Winter Feast for the Soul Prison In-Reach Program (www.winterfeastforthesoul.com) is dedicated to creating a global community through a shared 40-day commitment to a daily spiritual practice of meditation or prayer. The 40-day period runs from Jan. 15 – Feb 23.
2013 is the sixth year we have engaged in this practice.
The Prison In-Reach program began in 2009 and has grown to serve approximately 65 men, about 50 of whom are in Ad Seg. We support them via a correspondence program in which they are paired with someone who has an established meditation practice; about half of them have a mentor; we are always looking for more people to help with this project.
I support the men who participate in the Winter Feast by sending materials on meditation, yoga, kindness, gratitude, journal writing, and creative expression. I have been looking for ways to help them extend the 40-day period so they get support all year long. We have about 35 men who seem pretty dedicated to growing and transforming themselves.
The Path of Freedom course will be done entirely by correspondence. Each man will have the workbook, and I will send them a copy of the chapter on the Empowerment Triangle. I will send them worksheets to go along with each section, so they have a chance to engage in “conversation” with someone. I will ask them to send in their responses to one section before we send them the next set. I expect it will take about 6 months for us to do this course; our focus will be on helping them to slow down and really engage with one section at a time, having a chance to practice and integrate the material before going on to the next practice.
Prison Outreach is an on-going, integral part of the Contemplative Outreach family. This important ministry is committed to support volunteers and organizations willing to serve the prison population.
Support consists of consultation, resources and access to a central database of all prison ministry activities nationwide involving Centering Prayer. We hope to encourage and assist those interested in beginning a prison ministry or to provide connections between practitioners already in the ministry who want to share and learn together.
Mary Wyman – CO Chapter Coordinator
San Francisco CA- development of Prison Outreach Conference/Retreat.
Barbara Cook – prison ministry
Hobby Unit- (women) Marlin TX, experiences with conferences and workshops
Douglas La Plant – prison ministry
SCI Rockview, Bellefante PA
Teaching “A Pathway to Freedom” course to men.
Khalilah Bilal – prison ministry
Bexar County Jail- San Antonio TX
Teaching “A Pathway to Freedom” course to women
Hongaku Jodo school of Buddhism and its clergy are devoted to service and to meeting the spiritual needs of those incarcerated in prisons or detained in other institutions, via distance learning.
We are a non-demonitational group at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in downtown Chicago. We meet once a week for an hour. We practice Mindfulness Meditation (Vipassana) and follow some of the protocol of MBSR, and Prison Mindfulness Institute. I am most interested in being in contact with other groups which are trying to introduce meditation into Correctional facilities, without the mantle of Buddhism.
Graduates of PMI’s Path of Freedom webinar run a program at the Cook County Jail in Chicago.
This project is dedicated to fostering individual insight and compassion among Cook County Jail’s inmates and prison staff. Transforming people’s minds and hearts through the practice of various mindfulness and awareness techniques is a first step toward positively transforming society.
The Prairie Zen Center currently provides prison outreach services at four of the Central Illinois Correctional Centers, Login CC and Lincoln CC, both in Lincoln, IL; Illinois River CC in Canton, IL; and Graham CC in Hillsboro, IL. They are led by Al Daijin Kamnick.
Our resident teacher is Elihu Genmyo Smith, the first Dharma Heir of Charlotte Joko Beck and co-founder of the Ordinary Mind Zen School. Our schedule includes weekly sittings, periodic workshops, and sesshin six times a year.
Prisons Served: Central Illinois Correctional Centers, Login CC and Lincoln CC, both in Lincoln, IL; Illinois River CC in Canton, IL; and Graham CC in Hillsboro, IL