Our group at Attica is a non-sectarian meditation group, meeting every Thursday night for about 2 hours of meditation and a little period for Questions & Discussion afterward. The group was originally started years ago, then languished after a few years. Recently there had been much interest in some of the inmates to re-establish the group, and the Attica Chaplains were considering doing so and leading it themselves, even though they were untrained in meditation (to show how powerful inmates’ were becoming!). Just at that juncture, I was given a contact to the former leader, who then directed me to the Chaplain been the original Volunteer Advisor for him. I called her immediately, and was joyously received! The inmates, the Advisor, and of course, I too, were all overjoyed to have found one another just at the right moment!
I have been a member of the Rochester Zen Center for some 40 years, and sitting with the inmates has challenged and deepened my own practice, as well as giving me an opportunity to give something back to the Dharma after so many years of receiving the teaching freely given.
We visit agencies in Ohio, bringing yoga and healing to individuals in their communities. We are currently serving youth in the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Detention Center, providing yoga classes which help young adults De-stress, increase perceptions of mental and physical energy, improve mood, and decrease negativity. The Mothering Wheel is continuously writing grant proposals to keep working in these agencies. Over the next year, we will expand our work with at risk youth, as well as other at risk populations in our community.