In this year of so many shootings, riots and negative images of police officers, it’s heartening to share stories of police men and women who are making a difference and trying new things to help the public and themselves. In Peel, Canada, police and trainees are learning to meditate (video) to reduce stress, and attending classes in mindfulness and Buddhist philosophy at a nearby temple. As reported in The Huffington Post, the event is expected to be the first of many future classes and will include future sessions with the Ontario Provincial Police and the Peel Paramedics. In a country where the charismatic Prime Minster, Justin Trudeau, is known to embrace yoga and meditation, there has been a groundswell of support for these methods.
This event is part of a growing trend of using meditation, yoga and other alternative forms of treatment in unexpected ways. Other police forces, such as those in Madison, Wisconsin, and Hillsboro, Oregon, are exploring meditation to reduce violence. On the other end of the spectrum, prisons in the United States, Mexico, Brazil, and other countries have incorporated meditation programs as well. Most innovative, the Robert W. Coleman Elementary School in Baltimore recently made the news for embracing meditation and yoga as an alternative to traditional disciplinary measures.