Mindfulness Meditation and Yoga Infiltration of Major School Systems: A Look Into 'Mindful Kids Miami' and 'Breathe for Change' Madison
Miami-Dade County Schools Partner with Mindful Kids Miami
Miami-Dade County Schools (Fourth Largest School District in the U.S.A.) is being transformed into a mindfulness-yoga school system through its partnership with Mindful Kids Miami, and its mindfulness lady leader--Valerie York-Zimmerman.
Yes, grades Pre-K through 12, students as well as teachers and administrators will be instructed in mindfulness meditation. Training centers have been set up all over Miami even in the sanctuary of the "most progressive church in the city"--Riviera Presbyterian Church (USA). Recently Riviera adherents proudly held up a banner reading, "We All Are God's Beloved Children: No Exceptions!"
Now, Valerie York-Zimmerman, devotee of famed mindfulness zealot Jon Kabat-Zinn, passionately shares mindfulness practices everywhere she goes. And just what does this partnership between MKM and M-DCPS involve? And what will the children/teachers of Dade County be subjected to? To begin read about its "Inner-Journey Poster" below.
Ponder This MKM Poster: MBSR Teachers/Administrator Course for 2015-21016
A colorful printable poster designed to hang in faculty rooms touting the Mindful Kids Miami's pilot program for professional development for its classroom educators and administrators shows the MKM and M-DCPS logos side by side at the top of the poster. Just below the logos is a serene beach scene complete with a sacred stone stack.
Stating the official agenda of MKM, the poster declares, "Mounting scientific evidence supports mindfulness-based programs help teachers reduce stress and burnout, anxiety disorders and depression, and improve immune function, attention, memory, executive function, compassion,
resilience, among other benefits."
To find more information about this fully funded program one is encouraged to visit www.MindfulKidsMiami.org. Participants also were told to go to M-DCPS Employee Portal to register so they might receive their "26 Master Plan Points."
In small print at the bottom the poster says MKM is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit dedicated to bringing benefits of mindfulness to all children, grades Pre-K through 12, in Miami-Dade County. The intention of MKM is to teach "mindfulness skills" to children and adults in schools, hospitals, and institutional settings.
Valerie York-Zimmerman: Founder of "Mindful Kids Miami"
Exactly who is York-Zimmerman? And what is her agenda? "The One Quality You Must Instill in Your Child" by Amanda McCorquodale fills us in when it says that secret something for York-Zimmerman "is mindfulness, a daily meditative practice that brings one's complete attention to the present moment."
And the article informs us that York-Zimmerman has studied with Buddhist monk and author Thich Nhat Hanh as well as mindfulness guru Jon Kabat-Zinn. In addition, Valerie's extensive bio "About the Teacher" on her web site points out that she's studied with many other "auspicious" masters from both the East and the West. Besides, she and her husband Dr. Zimmerman have even built "The Sanctuary" which is a meditation hall "nestled in the tranquility of a Zen garden."
When one reads where she's studied, and with whom she's trained it's impossible not to wonder how such an organization, that's so blatantly based on Buddhism, can penetrate into a public school system such as Miami, and seemingly no one even challenges these obvious religious ties.
Prayer Stone Stacks: Their Association with Mindfulness
As noted the MKM's Poster had a prayer stone stack pictured on its M-DCPS' faculty poster. So too, it can be noted, that both Thich Nhat Hanh's book The Mindful Survival Kit, and Jon Kabat-Zinn's book Mindfulness for Beginners had similar prayer stacks on their front covers. So what is the significance of this?
The Daily OM's article "Prayer Stone Stacks: Intention Set in Stone" gives us one answer when it says, "Out in nature, mindfully placing a stone on a stone pile leaves a prayer in its wake for those that follow after you." An article form The PranaShanti Yoga Centre of Ottawa, Canada "What Do Stacked Stones Mean for Mindfulness?" notes that building such stacks requires full attention to the present moment thus making the process "meditative." After, one can infuse each stone with a prayer or intention and when something disrupts that pile those prayers have done their work, and are released. http://www.dailyom.com/cgi-bin/display/printerfriendly.cgi?articleid=23084
Thus, MKM's sacred stone stack on its poster brings up the question is mindfulness secular, as MKM suggests, or is there a religious component as even their poster would seem to signal? And one might also ask how did all this mindfulness infiltration get started any way? For the answers one must turn to Jon Kabat-Zinn and his karmic saga.
