Meditation in Prison

Listening to NPR I learned that Vipassana meditation is being practiced in a high security prison in Alabama. Vipassana (to see or look into) is an ancient meditation technique involving sitting for long periods, in this case 10 hours each day, observing what arises in the mind. Many inmates have spent their lives violently rebelling or running from past trauma, blaming others for their situation. In meditation they may see themselves for the first time. The results are encouraging with a 20% reduction in disciplinary action for those in the program.

It takes tremendous courage to look deeply into our own mind and face fear, insecurity, arrogance- all the aspects of ourselves we usually avoid. In hearing that these incarcerated men with such difficult pasts are brave and disciplined enough to undertake this process I am inspired to continue to do the same.

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