Meditation in prison - what does it do?

November 27, 2014

I have been having a lot of conversations about meditation recently and that made me share this video. It perhaps gives an insight to the possibilities. There is another one too, Dhamma brothers, of the same meditation practice, in an American prison. For anyone who has yet to do meditation, and especially vipassana, this may be a curiosity, an alien practice, a new age fad, maybe even a scam. The catch is vipassana meditation retreats are donation-based.  It's the original pay-it-forward.  Your meditation will have been paid for by previous attendees and anything (as much or as little as you can afford) will pay towards the next batch of students. There are centres in many countries.

The magic of meditation, at least the way I learned it, via vipassana, is that there is no 'right' or 'wrong' thought. There is simply your thought and your experience. You observe that thought and see what happens. Often what happens is observation leads to change, and insight.  Doing this over 10 days, in silence, leads to an incredible psychological detox and massive changes of perspective because the lenses used thereafter have been cleared.

I do visit a prison for training prisoners to become Samaritans listeners. The need for peace and often, the lack of it, is obviously pervasive, not only in prison.  Having something at hand that can enable some resolution, or change is empowering. At the very least it provides an inkling of hope that the answer lays within one, there is an easy way of accessing that, and is available for life, for any new struggles and ones that arise from the past.

It's the greatest gift I gave to myself. Do enjoy the video.

 

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