Testimonial of prisoner from Prison in central Israel

I’m happy about the meditation because it’s a real thing that connects me to my thoughts, emotions and sensations, which are actually my whole world. It also develops my self-awareness when thinking, talking and acting. Last week I had a difficult challenge with anger, there was an argument with a certain person who made it about my personality and publicly insulted me, and I noticed that I was angry. I overcame myself and did not act out of the anger. And this is deeply connected to the lesson we had learned, about how I can notice a pit in the ground and instead of falling into it as usual, just pass it by. In conclusion: it’s an amazing tool.

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What We Do

We guide and practice with prisoners meditation which relies on ancient eastern traditions, and adjust it to the world we live in. Following many years of experience and our accumulated knowledge of this area, we know how to adjust the meditation to the group’s characteristics and needs. We guide prisoners in attentive meditation (paying attention to breathing, to one’s body, to sounds etc), in mindfulness meditations, and explorative meditations (exploring interactions, temporariness, anger, the question “who am I”, etc). The meetings are comprised of meditation guidance as well as conversations with prisoners revolving around issues which arise from the meditation, and other issues.

Our Goals

  • To promote the practice of meditation amongst prisoners in all prisons in Israel;
  • To turn meditation into an integral and substantial part of the rehabilitation process of prisoners;
  • To provide meditation workshops to prison guards and staff;
  • To extablish meditation as a rehabilitative tool following release from prison;

How does meditation benefit prisoners

prisoners have few reasons to be happy. Many of them suffer from complex early life traumas, such as abandonment, homelessness, domestic violence, sexual abuse, discrimination, and substance abuse. These experiences have left their mark, and prisoners bear terrifying feelings that are ever-present in mind and body. Numerous prisoners are prone to impulsive behavior, violence and addiction. Unresolved trauma influences all aspects of life, and in prison there are also loneliness, violence, depression, overcrowding, fears, worries, uncertainty, frustration, anger and loss of contact with family members and friends.

Practicing meditation eases the suffering of prisoners by relaxing physical tension and mental activity. The practice reduces anxiety and depression […]
Further reading

What is Meditation

Meditation is the means to cultivate awareness and attention to what is happening at the present moment, with no interpretation or judgement.

Meditation is the development of clear, lucid, and correct view of reality.

Meditation reduces stress and recurrent negative thoughts, reduces aggressiveness, pain, and improves attention and concentration.

Meditation helps us understand the source of our suffering and provides practical tools for taking responsibility for it.

Meditation facilitates contemplation and the understanding of how the mind works. It teaches us to observe the unending flow of thoughts without resorting to automaticresponsepatterns.

A prison education officer recounts

The meditation groups are very important. Most of the prisoners are exposed to meditation for the first time in jail and they report that they would not have been exposed to this tool of their own initiative. Experiencing meditation expands their world and the issues they deal with. […]

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A volunteer at Carmel Prison recounts

Yesterday when I arrived at the prison, I saw a large and beautiful butterfly lying motionless on a small tray on the education officer’s desk.
“Is it alive?” I asked. “Yes, but it seems to be injured,” responded the officer, “we put it here so nobody would hurt it.” […]

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Your contribution will enable us to expand our ongoing activities and initiate additional projects:

  • Publish a book that will provide guidelines for meditation, serving as an anchor for the prisoners to practice;
  • Develop a program for released prisoners in the community, in partnership with the Israeli Prisoner Rehabilitation Authority;
  • Establish a program: meditation as treatment for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder;
  • “The Quiet Within – All the Prison Practices”: a project of intense meditation practice at a prison in which most inmates and prison guards practice meditation
  • A daily segment in the Israel Prison Service’s radio station, which is operated by prisoners.
  • “Prisoners Leading Meditation in Prison” project: to train prisoners to guide others’ meditation during their prison term;
  • Develop a training program for new volunteers;
  • Design and implement continuing education programs for experienced volunteers;
  • Research and expansion of volunteer circles;


Testimonial of prisoner from Prison in central Israel

In my first mediation group sessions I was skeptical. I was too focused on myself and the non-stop thoughts prevented me from opening up to the group. The fact that I am a rational person also played a role. I couldn’t accept the idea that breathing can help my emotional state and my ability to calm my nagging thoughtsabout future and how bad my situation was. I slowly tried to open up..

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