Meditation techniques for children to deal with stress situations? The Greek Church does not approve them. The Metropolis of Halkida reacted to the MindUp meditation and anti-stress seminars organized by Hollywood actress Goldie Hawn on the island of Skiathos. “Devotion to God” takes all stress away, the Greek clergy ruled and urged believers “to abstain from such dangerous practices.”
The seminars have been organized by the Goldie Hawn International Foundation in cooperation with the Skiathos Municipality and the Skiathos Cultural Association.
According to MundUp official website, the seminars offer children skills to enhance their mental and emotional health, manage their stress and emotions, increase self-awareness, develop healthy relationships by acting with kindness and compassion.increase self-awareness, and social and emotional well-being and their abilities. The set of 15-unit lessons is aimed at children from 3 to 14 years old.
Aim is to implement the MindUp program in schools on the island, “the first in Greece, turning it into a MindUp island,” as Hawn stated. Her hope is that many other schools in Greece will follow the example.
An introduction meeting seminar took place last Saturday, February 1, 2020.
“I am excited that MindUP will be taught to my beloved Skiathos. It has been a dream of mine for many years now and now our new Mayor Thodoris Tzoumas and the Cultural Association Skiathos made it possible. They have the best interest of the children of Skiathos, their mental health and happiness to bloom in school and in life. Many love and blessings to all of you” was the message Goldie Hawn sent to participants.
However, the excitement about the “heretic” in religious terms anti-stress program was not shared by the local Metropolis in charge of the good morals also of Skiathos.
“These seminars originate from Buddhist religious beliefs and meditation practices” and “pose a danger to believers,” the Metropolis said in a statement.
“Despite of what these techniques promise, they are not risk-free, while in individual parameters they incorporate further practices incompatible with the Orthodox faith!” the Greek holy men stress claiming that “unpleasant situations and side effects arising from the use of these practices are silent, although they have been noted and recorded in international literature.”
The Metropolis, first of all, questioned the likelihood of elementary school children being stress-overwhelmed. Then it found the remedy for the cure.
“The stress of young and old is treated with joyful trust and devotion to the true God of love and charity and participation to our Holy Church,” the statement issued by the Anti-Heresy Department of the Metropolis in cooperation of the relevant Department of the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece.
The statement urges “Orthodox Christians to abstain from the activities of this seminar and from the use of practical meditation, which attempt to enter the Greek education system, as well.”
“Non-Christian religious beliefs, however useful they are when they are promoted as anti-stress practices, can make no difference to the promotion of mental health especially to children,” the statement adds. It concludes that the practices of the Orthodox Church have been proven as anti-stress over the centuries.
It is not the first time the Greek Church opposes mediation practices. Last year, in Argolida, Peloponnese, the local Metropolis urged believers to abstain from all non-Christian practices such as “yoga, pilates and meditation as they are dangerous.“
History shows that more deaths have occurred as a result of religious differences than yoga, Pilates or meditation