecting the students or taxpayers is gone. Intentionally taken out.

    • I can tell you that they are messing with the amygdala.
      The books on the lists are about yellow fever, rape, kidnApping, drug addicts, disaster, gun violence… They are exposed in school to crime and viloence and disaster and rad enviro via time for kids, cnn for kids, and various texbook co teacher aids such as choices mag by scholastic. Not to mention other and any internet sources
      depending on the derangement or indoctrination of the teacher. They are either trying to terrify them to look to the state for safety or strip them of their fear by conditioning… Suicide, euthanasia casual sex… Anything to corrupt, to cull to reveal who can fulfill central planning roles or who makes widgets at the widget farm, or who is defiant…

      thoughts???

      • Also i had heard that columbine was an early testing ground as well as a few other locations where a deranged act occurred.
        Note that tv shows a helter skelter documentary every week but there is nothing about these recent acts and any study of these kids, school or parents…

          • oh Robin, we can thank board member of ICLEI mayor michael lib theo Nutter for this and Barry Seymour of the regionalist DVRPC for this cozy and lucrative gates globalist relationship. Keeping the city surrounded by ghettos and now they are finally in play and surging to the suburbs. under false pretenses infrastructure was laid and paid by us, and we will be hosting who knows who in alot of highrise smartgrowth apartments if people do not wake the bleep up.
            I have sent around this link. nobody is surprised. how Rendell Nutter and Schwartz sneekily sold us down the communitarian river.

          • Mayors. ICLEI loves having ours on their board and he and all the corruptocrats love selling us down the communitarian river.

      • Madmommy,
        You make a good point about the literature. Here is what they are pushing for high school English “curriculum” in New York. I had the feeling that the “powers” we’re pushing for this even before finding Robin’s blog. And when I found her blog, it “all” made sense (epiphany!) especially the promoting of Carol Dweck and the Heaths’ change philosophies. Here is the NY list:

        http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/part-1-of-how-to-mount-an-invisible-political-coup-contemplative-education/#comments

        I think it confirms some of Madmommy’s and Robin’s findings.

      • We have a TV but rarely use it. Today I turned it on to watch the Wimbledon final and didn’t get it shut off in time, and the national network evening news came on.

        Immediately, a special report on the blood and gore of the Asiana passenger jet crash in San Francisco. The tone of the newspeople was excited, they wanted to build the listener’s excitement!

        I felt they were trying to build addiction. I turned the TV off. But years ago when I used to watch TV, I wouldn’t have pulled away from it nor even noticed how excited and even bloodthirsty the newspeople were.

        • And I’m sure that when students are required to “follow the news” as one of their requirements to show Growth in citizenship, they’ll be required to watch such “special reports” and will be taught that it is their obligation as citizens not to turn the TV off.

        • Without getting into too much detail on “conspiracies” and these disaster stories we are getting in the media, it’s worth noting that the Asiana flight was loaded with students from an experimental Chinese middle school that fits right in with the things on this site. The two students that we are told were somehow ran over by a fire truck came from that school. There are angles into this from most of the shocking news stories of the past year *including Sandy Hook) and they waste no time introducing concepts to the public through the sob stories of the “victims”. They are abusing the public compassion and emotion to turn off critical thought then introducing the new ideas.

          I’ve been wondering where this is all going and your blog here has cleared up a lot of my questions. We have quite an uphill battle in front of us.

          • Hi Columjaddica,

            If you don’t mind I will call you CJ to save my typing hands. Part of what is going on in education is linked in documents that announce we are working together and this is the reason. The UN has said it expects the media to cooperate with its Marxist Humanist vision for the 21st century. I explained it in this post. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/decreeing-the-interdependence-of-environment-economy-society-and-cultural-diversity-in-the-21st/

            Since I am rather swimming in open declarations of nefarious intent you will find I rarely speculate. But the psychological focus in the schools goes back more than 20 years and it has had real effects and Connecticut has been at the forefront of pushing Outcomes Based education and alternative assessments through its schools going back to the Common Core of Learning in about 92. It has taken Ray Pecchione all the way to Stanford. With Common Core being in the process of nationalizing this orientation, the links between this curriculum and tragedies was a no-go zone. But I did talk about it carefully and factually in January. That post is here. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/what-happens-when-repeated-and-intentional-threats-to-student-beliefs-becomes-mandated/

            Finally both the terms Quality Learning and Excellence have largely affective meanings that you may want to look at as you have time.

