In 1995, as I was beginning a sabbatical to study older women married to clergy, a longtime seminary professor gave me a book from his library and told me about a class called "Mistress of the Manse" that had been offered for many years to seminarians' wives.
I cringed when I read Jeffrey MacDonald's accusation, quoted
here by Steve Thorngate, that Americans have turned Lent into a spiritual
self-help event "whose effectiveness is measured by how well it entertains us
and affirms what we already believe."
An elementary school in Baltimore is sending children who misbehave to a Mindful Moment Room. In a room with lamps, decorations, and plush pillows, the students are encouraged to use breathing and meditation practices and to talk through the incident that got them sent to the room. There were no suspensions at the school last year. A nearby high school used the same approach to discipline problems and saw a decline in suspensions and an increase in attendance rates (Upworthy.com, September 22).