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You are browsing all posts tagged with the topic: prison

Wildmind Meditation News

Sep 06, 2013

Prison yoga, meditation classes to expand across Canada

For over a decade, Sister Elaine MacInnes has struggled to raise enough funds to keep her small charity, which offers meditation and yoga to inmates, afloat.

Freeing the Human Spirit has faced an uphill battle since MacInnes first started it in 2001, when Ottawa bureaucrats initially told her there was no place for her in the correctional system.

MacInnes didn’t take no for an answer, creating her own spot in the prison system by contacting local prison officials and convincing them of the program’s merits one at a time. She and volunteers are quick to tout the program, saying it’s been able to expand …

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Bodhipaksa

Oct 07, 2012

Joan Halifax: Compassion and the true meaning of empathy

I want to address the issue of compassion. Compassion has many faces. Some of them are fierce; some of them are wrathful; some of them are tender; some of them are wise. A line that the Dalai Lama once said, he said, “Love and compassion are necessities. They are not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.” And I would suggest, it is not only humanity that won’t survive, but it is all species on the planet, as we’ve heard today. It is the big cats, and it’s the plankton.

Two weeks ago, I was in Bangalore in India. I was so privileged to be able to teach in a hospice on the outskirts …

Wildmind Meditation News

Nov 24, 2011

Monks teach meditation to incarcerated teens

Melissa Russo: Some of New York City’s angriest teens are learning the way to a more peaceful path with a little help from the Buddha.

Inside the Crossroads Juvenile Detention Center in Brownsville, the contrast between the street kids in their orange detention suits and the monks in their brown robes could not be more pronounced.

The group of monastics files into the facility, and they’re unlike anything these kids have seen in their neighborhood: soft-spoken, barefoot and bald.

“It was pretty interesting,” said one 15-year-old. “I didn’t think they were real.”

“When I saw them walk through the door, I was …

Read the original article (includes video) »

Wildmind Meditation News

Sep 24, 2011

Ex-convict teaches yoga to help calm violence in Mexico’s prisons

Lauren Villagran: Teenage boys shuffle into a cramped room. Wearing the same navy blue sweatpants and white undershirts, they sit cross-legged on yoga mats laid out on the floor. Thick scars on forearms and biceps are apparent as they stretch their hands to their knees and shut their eyes.

Yoga instructor – and ex-convict – Fredy Díaz Arista begins guiding a meditation aimed at relaxing the group of 10 young offenders. Among them and their peers, about 300 youth in this Mexico City jail, the crimes range from drug abuse to robbery, assault, and murder.

“How long can you stand yourselves with your…

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Wildmind Meditation News

Sep 20, 2011

Indian government wants bureaucrats, inmates to meditate

Sanjeev Shivadekar: Meditation is the latest mantra which the state administration is keen on adopting to enhance efficiency in Mantralaya [the administrative headquarters of the state government of Maharashtra in South Mumbai].

At a recent meeting with senior bureaucrats, chief secretary Ratnakar Gaikwad advised babus to consider conducting vipassana and meditation courses to enhance the output of the administration. Gaikwad also recommended these techniques to the student community as well as a tool for prison reforms.

“Vipassana is a methodology that helps one gain control over the mind, which helps in increasing work efficiency. I start my day with meditation and it really…

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Wildmind Meditation News

Sep 03, 2011

Meditation helps inmates reach ‘natural awareness’

Allan Turner (Houston Chronicle): Hung. Or gyen yul gyi nub jang tsam.

Barefooted, eyes closed in reverie, bodies folded into lotus position, the men in white chanted the ancient Seven Line Supplication to Guru Rinpoche, who brought Buddhism to Tibet in the eighth century.

As their voices swelled, their leader, Galveston artist Terry Conrad, swayed with the cadence. Pe ma gey sar dong pol la. Yam Tsen chog gi ngo drub nyey

This could have been a scene from a 1960’s love-in, with college-age acolytes – decked out in exotic garb – paying fervid homage to the wisdom of the East. But these men were not students, and…

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Wildmind Meditation News

May 07, 2011

Prisoners look inward to discover personal freedom.

Emmanuel Samoglou: A few weeks back, while Stephen Harper was on the hustings selling a tough-on-crime agenda, Sister Elaine MacInnes was in a Brampton prison hugging convicted criminals.

“I hugged them all,” the 87-year-old Catholic nun and Zen master says warmly, recalling her visit with about 50 inmates at the Ontario Correctional Institute, where she conducted a meditation class.

Sister Elaine — as she’s widely known — is the founding director of Freeing the Human Spirit (freeingspirit.com), a registered charity that provides yoga and meditation programs to inmates in provincial and federal correctional institutions in Southern Ontario. A Zen master of the Sanbo Kyodan, based in Kamakura, Japan, she spent 32 years in the East, studying the ancient spiritual practices of meditation …

Bodhipaksa

Feb 11, 2011

“Buddha Bob”: turning his life around, one bead at a time

buddha headOne of the most frustrating things in my life is that for the last few months, because of a change in my wife’s work schedule, I haven’t been able to get up to the prison I’ve been teaching in for the last seven years. I miss the guys there. I regard them as part of my “sangha” (spiritual community). I have great respect for them as spiritual practitioners because of the sheer effort they have to make in order to remain sane and balanced in a very challenging environment. Not only do they stay sane and balanced, but some of them bring about huge changes in their lives. …

Wildmind Meditation News

Nov 20, 2010

Meditation diet

Most Americans got their last glimpse of Bob Ney in 2006 when the powerful Ohio representative resigned his office and left Washington to begin a 30-month term in federal prison in Morgantown, W.Va. A player in the Jack Abramoff scandal, Ney was a disgraced Republican with a drinking problem and an expanding waistline.

Today, he has been reborn as a sober and slimmed-down follower of the Dalai Lama and is studying meditation techniques with Tibetan monks at a Buddhist temple in India.

Ney is spending his days in Dharamsala, trying to master the Tibetan language and eagerly awaiting the return of the Dalai Lama and the chance to hear more of the exiled religious leader’s teachings.

He has declined multiple opportunities to discuss …

Wildmind Meditation News

Nov 15, 2010

Students learn about healing programs for inmates

Sister Elaine MacInnesPrison inmates can find hope and healing through meditation and yoga, students at a local high school found out this week, in a presentation on the work of Sister Elaine MacInnes and her charity, Freeing the Human Spirit.

“Every day, 36,000 Canadians wake up in prison cells,” Cheryl Vanderburg, Freeing the Human Spirit’s program co-ordinator, told her teenage audience at Bishop Marrocco/Thomas Merton Catholic Secondary School, Wednesday morning, Nov. 10.

“More than half the people in prison are victims of child abuse. The majority have unstable job history. Every day, I go into prisons and I see kids like yourselves. They’ve done something stupid and gotten caught.”

Vanderburg was a …