In the beginning of any semester of study, whether it be a semester of Law School or a semester of the 1st grade, there are going to be questions arising about basic terminology and concepts.
One reporter noted that the term “container” when used to describe group safe-space was confusing to prisoners who perhaps have different associations with that word.
The same reporter reflected that phrases “creating space” and “giving space” are vague at best and may reflect unfamiliar concepts to prisoners lacking a more New Age spiritual background.
Another reporter noted that the Who Am I? exercise seemed to not land with several of the prisoners and was inquiring with how the exercise might be presented more skillfully.
How might we make some of these abstruse concepts hit home with people totally new to spiritual practice?
While it seems like most of the prisoners in the classes reported on were familiar with the term “meditation”, many were anxious to know more details about what meditation will really do for them:
“is this going to help my anxiety?”
“I keep thinking when meditating, is this normal?”
“I want freedom from my drug addiction!”
“Sometimes being alone in my head isn’t good for me, I need to redirect my thoughts instead…So much anxiety in my head!”
“In prison Im learning how to grow as a human as well as how be a better criminal.”
It will be interesting to see how reflections change when prisoners have spent more time with the PoF material as the semester progresses.