Hindus have applauded Hollywood star Goldie Hawn for bringing meditation and breathing techniques through her “MindUP Program” to various schools across USA and Canada, which they say are integral part of Hinduism practice.
According to reports, Oscar winner Hawn (Private Benjamin), 66, was at the Miami-Dade School Board (Florida, USA) meeting on February 15 to unveil a partnership agreement of this program benefitting children at Miami-Dade public schools, where she got standing ovation. “MindUP Program” is a comprehensive social and emotional learning program for pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade students, which includes meditation techniques and breathing exercises.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that Hawn’s Program involved meditation and breathing exercises which Hindus had been practicing since ancient times under various nomenclatures. Zed thanked Hawn for promoting the benefits of meditation and breathing exercises among American schoolchildren.
Zed, who is the President of Universal Society of Hinduism, stresses that Hinduism has been associated with meditation for ages, which complements religion. It consists of training of the mind and can bring positive changes in one’s life and is used for spiritual experience. There are various aspects of it, including pratyahara, upasana, samadhi, manana, dhyana and dharana. Ancient Hindu scripture Bhagavad-Gita (Song of the Lord) recommends meditating on Lord Krishna. Evidence of trataka meditation techniques can be found in Indus Valley Civilization around 1,500 BCE.
Rajan Zed points out that vital breath control (Pranayama) has been an integral part of many Hindu yogic and meditative practices and it is about correct ratio of exhalation, inhalation and retention. Using patterned breathing, its purpose is to control the mind and body by restraining the vital breaths; and it is employed in cleansing, purification and giving vitality to the subtle centers besides a way to concentrate the mind. It is among the most important ways for conscious control of the ten vital energies, Zed adds.
Schools and other organizations participating in Hawn’s “MindUP Program” are located in Minnesota, New Jersey, Arizona, Colorado, New York, Indiana, Virginia, Washington, California, Texas, Maryland, Illinois, and Ohio; besides Canada, United Kingdom, Venezuela and Australia. This educational initiative of Goldie Hawn founded “The Hawn Foundation” (2005) consists of 15 lessons and its curriculum, among other topics, also includes “Mindful Attention” and it involves “learning about self-awareness” and includes “activities that sharpen their ability to focus”. Cost of implementing it in a school or youth services organization is $5,000. MindUP is a family of social, emotional, and attentional self-regulatory strategies and skills developed for cultivating well-being and emotional balance, its website says.