A prisoner in one of our Path of Freedom (POF) classes last week said: “We’re all a bunch of angry guys locked up together. (The compassion exercise) let me drop my judgments and get a sense of what it feels like for all of us.” Deep expressions of compassion can be found in even the bleakest of settings. Sitting in prison for the holidays can add to the mix of anger, loss, grief, loneliness and especially missing family, pets and friends on the outside.
Shifting from the anger to feeling for others is something we see a lot in our classes. Having the opportunity to slow down, learn to meditate and acknowledge one’s feelings and reflect on the results of one’s actions can create powerful shifts. One woman in class said “I notice that the more I love myself, the more I want to do things for others and that makes me feel good.”
Our POF facilitator reports: “There was a remarkable amount of honest feedback between participants, delivered with kindness–I’ve seen a significant amount of softening in them.” She goes on to tell us about a specific woman prisoner who said “I hate everyone… that is my limiting core belief (the topic of the class that week). I want to stop being so angry all the time.” The facilitator goes on to tells us “that this statement is from a woman who just last week declared that she was grateful that she had not murdered anyone–and when she did say this today–I hesitantly responded that I could see glimpses of the desire to let her guard down in her eyes. I was relieved that she didn’t get defensive and she actually gave me a “High Five” on her way out of the classroom!”