To the Editor:
We live in an age where information is constantly bombarding us.
Many children now are over-diagnosed with ADD or ADHD, and otherwise relegated to adhere to prescription drug regimes to combat symptoms. What if, for some, fleeting thoughts could be combated?
Joe Monack wrote in a letter to the editor (“Religion and school,” April 30) “Why did students ... visit Blue Lotus Temple?” The temple is a meditation center.
Meditation draws from the important principle of mindfulness, or being aware of one’s thoughts. Effectively, it is a practice of mastery of the mind.
I’m certain Mr. Monack would not declare physical activity detrimental to one’s well-being. Why would he consider conquering thoughts as potentially religious or problematic?
Meditation has many benefits, and I object to Mr. Monack’s characterization of meditation as “useless” and “inappropriate in every situation.”
Dr. David Rabiner, director of undergraduate studies in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University, stated in a study: “Mindfulness meditation is described as
involving three basic steps: 1.) Bringing attention to an ‘attentional anchor,’ such as breathing; 2.) Noting that distraction occurs and letting go of the distraction; and 3.) Refocusing back to the ‘attentional anchor.’ ... As the individual becomes better able to maintain focus on the attentional anchor, the notion of ‘paying attention to attention’ is introduced and individuals are encouraged to bring their attention to the present moment frequently during the course of the day.”
How Mr. Monack sees this as religious is beyond me. Breathe, Joe, breathe.