On July 21-23, 2017, 20 graduates of the 6 week introduction to the Path of Freedom curriculum of Prison Mindfulness Institute gathered at our center in Deerfield, MA (photos by Doug Jackson and Fleet Maull).
Meeting the people with whom I usually interact online, I felt excited and appreciative. Nearly a week later, I’m still feeling energized and invigorating, as I read comments from participants expressing similar sentiments:
Path of Freedom workbook is a great not just for inmates, homeless people, but for me! Great to know other facilitators coming from all different ages, background and upbringing! Very inspiring! I was surprised by the level of joy that pervaded most of the participants’ description of their work. This got me freshly interested in starting another round of POF. I learned a lot which I’ll be able to use in the future – perhaps more skillfully in some ways. I was surprised to hear so many specific ideas about how to practice/facilitate the PoF. It gave me a feeling that the whole thing is dynamic and evolving. This retreat was good for morale. I realized that I’m part of an extensive network in this. I feel more confidence in bringing the PoF out into the world.
Wanting to emphasize the wisdom of community, we organized our sessions through Open Space Technology. Participants proposed topics and led workshops on a variety of topics, including “Do we make a difference? How do we know?”, “Developing a Mindful Movement Routine” and “Avoiding Burn-out.”