Does meditation have a place in the military? A recent article in Time magazine examines Warrior Mind Training, an increasingly popular program for US armed forces that centers on meditation exercises. Already offered at 11 military institutions, the Army plans to use the meditation program to train over 1 million soldiers in the art of mental toughness. Spearheaded by Sarah Ernst, the Warrior Mind Training program has been designed specifically for members of the military:

Ernst and her colleagues researched the military mindset, consulting with veterans who had practiced meditation on the battlefield and back home. She also delved into the science behind mind training to analyze how meditation tactics could help treat—and maybe even help prevent—post-traumatic stress disorder.

Like many forms of Buddhist meditation, the military’s program encourages participants to be present in each moment and emphasizes the importance of practice. But the aim of the army’s meditation program diverges drastically from Buddhist teaching in it’s ultimate goal: Warrior Mind Training meditation is decidedly militaristic. Says Ernst:

“There are a lot of ways you could describe the benefits of doing mind training and meditation. Maybe from a civilian approach we would emphasize cultivating happiness or peace. But that’s not generally what a young soldier is interested in. They want to become the best warrior they can be.”

To read more about Warrior Mind Training click here.

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