It’s really quite amazing. I mean really, I’ve been going into the prison for these weekly classes for almost a year now, and I still walk out completely floored by the insights that arise for not only the men, but for me as well. One thing that became tangibly clear to me last night is just how much wisdom is held in a cinder-block room of over 40 men in khaki.
And I’d wage a bet, that it is not only true here in RI, but in all prisons. Those who have come through so much and the causes and conditions which have led them to such places are the same causes and conditions which allow for such wisdom to arise..
Yes. Really, it blows my mind.
So, how do we harvest ad grow that wisdom into something deeper? Something more meaningful? Something actually tangible?
Well, after sitting in that room Thursday evening I had the insight that just by simply being there and providing an opportunity and space for these men (and now women, with the programs expanding there) to do this deep reflective work, we are providing a space for some deep transformation.
And, it is quite extraordinary how these 40+ men show up – not only for themselves, but for each other. There, in that room, begins the journey to a semi safe zone, or so it seems – right there in a prison – a place that never seems safe. It shocks me at times to hear men voice such vulnerabilities:
“How long does it really take to regain composure?”
“Does meditation help speed up the process of holding your seat?”
“As long as your find where your trigger is you can calmly say you need to take space”
“Building confidence will give us the skills to handle such triggering situations”
It is comments like these, that after jumping into the deep end of the Holding Your Seat unit that shows me that this stuff really seems makes sense.
If someone living inside the walls of our nations prisons can question and relay such truthful, vulnerable, and wise things…it seems to be opening them to something bigger then I can possibly understand – sitting here writing from a place of literal freedom. It’s deeply touching, to say the very least.