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Expert Questions Mindfulness Meditation in Schools
Jim Collison -- Meditation Expert Jim Collison -- Meditation Expert
Mason City, IA
Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Jim Collison, Meditation Researcher

NEWS RELEASE                                                                              

For Immediate Release: Aug. 9, 2022                                                    

Dateline: Mason City, IA

Expert Questions Mindfulness Meditation in Schools   

(MASON CITY, IA) – Meditation researcher and author Jim Collison is questioning the wisdom of the widespread teaching of mindfulness meditation in public-funded schools and colleges in the United States.

Collison said, in a statement released today, "There is mounting evidence that mindfulness meditation has some negative outcomes that educators, parents, and medical professionals should give attention to." Collison is author of the book "Simply How to Meditate: Meditation Made Easy for Beginners and Busy People."

"I don't question the value of mindfulness meditation," Collison explained. "In fact, I do some mindfulness meditation myself. I'm simply asking a couple questions. Is mindfulness the form of meditation that is most effective and beneficial for young people to begin with? And, should taxpayers be paying for teaching mindfulness meditation techniques in the first place?"

Collison cited the recent study published in the "Journal of Personality and Social Psychology" that found a significant reduction in guilt and a decreased motivation to make amends by participants after doing a mindfulness meditation session.

The study was done by Andrew C. Hafenbrack, psychologist and an assistant professor at the University of Washington, Seattle, and by colleagues Matthew LaPalme and Isabelle Solal. They did eight studies involving more than 1,400 participants in the United States and Portugal. The findings, as Hafenbrack reported in the Washington Post: "We found that asking people to engage in a single session of 8 or 15 minutes of mindfulness meditation – focusing their attention on the physical sensations of breathing – reduced their self-reported levels of guilt (about incidents warranting guilt). It also reduced their willingness to take 'prosocial' steps to remedy harms they'd done."

Most importantly, Hafenbrack wrote: "The research suggests that people ought to be careful about when they use mindfulness meditation, lest the comfort they derive from it come at the cost of their connections with other human beings."

Collison asked a third question: "Why in the past few years is there all this focus on spreading mindfulness meditation in the schools and colleges?" He noted, "There are dozens of meditation techniques, other than the mindfulness technique, that result in the health benefits of relaxation and calmness. They are simple and easily learned. The University of Washington research findings raise questions that need answers."

How widespread is the teaching mindfulness in schools? As of this year, more than 1,000 schools in the United States offer mindfulness meditation instruction. It's estimated more than 3 million children in the U.S. learn mindfulness meditation in schools. (Source: TheGoodBody.com)

About Jim Collison.

Jim Collison’s meditation experience began when he was a child. Now at age 89, he’s been meditating nearly 80 years.

His career as researcher, writer and editor began as sports editor of his hometown’s two weekly newspapers in Blue Earth, MN. He is a graduate of St. John’s University (Collegeville, MN).

Jim taught on both the high school and college levels and served as an educational consultant. He designed an educational program called ALERT (Adult Literacy and Employment Reading Training) and wrote and conducted such workshops as: Start on Success in Your Own Business, Power Over Fear, How to Take Advantage of Crisis and Change, and How to Help, Energize and Lead People.

Jim is the author of Simply How to Meditate: Meditation Made Easy for Beginners and Busy People, Skill-Building in Advanced Reading, Mental Power in Reading, NO-How Coaching: Strategies for Winning in Sports and Business from the Coach Who Says “NO!” and HIDDEN RICHES: How You Can Discover Hidden Wealth from Your Employees’ Ideas.

He was co-founder and president of Employers of America, a national association for employers, managers and supervisors. He was a founding member of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial Committee in Waterloo, Iowa. He served as a member of the advisory council for the Center for Industrial Research and Service, associated with Iowa State University.

He lives in Mason City, Iowa.

Media Contact. For a review copy of “Simply How to Meditate” or to arrange an interview with Jim Collison, contact him by phone at 641-423-6156 or email him to: AuthorJim@SimplyHowToMeditate.com.

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Name: Jim Collison
Dateline: Mason City, IA United States
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