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Meditation In Prison

Prison, instituted to separate man from society, can easily cause a deeper rift between the prisoner and the community than is wise; if one sees prison as a temporary separation experience.  As one tries to survive the prison experience one can take on behavioral responses which may not suit one upon release and will make it hard to re-adapt to the larger society.  It is too easy to become alienated from the larger community while in prison and to act from that position upon release.

Meditation, an act of calm introspection to achieve clear insight into one’s nature and the nature of the world, works toward the ideal of connection between one’s nature and right action.  Both for oneself and with others in the community.  One can through meditation achieve that bond between oneself and others, necessary for seeing oneself as part of the community outside the prison walls.  Meditation fosters a deeper sense of unity within and establishes a calm center from which to act to make the best of it all…whatever circumstances and situations one is confronted with in prison or outside in society.

I came to prison in 1971 and was introduced to Eastern thought and meditation within my first year of confinement,  I have practiced meditation and continued my studies in Eastern philosophies over these 30+ years.  Over the past couple of years, in particular, as a member of the Buddhist group at CSP-SOL III, with instruction from Zen priest, Mary Mocine, and advanced Zen student, Jim Hare.  My meditation and studies over the past three decades have made all the difference in the world to me.

By Vince L, prisoner

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