Jon Kabat-Zinn's Karmic Saga: The Mainstreaming of Mindfulness
Mary S. Wylie, in "How the Mindfulness Movement Went Mainstream--And the Backlash That Came With It," tells the story of how Buddhist student, and MIT molecular biologist Jon Kabat-Zinn received "his karmic assignment" vision during a meditation retreat. What was this assignment?
Why it was to bring his Eastern disciplines of yoga and mindfulness to people of the Massachusetts hospital in which he was then working.
How did he then achieve this mainstreaming of Buddhist mindfulness? Wylie writes it this way, "... he approached the challenge by adopting a mainstream and commonsensical American vocabulary that described meditation as a way or paying attention and cultivating awareness in everyday life, and by practices that were easily accessible and straightforward." In other words, he removed every shred of Buddhist terminology that he could!
This "little pilot project" begun by Kabat-Zinn flourished as his patients took responsibility to practice watching their breath, utilizing body scans, doing home yoga, and learning to meditate. Over and over Kabat-Zinn emphasized this mindfulness meditation meant: "To pay attention on purpose in the present moment nonjudgmentally."
Fast forward thirty-seven years later, and today you'll find his mindfulness in hospitals, schools, colleges, prisons, military training, sports, corporations, and more. As Wylie wrote, "mindfulness is a 'boffo bestseller' both as a product, and its endless spinoffs."
Now, notes Wylie, numerous studies were made but almost all of them, but for forty-three, were deemed unusable as found by John Hopkins Asst. Professor of Medicine Madhav Goyal. Wilie also described how such famous personalities as the Dalai Lama, Oprah Winfrey, and Bill Moyers helped push mindfulness to the forefront.
Wylie, however not only described the successes of mindfulness, but its downfalls. One of these downfalls, seldom told to the public, is the fact that, according to Willoughby Britton of Brown University, mindfulness has a shadow side or a dark side. Britton found that those who deeply meditated often experienced disturbing results such as hallucinating, reliving old wounds and traumas, feelings of intense fear, and having psychotic outbreaks. Britton called this her "Dark Night Project." Britton noted, "If we think anything is going to fix everything, we should probably take a moment and meditate on that." Click here for the Wylie's entire article:
Major Spokesman for Mindfulness Congressman Tim Ryan: Part of Honorary Board of Mindful Kids Miami
One doesn't have to do much research to discover MKM has its roots in the University of Miami's mindfulness program. In fact in April of 2015 there was presentation sponsored by MKM and the university featuring Tim Ryan, Amishi Jha, Scott Rogers, and Valerie York-Zimmerman herself.
It's interesting to note that Congressman Ryan, speaking at a 2013 Wisdom 2 Conference, along with Jon Kabat-Zinn and Marianne Williamson, testified how Kabat-Zinn had won him over to mindfulness meditation during Tim's first silent retreat. Ryan then went on to write A Mindful Nation which has a foreword by Kabat-Zinn. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOnwBg08geU
Amishi Jha, an ardent Buddhist, is also a contemplative neuroscientist researcher with the U. of Miami. Now, her research has been to show how mindfulness impacts the brain. However, if you examine Jha's speaking engagements it will immediately show her strong ties to Buddhism, and the New Age with her presentations at Naropa University, Upaya Zen Center, Omega, and Windmill Meditation. Once again, mindfulness aficionados who declare mindfulness secular, and not religious should note who is championing this approach, and their associations with Buddhist organizations.
