Discovering My True Calling
If I told you that teaching meditation in the prison system has been the best thing that ever happened to me as a meditation teacher, you might think I was kidding or sit back and wonder why. Allow me to share the extraordinary journey that has made me the teacher I am today.
A Serendipitous Beginning
It all started during a Meditation and Yoga training program where one of the graduation requirements was to conduct a 6-week seva project, offering meditation and yoga to a group that might never have access to these transformative practices.
As a student, it was hard for me to find a suitable group to teach; many companies and organizations I approached turned me down.
In a final attempt, I reached out to a nearby prison, and to my surprise, they were eager for a Meditation and Yoga program. What began as a last resort in 2016 has now evolved into a 7-year journey of transformation.
From Aspiration to Reality
As a freshly graduated teacher, my dream was to teach at a popular studio. The reality was quite different—I had no teaching experience. Teaching Meditation and Yoga in a prison setting, something I once considered a fallback option, turned out to be the path that shaped me into the teacher and listener I am today.
The Power of Learning Through Teaching
My students in prison were unafraid to ask probing questions:
What did I mean? Why were we doing this? How should we feel, sit, breathe, and focus? Why did I come there? Had I ever been in prison? Why did I practice?
Often, I had answers; at times, I had to be honest and admit I didn’t know. This pushed me to study, seek explanations, and return the next week with newfound insights. Occasionally, I encountered students who possessed as much, if not more, knowledge about Meditation and Yoga than I did. Teaching what I knew fueled my desire to keep learning.
A Journey of Personal Growth
This extra thought and study significantly improved my teaching. The feedback I received from the men was invaluable, shaping not only my teaching style but also my patience and understanding.
Strengthening Equanimity Through Diversity
As I reflect on this journey, I recognize how teaching in prison fortified my practice of equanimity. Growing up in a religious family, I attended an all-white school and neighborhood. Teaching in prison exposed me to every socio-economic level, ages 18-80, every race, every religion, and diverse thoughts and beliefs.
Join the Journey
If the idea of teaching meditation in prisons resonates with you, consider exploring our comprehensive course here. Discover the transformative power of bringing meditation to those who need it most!
Teaching in prison has been an unexpected, transformative, and profoundly rewarding experience.
As a meditation teacher, you may become the only outside visitor these individuals have while incarcerated. Be prepared for them to rely on your presence.
Remember, in teaching them, you’ll learn as much from the participants as you teach them, perhaps even more.