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The above photograph has apparently been going viral in the last few days. I’ve seen it described as “Canadian police meditating before starting their day,” and also seen doubt being cast upon its authenticity, which isn’t surprising considering how much fake news circulates on the web these days.

The photograph is genuine, and the police officers are Canadian, but the description “meditating before starting their day” is potentially misleading since it suggests that this is a regular part of the police day in Canada.

The photograph is actually one of many taken at the West End Buddhist Temple and Meditation Centre in Mississauga, Ontario, as a a guest lecture to police officers of Peel Region about Buddhist philosophy and mindfulness meditation. The lecture (and, apparently, meditation lesson) were given by the Venerable Dr. Bhante Saranapala, an energetic young fellow who goes by the nickname “The Urban Buddhist Monk,” and who, by the looks of the temple’s Facebook page, does great work in introducing people to meditation and Buddhism.

It would be great if police officers did practice meditation regularly as part of their work day. In a crisis I’d much rather have an armed officer who’s trained in mindfulness and compassion than one who’s frazzled and angry!

Below are a few more photographs from the event. You can see the rest here.

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