Meditate on this for a while

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In some corners, it was the least popular Press story in months.

The story moved a handful of callers to threaten to cancel their newspaper subscriptions if “stories like this are going to continue to appear in The Press.”

“Is this supposed to appeal to second graders?” one incensed caller queried. “There should be real news [in the newspaper].”

The offensive tale was a front page feature story on local people gathering in groups for Dream Time meditation sessions. The headline was DREAM WEAVERS.

In a letter to the editor, a reader summarized some people’s sentiment this way: “‘Dream Weavers’ an homage to meditation! You can’t make this stuff up! Journalism? Don’t make me laugh!”

At the risk of making some people laugh (and others cry), we’re sorry/delighted to report that taboo topics in some people’s minds are more relevant to others than politics or sports. When it comes to reporting on what’s happening in our community, we confess that we take almost everything seriously.

Meditation, dream interpretation, tattoos, even yoga classes in the public workplace all appeal to some readers while inducing bile in others. The Press has reported on all of these topics recently, for the simple reason that they are subjects of high interest to a good many readers.

Yoga, for example, considered sacrilegious, mystical or flim-flammery by some people — people who likely have never tried it — is becoming more accepted in American society. Yesterday’s feature story highlighting yoga classes being delivered from city halls to fire houses brought home the notion that yoga improves physical and even mental health, ostensibly increasing employee production while saving taxpayers money. Whether or not there’s substantial savings through lower insurance premiums, fewer missed days of work, worker comp claims and so on is almost beside the point. It’s an inexpensive way to make employees happy, and happy employees tend to be good employees. That’s what taxpayers should want.

We applaud the agencies and other entities that are going beyond paychecks and standard bennies to improve employee health, morale and production in affordable, creative ways.

In a broader sense, here’s to all the people in our community who are trying to improve themselves and not judge others.

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