A weekly meditation class at Whanganui prison helps prisoners to build inner peace, and to help cope with the stress of prison life.
Since 2005 Buddhist Nun and volunteer, Gen Kelsang Demo has taught regular weekly meditation classes at the prison.
It all came about when a prisoner requested a Buddhist monk or nun visit him in 2004. Gen Demo visited regularly and quickly the prisoner put the meditation he was learning into practice. Other prisoners wanted to know what his secret was, and why he was so relaxed and easy going! In 2005 a more formal class developed.
“The classes are no different from other meditation classes that I teach in the community,” says Gen Demo. “Everyone experiences painful, uncontrolled states of mind. Everyone searches for happiness and freedom from suffering. Discovering that the source
of stable happiness lies within the mind, rather than in external objects can be quite a turn around!
Meditation works to recognise and reduce painful states of mind like anger, frustration, jealousy and replace them with positive states of mind.” It is the integration of the peaceful feelings, thoughts and intentions into day-to-day life that make a difference.
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