U.S. Marine Lance Corporal Carlos Lazano talks about a special training he underwent in which Marines were taught methods to "quiet the mind" and to reach an inner calm as a means to battle stress.
(Photo: Lenny Ignelzi, AP)
CAMP PENDLETON, California - The U.S. Marine Corps is studying how to make its troops even tougher through meditative practices, yoga-type stretching and exercises based on mindfulness.
The School Infantry-West at Camp Pendleton will offer the eight-week course starting Tuesday to about 80 Marines as part of an ongoing experiment.
Marine Corps officials say they will build a curriculum that would integrate mindfulness-based techniques into their training if they see positive results. Mindfulness is a Buddhist-inspired concept that emphasizes active attention on the moment to keep the mind in the present.
Facing a record suicide rate and thousands of veterans seeking treatment for post-traumatic stress, the military has been searching for ways to reduce strains on service members burdened with more than a decade of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
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