Judges playing hooky to meditate [see Harvard doc helps judges open minds] has angered lawmakers and the head of the union representing court and probation officers, who called recent “concentration” conferences for jurists “a slap in the face” to public workers.
“It’s almost like it’s a bad joke,” said David Holway, president of the National Association of Government Employees. “All public employees face stress in their jobs. Probation officers working the streets at night, that’s real stress.”
The Herald reported yesterday that Harvard University meditation guru Dr. Daniel Brown hosted a free meditation conference on a Friday for superior court judges. Similar seminars have been held for district court judges and are being planned for probate and juvenile court judges.
“If it’s all hands on deck in the court system . . . the last thing you’d expect is that they’d all be holed up some place meditating rather than getting the job done,” said Sen. Richard Tisei, a Wakefield Republican running for lieutenant governor.
Court officials have defended the conferences as beneficial to improving judges’ performance, but critics say it was ill-timed given recent cutbacks and crushing case backlogs.
“To have a massive exodus from the superior court on any day of the year is probably not a good idea,” Holway said.
One jurist said the courts brought in Harvard mind-body specialist Dr. Herbert Benson, author of “The Relaxation Response,” to meet with judges about 18 years ago.[via Boston Herald]