            Welcome to Invisible Serfs Collar. One more thing, if I don’t think a link is stable I will frequently give name of report and who released it. It makes it easy to find via a search but harder to take down if I have not given a particular server where it can be found. That maximizes people being able to find the original docs I am talking about for the longest period of time. Have fun!

          • Thanks, Robin, CJ is good with me. I’ve only just started to dig in here and it will take me a while to get fully up to speed. I am fairly young and a product of this system they are building, so there are some things I need to un-learn.

            One of the things that I’ve realized is that nearly all media intended for popular consumption is tuned into these goals. My friends get tired of me pointing out the angles in various parts of pop-culture but once seen they cannot be unseen. I don’t understand why they seemingly don’t care, but hey, they don’t understand me either. I get a lot of “What do you think you are going to do about it? Why not just live life within the system and do what you can for your own?”. I don’t think they get the gravity of the situation. Yes, you can provide for your children and navigate the maze but what kind of life are your great-grandchildren going to have and will it even be worth living? That James Paul Gee quote about the end of discrete individuals is one of the most disturbing things I have ever read.

            I can’t even get my closest family and friends to turn off the TV or think about the news critically. We are conditioned to respond to all of the events emotionally and the rapid news cycle ensures that a new event comes along before the emotion fades and people start to think critically.

            Normal people don’t have these kinds of grand multi-generational plans and have trouble believing that “the powers that be” have such designs for them.

            I’m going to abstain from too much comment here until I read more. I don’t have a background in education and want to make sure that my comments add something valuable to the discussion.

            Again, I really appreciate what is here, these people and these organizations use a lot of opaque language and you’ve really been able to connect a lot of dots and show what it all means.

  3. They created a problem by turning schools into emotional peer-pressure-cookers, then offer their own solution to further the goal of puppet-making. (Now children, cross your foot and say the secret mantra…)

    That photo on the cover of the Mind & Life Institute brochure is very telling. First, they have converted a beautiful old church (probably Episcopal) into the mantra hall. Second, that photo is slightly tilted. Pics like that can be straighten out so that vertical lines in the architecture are, well, vertical on the page. It’s the only dignified thing to do. Their entire world, and what they are doing is tilted, off-plumb, unbalanced.

    BTW, I remembered reading about Etzioni a while back in the book “Deliberate Dumbing Down of America” by Charlotte Thompson Iserbyt. His thing is to teach children to worship mother earth and all that baloney. “The old values have to go, to be replaced by a new ethic. These new values necessarily entail a new religion.” Iserbyt writes of Etzioni’s plans.

    When will the adults come back and turn the lights on?

    • Dark Cutter,

      I have written about Etzioni some after it became apparent that the definition of Career Ready was loaded with Communitarian obligations.http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/does-common-core-target-hearts-and-minds-to-sway-future-voters/

      Plus the National School Climate Center’s docs as well as the docs pushing Positive Behavioral Support for all students under an interesting view of federal disabilities law that came down in April 2012 all push Etzioni’s work as well as Herman Daly’s for the common good.

      Some posts are particularly draining. This was one of them. I am glad people are checking these links. You really do have to see it personally to quite take it in.

      • Robin, Here is a Garrison Institute Report dated October 22-24, 2008. It is specific to the desires for K-12 education that you describe in your post. Four years later, we can see where they are in those desires.

        http://www.garrisoninstitute.org/contemplation-and-education/ce-reports/728-envisioning-the-future-of-contemplative-education.

        You will need to then click on the line, Envisioning the Future of Contemplative Education, to access the report.

        If anything, we know their plan and the change agents doing the work in K-12 education. Keep the posts coming, Robin.

        • Great find Old School. Greenberg is the creator of PATHS.

          Did you notice the acknowledgment that they have changed the definition of school success? I have been snarled at by name officials for pointing out that student achievement has been redefined to accommodate this vision. And its anti-relationship to knowledge.

          I know the frameworks, goals, theories, and blueprints. And together we will just keep gathering up such confessions of intent.

          See what I mean about declarations?

        • From “State of the Field” on p.7 of that report:

          There are a multitude of strategic questions. Where can Contemplative
          Education gain leverage on the existing landscape? Should it attempt to
          fly above or below the radar?
          Should it focus on constituencies that are
          already inclined in the direction of Contemplative Education or take on
          the system as a whole?

