From Mountain Xpress – Asheville, NC
Surrounded by concrete walls, confined by steel bars and subjected to near-constant noise, people serving time have little respite from the unforgiving prison environment.
Prison-based meditation programs provide an island of calm amid the hard surfaces and echoing clamor; advocates say the programs help reduce inmates’ levels of stress, encourage reflection and develop coping skills.
To help inmates along the path of personal change, a local woman-owned business supplies zabuton cushions — a type of meditation mat — to create a space for contemplation and rest inside the prison walls. Carolina Morning Designs, located in the Toe River Valley south of Burnsville, has modified its products to meet correctional facility requirements.
“I’ve used a meditation mat since I first began meditating, and it makes me feel grounded and stable,” local inmate David (whose name has been changed to protect his privacy) writes in a recent letter. “It helps me quiet my mind and find peace.”
To read more of the article by Kiesa Kay, click here!