Anchorage School District teachers at Bartlett High School are spending yet another taxpayer funded professional development day to train in Buddhist mindfulness prayer techniques on Feb. 18.

Brother Dave Kenneally

An email to teachers describing the event notes that mindfulness is an early teaching of the Buddha.

“In fact, the Buddha gave a set of instructions for meditation that became known as the Satipatthana Sutta, or ‘Discourse on the Establishing of Mindfulness,’” the email states. “And ‘right mindfulness’ is one of the steps of the “noble eightfold path,” the way taught by the Buddha, that would lead to “awakening.”

How the Buddhist prayer day will help teachers address Bartlett’s dismal academic performance is unclear. The school ranks near the bottom in terms of student math and reading scores in Alaska. Click here for details.

Throughout the in-service day, Anchorage teachers will sit under the spiritual tutelage of a former Buddhist monk, Brother Dave Kenneally, who imparts similar religious instruction around the nation. He is an ordained member of the Order of Interbeing – a community of monastics and lay people who commit to live in accord with Buddhist mindfulness practices.

According to the staff email, Kenneally provided initial Buddhist mindfulness training sessions to Bartlett teachers this past October. On Feb. 18 he will be at the school for four hours, both for group meditation sessions and personal one-on-one training for up to 30 teachers.

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Anchorage school uses teacher training day for Buddhist meditation

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.


  • Neil DeWitt says:

    Sounds to me like a way to force religion on people. That’s against other religious beliefs so I can’t see how the school district can force anyone to do this. Maybe the Bartlett principle should be looking at the quality of the teachers they have working their or how they are trying to teach something that’s not working.

    • Terry Tiree says:

      The district did NOT force religion on anyone. The session is for teachers, not students. Teachers are NOT required to attend. Its by choice, a value I suspect you support.

  • Judy Nelson says:

    There is only ONE TRUE LIVING GOD, THE ONE WHO LOVED THE PEOPLE HE CREATED SO MUCH, THAT HE SENT HIS ONE AND ONLY SON TO PAY THE PRICE OF THE SINS OF THE WORLD! All we have to do is repent and ask Jesus to live in our hearts. He does that through the Holy Spirit so we have the mindfulness of God in our hearts as we focus on God and His Word, the Bible. Jesus in our hearts is the Word of God in us also. WE DON’T HAVE TO SIT ON THE FLOOR AND FOCUS ON ‘WHATEVER’ COMING FROM A DEAD ‘NON-god. The Bible has the only true mindfulness that we need! I AM PRAYING THAT CHRISTIAN TEACHERS ‘MAKE A STAND FOR THEIR SAVIOR AND LORD, JESUS CHRIST!

  • Opus says:

    About what I have come to expect from the Public School system. For a useful, functional education you have to go to private Christian schools.

  • Crow says:

    They are not praying to a god.Mindfulness meditation is very helpful to deal with stress and other issues.For children nah teach them the trivium.

    • Terry Tiree says:

      Crow – you’re right. I fear the attitude of hyper Christians like Judy Nelson who posted her dictatorial commands here.

  • Ruth Ewig says:

    If it is against the law to teach about Christianity in public schools in America,, then why isn’t it against the law to teach other rellgions? Where is the law and why isn’t it being enforced by the State of Alaska’ s attorney general office? Why has a law against Christian teaching in schools not also against teaching Buddhism in schools. Keep praying. Perhaps there will be a public outcry against this blatant unlawfulness taking place in front of us. Who is bringing this into our state and other states as well?.

  • Jen says:

    Oh! This is good news! Now that asd made accomadation, they must make accomadation for pastors and the bible for christian training. So! Which christian pastors will collectivly take up the charge to be in the school providing christian training up to 4 hrs a day.

  • Theresa says:

    The “Order of Interbeing.”
    Sounds like something my kid brother made up after watching E.T.

  • Me says:

    Teachers are stressed out of their minds right now. Why wouldn’t they do things like this

  • Glenn says:

    Quiet introspection is a space to process one’s present reality, to refine one’s sense of direction as an individual expression of pure consciousness. As a teacher, practically, it’s about recognizing the paths of least resistance in cooperating and growing with others, unlocking creative expression, and focusing to complete schoolwork more efficiently. 🙂

  • AK Fish says:

    Not sure why they are stressed, it certainly can’t be about their financial gains in the proposed three year contract [backdated to July 1, 2021, and extends through June 30, 2024] highlights of hypothetical teacher pay increases: “Joe” – Started the year at B36 with 7 years experience and has earned 54 credits. Joe moves from B36, Step 6 in 20-21 to B54, Step 7 for 21-22.
    In 2020-21 Joe made $65,598
    In 2021-22 Joe received a step in the dynamic status quo contract making $66,980
    In 2021-22 Joe will make 70,901 + 1,295 (supplement) = $72,196
    In 2022-23 Joe will make 73,396 + 1,000 (bonus) = $74,396
    In 2023-24 Joe will make $76,325
    PLUS, they got a nice bonus to provide “early” resignation notice – $2,500 early Notice of Resignation bonus. End of March this year, end of January years 2 and 3. All that with a 182 workday requirement (~9 mo.) and the rest of the year off. Good for them and their negotiators to get the MOA (backed by taxes on the property owners’ backs) to agree to the financial terms of this contract. See more at:

  • Kyle Drasky says:

    Joel “Judas” Davidson has known the principle his whole life yet never reached out for information or asked any questions before writing a distorted one sided hit piece. Hope it was worth it. We all know who you really are now. Judas Davidson.

  • Kyle Dradky says:

    Perhaps Joel’s journalist approach is to be so lazy he never bothered to see who the principle was in his zeal to inflame tensions and get clicks. They have a website and you have his number. Is asking questions now outside the boundaries of real journalism ? Maybe sending texts or emails is to hard for the “watchman”