          (bolding added by me, not sure it’ll work …)

          So they’re explicitly willing to fly below the radar. How clever and flexible of them! I guess they’ve been contemplating this a lot.

          • But social and emotional learning is now federally mandated AND it’s in a bunch of those NCLB waivers. It also comes in my school district with language about soft skills in a state statute which the naive legislators said referred to learning to tie your shoes and not be tardy. I pointed out it authorized anything labelled as a soft skill so everything psychological came in. Plus our district charter explicitly mentions soft skills and life skills. Remember the post where I tracked life skills to that WHO document that said they were the listed skills of psychosocial interaction.

            Plus I have not written about it but SWPBS–Schoolwide Positive Behavior Systems has now spread to Europe and Turkey. I pulled up their European convention a few weeks ago. Just full of cites to Greenberg.

            Well, if the intention was to fly off the radar, they have flown into it now.

            I told one of my kids last night that this entire implementation was designed to go into effect invisibly. Any ire over the Common Core would focus in the wrong place. The Race to the Top contracts themselves told me to look elsewhere when they explicitly required the local participating districts to conduct classrooms and prof devt consistent with the referenced Learning Frameworks. NOT teach the content. So from the get go, there was Bait and Switch and I saw it. Raised it with the State Dept of Ed Number 2 as well when I accompanied some parents outraged about the math. She was quite exasperated I had read and noticed that in those contracts.

            Here’s another link http://mindfulnesswithoutborders.org/people . They come in as CASEL or Mental health first aid but the practices come straight out of Eastern spirituality. An express intent to learn to still the mind.

          • Robin,
            I thought you and your readers might appreciate how the marvelous research you have uncovered is being conveyed to the ordinary teacher. This is the “module” for middle school teachers. Scroll down to session 5B in the section “resources required” to see “resources” on mindset. As we have learned, content no longer matters. Just our “practice.”

            http://www.engageny.org/resource/professional-development-turnkey-kit-ela-3-8-july-2013

          • Looks like they haven’t put out the grade 6-12 stuff yet. As a NYer I wonder what it will look like.

            The annoying thing about this standard in my view is not that content is necessarily absent — that is probably described elsewhere — but that competent students who are being bored to death will still be prodded and forced to engage the material and never allowed to daydream for a moment at school.

            When actually the daydreaming would produce more growth (what I call growth, anyway) for them.

          • Robin, when you say “… required the local participating districts to conduct classrooms and prof devt consistent with the referenced Learning Frameworks. NOT teach the content. …” do you mean that some content (probably impressive looking content) is called out somewhere else, but they are directed to ignore all that?

          • Content is only important under Radical Ed Reform which is a good overall term for this as a means for getting the desired behavioral changes. Remember behavioral change was also purpose of OBE and if you go back to that William Spady post where I laid out the paradigm and content was largely gone. That is still the goal. There is virtually no transmission of accurate knowledge apart from Big Ideas and politically useful facts.

            The learning Frameworks were originally developed at the same time and in connection with the Standards for Teaching and Learning. What President Obama has referred to several times as the actual common core.http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/didnt-the-president-just-admit-ccssi-was-a-ruse-to-change-classroom-interactions/

            The content is largely a nice facade to cover up that content standards are not self-executing. It is not what teacher effectiveness is based on. It is the antithesis of what the accreditors want. It will not get a teacher a promotion into being an AP or a principal a job at central office. In the case of Race to the Top the contract said it was the frameworks that must be followed. The assessments are geared to open-ended. non-linear, no fixed answer questions. Schools that just emphasize content have a problem. Every law and regulation and authority with power is pushing away from content. As a lawyer what is binding is what I pay attention to.

    • I have been thinking obsessively for at least the past year about C.S. Lewis’ space trilogy and specifically the last volume, That Hideous Strength. THS, in my opinion, is the neglected third major distopian novel of the 20th century, and possibly the most prescient, beating out Brave New World and 1984. One or two people have spotted the link between THS and what is going on now:

      http://educationandliberty.com/2013/05/31/big-education-data-that-hideous-strength/

      I can’t put my hands on my copy right now, so I’ll crib from an online description (with thanks to tvtropes.org):

      “One character is briefly imprisoned in the “Objectivity Room”, where everything is slightly off—the spots on the table are arranged just short of obeying a pattern (even a broken one), the similar specks on the ceiling are almost the mirror-image of the table, and the peak of the arched entryway looks like it might be just a fraction off-center to the left. Or not. Maybe the right? And let’s not start on the paintings…”

      Sound like the “beautiful old church,” described above?

