Updated: May 26, 2020
It was uplifting to read Debra’s blog on her experience with the women in LA (“POF in Women’s Jail”). Here in Pittsburgh’s county jail, we have been offering meditation groups to the women for a little over six months. Recently they began to ask for a curriculum of study and we have begun to introduce the Path of Freedom. The reception has been enthusiastic, especially on the women’s maximum security pod where the length of stay seems to be longer.
Here’s how we’re proceeding: Since we work through the chaplain’s office, the women come to the chapel where we sit in a circle to have our group for one and a quarter hours. We check in with them and then meditate, often including mindful movement which is usually a combination of Shamatha Yoga and Qi Gong. The women are encouraged to lead meditation and movement. Then we introduce the topic.
Recently I facilitated “Who Am I?” The participation was heart-felt as the women explored both limiting beliefs and those that were positive and sustaining. In the discussion after the exercise, one woman who has been quiet, anxious and biting her nails to the quick, confidently announced that she was a ‘kick-ass good mom!” and she knew what she needed to do. Another recognized a belief that she couldn’t say what she needed in relationships. It was a good start. Our plan is to take our time with the sessions; we like the idea of spending a couple of sessions on topics if that is the pace of the group.
We have two new facilitators just graduating from the webinar who will be joining us soon. I look forward to reporting in on that integration and exploring how we maintain consistency and connection with the group.