21 Oct 04

Free Yoga Services For U.S. Inmates

The Prison Dharma Network sends donated books free of charge to prisoners. I have written to both of the addresses below and I received my first two lessons from the SYDA foundation this week. Per Lesson 2, I have now incorporated a new mantra into my nightly meditation sessions: Om Namah Shivaya, literally, Om I bow to Shiva. Shiva denotes divine consciousness.

Whilst studying the lessons and the Sanskrit terms it became evident that the ancient Indic civilization compartmentalised the mind thousands of years before Freud et al did. For example, ahamkara means the ego, and samskara is a subtle impression of a past experience or thought that shapes our present experiences or thoughts. The westernization of yoga seems to have overemphasised the physical side, the asanas, at the expense of the metaphysical side. I suspect there is a wealth of information within eastern philosophy that could help us better understand humankind and ourselves. I urge inmates to give yoga and meditation a try. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the immediate benefits. I’ll finish with a quote.

I shut my eyes in order to see
Paul Gaugin

Inmates may contact the following 2 organisations:

SYDA Foundation Prison Project
P.O. Box 99140
Emeryville CA. 94662

The Siddah Yoga Correspondence Course provides two lessons sent each month, for up to 12 years. The emphasis is on meditation and reading.

Prison Dharma Network
P.O. Box 4623
Boulder CO. 80306http://www.prisondharmanetwork.org/

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is a very noble thing to spread the word about the benefits of yoga and meditation to your fellow inmates. I hope they follow your advice as the practice of yoga and meditation will calm their troubled minds and bring them peace.
Continue with this fine work, Jon.