      P.S. to Anonymous: I’d love to take a look at that reading list for NY, but I think you inadvertently copied the wrong link, to an ISC blog entry.

      • Deborah-

        I want you to notice that the Director of Intentional Culture for Denver Public Schools was one of the listed presenters at that October 2008 Garrison Institute gathering.

        I know from doing the PBIS research how far along CO is on all this. Really going back to Bela Banathy’s Achieving Excellence starting about 1992 but also from having William Spady and Spence Rogers living there. Spady especially in his Australian work has made no secret of the links of his work to these Mindfulness initiatives. IB is also full of the push for reflection as a substitute for rational thought around content.

        At the state level in pushing all this CO looked to the accreditors to help force reluctant schools and principals into doing this.

        Madmommy mentioned centering prayer and has been concerned that too many Catholic and Protestant churches are buying into this. You may want to look into that as well. She and I and others had an offline discussion on that last week.

        Welcome back.

        • Oh, centering prayer is a black hole and yes, it is (or at least was until very recently) alive and kicking at Catholic centers in my town.

          And yes, I recently attended an ed conference on CC here in CO. The administrators of our school who accompanied me finally understood fully why I have been in a state of tremors for several years, like an animal before an earthquake. I have a lot of it on audio in case it should come in handy some day.

  4. I can only imagine the outcry at the local public school if I wanted to bring in someone to teach Christian meditation to students! This program is so invasive, as you put it. I listened to your radio interview (2nd time) and noted that you said that the new thought is that we don’t want student to learn to think abstract thoughts like you get when you study the printed page and math. I was all for computers in the classroom until I listened to this. Students are being dumbed down by their exposure to computers and they need to have an environment where they don’t get this exposure. Thank you again Robin for all the work and research you do on this topic. It is really terrible to think about these new social programmers and their eagerness to get to vulnerable children and teach them to be change agents. Only a devious mind could think like this.

  5. I’m not sure that it’s right to call what they are doing Buddhist. Now I am not and have never been a Buddhist but I have some read some sutras and other such literature, and I’ve done some meditation. Gautama Siddhartha (not Buddhist, but Buddha) had a fully effective Axemaker Mind before he started on his path to broader enlightenment.

    I think that transcending the world belongs after one becomes acquainted with the world. And it doesn’t make you easy to mold. Do you think that Siddhartha, (in Hesse’s telling of the story) choosing to sit there in his later years operating a simple ferry across the river, would have been easy to mobilize to activism in support of social justice? I hardly think so!

    And many people (over a billion Chinese for example) believe the Dalai Lama is a political operative. For what it’s worth, I haven’t gotten a particularly spiritual feeling about him.

    What they are doing doesn’t sound like Buddhism to me. It sounds like plain old brainwashing. With a softer flavor.

    • The US military has put over a million troops through it’s “resilience” program. A few have questioned the effectiveness of the program, with some saying that it has been counter-productive especially at one of it’s goals of reducing suicide. Either way, the word resilience is showing up all over the place now and the program was apparently considered effective enough that portions of it are being directed at the public.

      Trauma is a big component of this, or more specifically, the ability to bounce back from it. The unending train of made-to-order disasters we see in the news is filled to the brim with resilient role-models. We get the uplifting stories of the “insert-place-name-here STRONG” to demonstrate the way a good global citizen is supposed to react. We are supposed to turn that frown upside-down and devote ourselves to righting what they say is wrong.

  6. These Gurus and Luminaries have been using their programs in Corporate America and the Military for some time. As Robin has pointed out in previous posts, the only thing that changes is the definition of a program, not the content. Since Corporations and the Military are decreasing permanent employees or personnel, the Gurus and Luminaries need to get into organizations where there are the greatest number of people in a place for many years. Which is K-12 education, where virtually every single person is required to attend in some way. Temporary jobs are becoming the new normal which makes it incredibly difficult to get a shared vision for these Gurus and Luminaries. The federal funding of Race to the Top and the mandates that came along with it were quite timely don’t you think?

  7. This is bad. I can just imagine all the young teachers with their Yoga mats being so enthusiastic to push the contemplative education stuff. Serenity now . . .

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