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Making Mandala in school for meditation?

The other day my dd came home and told me they were making a mandala to help bring peace and relieve stress. I told her it was to help with focal points for meditation and  we being Christians only meditate on the Word of God for peace and relief from stress. Anyway when I told her what it was for she told her teacher who in turn said it was not true. When I called the teacher about it she told me that she did tell the children what it was for and if I was uncomfortable with the project my daughter could do something else. I feel she crossed the line by introducing this to the class without parental knowledge. What do you think? BTW I told her to allow my daughter to do something else.

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ptomom678

Asked by ptomom678 at 10:42 PM on Mar. 11, 2011 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 15 (2,174 Credits)
Answers (57)
  • She introduced a secular activity and you tried to turn it into a sacred one. If it triggers that much insecurity, by all means opt out, but there is nothing inappropriate about teaching kids a basic strategy for stress relief.
    NotPanicking

    Answer by NotPanicking at 10:49 PM on Mar. 11, 2011

  • Chances are the teacher simply didn't know what she was talking about. Mandalas have been introduced to many secular meditation classes or groups in a non-religious form. Although they are in fact religious and sacred to those who view them that way, like many other things they have now been reduced to little more than a something which WAS religious...
    SabrinaMBowen

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 10:56 PM on Mar. 11, 2011

  • She introduced a secular activity and you tried to turn it into a sacred one. If it triggers that much insecurity, by all means opt out, but there is nothing inappropriate about teaching kids a basic strategy for stress relief

    Obviously you do not know its religious roots.
    ptomom678

    Comment by ptomom678 (original poster) at 10:58 PM on Mar. 11, 2011

  • Of course, you have a right to opt out if you choose, but secular meditation has been around AT LEAST since the 1950s, and research on meditation for stress reduction and relaxation has been around even longer (1930s?). You can meditate and be ANY religion or no religion at all. I know Christians who meditate and use other relaxation techniques (e.g. yoga, tai chi, etc).

    Stress Management: Meditation
    pam19

    Answer by pam19 at 11:01 PM on Mar. 11, 2011

  • Here's a link to a workshop on mandala making with this quote:

    "The Mandalas can be made individually, in a series, or as part of a group process or group Mandala. They can be created in a spiritual context or a secular one."

    Mandala Workshop
    pam19

    Answer by pam19 at 11:07 PM on Mar. 11, 2011

  • I do not believe you can have it both ways. You either are practicing Buddhism/Hinduism or not.

    ptomom678

    Comment by ptomom678 (original poster) at 11:15 PM on Mar. 11, 2011

  • I agree OP. The parents should have been informed first, secular or not.
    BUTTERCUP777

    Answer by BUTTERCUP777 at 11:24 PM on Mar. 11, 2011

  • Obviously you do not know its religious roots.

    Are your kids forbidden to study martial arts or participate in track and field since those also have ancient religious roots?
    NotPanicking

    Answer by NotPanicking at 11:33 PM on Mar. 11, 2011

  • Something only has the prominence you give it. If they're using it as a secular thing, its purely secular. Just as yoga can be done outside of the context of religion, so can that. Even meditation itself can be completely secular. Its all about what you put into it personally. She's your child and you have every right to refuse to let her participate, but I don't think that just because it is used within religion means that it can or should only be seen as a religious exercise.... I don't feel any line was crossed, as long as she wasn't teaching religion itself. Just like I wouldn't feel any life were crossed if my child were learning the physical side of yoga (the stretches and poses) in PE.
    bandgeek521

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 11:41 PM on Mar. 11, 2011

  • (shouldn't have said prominence, should have said meaning... something only has the meaning or connotation you give it. haha, to be honest that's how a lot of our Christian traditions came about, taking the traditions of other faiths (Judaism, Paganism, etc) and giving them our own meanings!)
    bandgeek521

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 11:42 PM on Mar. 11, 2011

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