Meditation – School Children and Meditation
|By: Dr. John Ankerberg, Dr. John Weldon; ©2004|
|Meditation is practiced in schools around America—but it isn’t always called meditation. What do the students do when they are “centering”? Is it just an innocent practice?|
Meditation – School Children and Meditation
Maureen H. Murdock is a classroom teacher, educator, and therapist who conducts teacher workshops nationally and is the author of Spinning Inward: Using Guided Imagery with Children for Learning, Creativity and Relaxation. In her article “Meditation with Young Children,” she describes her pupils’ experiences with meditation. Utilizing Deborah Rozman’s approach, itself based in part on the Hindu practice of transcendental meditation, Murdock describes the following results with elementary schoolchildren who practiced so-called “energy meditation.” This is where the child is to “feel the top of your head and now your whole head disappears into light. Now there is no body, only light. Now in that stillness, go deep inside the real you, that which is you without your body.” This is what some of the children experienced:
- “I felt like I dissolved part by part.”
- “I looked down from the ceiling and saw my body here.”
- “My body disappeared.”
- “I am the world.”
- “The white light was real big like a wave. Air added on to it and it went through my body. The wave went through my body. The light went away like night and I started to feel cold.”
- “I had lights all around me…. I was shimmering with white light….”
- “When it came up to my neck, it went back down and I couldn’t let go of my head.”
- “When all of my body vanished into white light I felt there was a rainbow going all over me”
Because of the religious nature of her meditation program, Murdock does not use the term “meditation” when talking with parents. She is careful to use a “neutral” term like “centering”:
We discussed how we would broach the subject to parents, and I told them that I had decided to use the term “centering exercises.” This was a more specific description of the exercises than “meditation.” Also, the school, St. Augustine’s, is non-sectarian, serving families of diversified religious backgrounds, and I did not wish to advocate or appear to advocate an ideology, religion, or identification with a guru or organization. We began meditating with the children from the first day onward.
Thus, “The parents were informed at the beginning of the year at a parent meeting of my intention to use ‘centering’ exercises at the beginning of each day with the children.” She also noted that the “parents were very pleased” about her use of “centering” in the public classroom with their children. Yet when asked whether the children were actually meditating, she said, “My observation of the children over a nine-month period convinced me that most were, indeed, meditating.”
Deborah Rozman is an educational consultant who teaches workshops nationally and is the author of Meditation for Children and Meditating with Children: The Art of Concentration and Centering. (As noted, Maureen Murdock uses Rozman’s approach.) In Meditation for Children, Rozman admits that children may encounter “frightening experiences in meditation,” and she offers this advice: “If you ever feel scared that there are bad vibes, monsters or evil forces attacking you, immediately call on your higher Self,…”
Rozman also encourages public schoolchildren with telepathy exercises, and how to see auras and feel colors, and in psychic divination (e.g., dowsing where she tells teachers, “Make pendulums for everyone”). She also promotes “channeling energy,” in which children close their eyes and send energy from their right palm into their left palm. Children are to practice this and to concentrate on it until they actually feel psychic energy traveling between their palms. Then they are to transfer this energy into other students. For example, “Imagine the energy flowing into the top of the head through the heart and out the arm into the heart of the person in the center.” Children are also instructed to chant, “Ooooommmmm as you concentrate and send energy from your hands and voice. Direct the energy in your mind to someone you know…. By sending energy through the palm of our hand into the hurt in another or in ourself we can help heal it…. We can channel energy to plants and animals as well as people.” And, “Keep the imaging and visualization going. Energy won’t flow out your hand unless you send it out, which means concentrating.”
In essence, Rozman, Murdock, and teachers like them are preparing children to develop psychically and to be open to becoming psychic healers and occultists. Maureen Murdock is correct when she says, “The implications of using meditation in the classroom are vast.”
- Deborah Rozman, Meditation for Children (Boulder Creek, CA: University of the Trees Press, 1989).
- A critique is found in John Weldon, Zola Levitt, The Transcendental Explosion (Irvine, CA: Harvest House Publishers, republished by Zola Levitt Ministries, Dallas, TX, 1991).
- Maureen Murdock, “Meditation with Young Children,” The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 35-36.
- Ibid., p. 30.
- Ibid., p. 40.
- Ibid., p. 21.
- Rozman, p. 15.
- Ibid., pp. 129-37.
- David and Sharon Sneed, The Hidden Agenda: A Critical View of Alternative Medical Therapies (Nashville, TN: Nelson, 1991), p. 136.
- Rozman, p. 137.
- Murdock, p. 38.