Our mindfulness program is based on the Path of Freedom curriculum developed by Fleet Maull and Kate Crisp of the Prison Mindfulness Institute.
Mindfulness is the practice of cultivating non-judgmental awareness of what is happening moment by moment. We can be mindful of our own thoughts, emotions and experiences, as well as those of others and the environment around us. Mindfulness has been taught and practiced for thousands of years in cultures and traditions across the globe. Mindfulness practice includes both meditation (sitting, walking, gently moving, or standing) and awareness in the midst of “regular” life, such as interactions with others while working or playing. During meditation, one maintains silence and as much inner stillness as possible.
Through mindfulness, we develop a capacity to continuously return to present moment awareness by practicing with focus and intention.
Mindfulness helps us recognize and work with our own internal emotional, mental, and physical states, to respond intentionally (thinking before acting and speaking) rather than reacting impulsively. This helps us manage difficult situations (such as living in prison) and thrive when released into the community.
In developing Mindfulness, we become better able to:
• interact in positive ways with others
• focus our attention constructively
• clarify and wisely choose our intentions and motivations
• change limiting beliefs and attitudes
• reduce negative reactivity
• learn new skills and ideas
In addition, Mindfulness can reduce the effects of PTSD, relieve depression and anxiety, and reduce memory loss. It can also strengthen our immune systems and enable us to manage both emotional and physical pain.
For more information on the use of mindfulness in prison, check out the following resources:
For information on Freedom Project’s programs visit our Prison Programs page.