Some police officers are fighting stress before fighting crime.
Peel Regional Police officers in Canada took time to meditate at the West End Buddhist Temple and Meditation Center on April 7 during a lecture on mindfulness and Buddhist philosophy.
“It’s good for the well-being of our officers, particularly with the stress they experience on the job,” Sgt. Lori Blashuk of the force’s Diversity Relations Unit told The Mississauga News.
According to the source, the officers at the event were not taken off the road to attend and were rather new recruits in training.
“They are on-duty as training,” Insp. Magdi Younan told The Mississauga News. “This was (part of) training. Their duties are to be trained. It was, for lack of a better term, a ‘field trip.’”
Peel police asked the temple’s the Rev. Dr. Bhante Saranapala, who is also known as Urban Buddhist Monk, to organize the event and he was more than happy to do it.
“Meditation has the power to heal people; to make people calm and relax and to have a happy life. And of course these police officers are also suffering because they are dealing with negative stories,” Saranapala told Collective Evolution. “They’re dealing with negative people and they are vulnerable to a lot of violence. Although they are police officers, by the way, they’re also human beings.”
According to Collective Evolution this is the first time Peel police have done an event like this. But the Mississauga News reports the department is looking into allowing officers to attend regular meditation sessions at the temple. Saranapala told The Huffington Post that next month he will be hosting similar sessions for the Ontario Provincial Police and Paramedics of Peel Region. He also plans to do sessions for doctors and nurses, teachers, students and professionals.
As for the experience as a whole, Saranapala said that it took the officers a while to loosen up and relax, but once he started making them laugh, it lightened the mood, telling Collective Evolution:
“When they left the temple, it was a beautiful scene to see. They all were leaving with a happy face.”