University of Wisconsin/Madison's Public Schools Partner with Breathe for Change
Much like Mindful Kids Miami the University of Wisconsin and Madison Public Schools are partnering with Breathe for Change. Again like Miami, Breathe for Change is run by an ambitious lady leader- Dr. Ilana Nankin. http://www.breatheforchange.org/
This youthful "change agent" Nankin, who worked for the Biden-Obama campaign, is out of Berkeley with a triple agenda for America's kids: social justice, yoga, and mindfulness all rolled into one. Nankin, in a few months, has put together an organization that has, according to its web site, already "reached remarkable milestones" since its startup in 2015 at U. of Wisconsin.
Under its banner of "change and transformation" B4C boasts that it offers "the world's only 200-hour wellness and yoga teacher training designated specifically for educators." This sixteen day training, associated with the Cloud Nine Yoga Schools headed by Erika Faith Calig, promises to take educators through a "transformational progression" that includes yogic principles and postures, mindfulness and breathing, and powerful group exercises. Grads of this training earn a "Yoga Alliance 200-hour Certification" (From Cloud Nine) and become Breathe for Change champions.
A closer look at the Madison Yoga Certification Schedule from last year should make the discerning reader cringe at what public school youth are about to be taught through this coming army of mindfulness and yoga educators. It's day by day, and even hour by hour schedule is laid out for all to see--things such as eight limb yoga, yamas and niyamasas, asana intensive, breath and sun salutations, yin/yang yoga, pranayama and bandhas, meditation, kids' yoga, kids' moving meditations, blissful breakfasts, love lunches, divine dinners, chakras east and west, chakra affirmations, ayurveda, intro to mudras, mantras, kriyas, kundalini, the Bhagavad Gita, Hinduism, deities, avatars, partner yoga, Thai massage, and the list goes on and on!
Concerned reader: This list is "religious" through and through for these topics are straight out of Hinduism and Buddhism. Remember, this is all going into public schools. And this summer B4C is moving on to NYC, and on to the "Sesame Street Program." Be watching!
The May 20, 2016 Yoga Journal features B4C asking: "Can Yoga Save Our Schools, One Teacher at a Time?" The answer is, says the YJ Editor, is Breathe for Change "thinks it can." However, no program or person will save our schools for we've swept God out, and brought other gods in. Isaiah 45:22 says, "Look unto me, and be ye saved all the ends of the earth, for I am God and there is none else." Just one person can make all things new, transform us, and calm us and that person is Jesus Christ!
Mindfulness and Yoga Are In Our Schools: What's Your Response?
Not only is mindfulness and yoga in Miami and Madison but in many other places as well; in fact it could be going on right in your own school via the Smart Board, the school TV system, the PE program, or elsewhere. And very soon mindfulness and yoga programs are going to require true Christian teachers (parents too) to take a stand against participating in training classes, or having such practices in the classroom as those taught by MKM, or B4C. And jobs may be lost. Some of these may be pilot projects for now, but total control is right around the corner in the name of science, health, and wellness. The handwriting is on the wall!
With school systems all over the country ready to embark on a mission to incorporate mindfulness meditation, and yoga into their curriculums what will your response be? Will you keep silent, or will you speak up? For this is the time now to take a stand for truth. Inform your pastors, youth leaders, administrators, teachers, parents, grandparents, and others of what is happening. Wake up for the time is late!
Should such a time come when teachers and parents are forced to take a stand on these issues I hope with the songwriter of "The Solid Rock" you can respond, "My hope is built on nothing less Than Jesus' blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, But wholly lean on Jesus' name. On Christ the solid Rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand, All other ground is sinking sand."
Learn to Discern Granny Verses: Psalm 1:1-2
"Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night."
Note: Mindful meditation asks you to close your eyes, clear your mind, and focus on your breath; while Biblical meditation asks you to fill your mind with the Word of God, and think of it over and over.
For More Information:
"Coming to a School Near You? Mindfulness Meditation for Public School Children
in Wisconsin" Lighthouse Trails Blog
Meditation! Pathway to Wellness or Doorway to the Occult? by Ray Yungen
Lighthouse Trails Tract Booklet
D Is for Deception by Kevin Reeves and the Editors at Lighthouse Trails
Lighthouse Trails Tract Booklet