This humble book is a labor of fascination, born out of my deep intrigue with the culture of criminology, the intricate workings of the justice system, and the profound dynamics of incarceration, punishment, and rehabilitation within correctional systems. It is important to acknowledge that my exploration stems from a place of curiosity rather than personal experience, as I have never endured time behind bars nor committed any crimes. Consequently, my knowledge of the subject matter is limited, but my eagerness to delve into this complex realm remains unwavering.
The Dark Side
Societies may tend to only focus on their achievements and the things that they feel are praiseworthy. But when they do so, they fail. They fail not only those who they feel are not honorable, but those who they perceive to be upholding their values.
There is a dark side to all societies. And many, perhaps most, societies prefer to not acknowledge that darkness and dysfunction. But it’s there, even if it is somewhat of a proverbial “elephant in the room” among those who feel threatened by it or who condescendingly think they’re above its influence.
We are all connected. There is an entity that I refer to as the “collective consciousness” that we are all a part of. And there is a connection between the dark side of society and that consciousness entity.
There is or was a degree of darkness in the individual home lives of nearly everyone. People mistreat and abuse children, and the result is that those children grow up completely misguided and destructive and subsequently take on a life of crime. This in essence seeps into the collective consciousness of humanity. And that makes it so that the crime that occurs and the reasons for it are the responsibility of all of us—not just those who perpetuate the crimes.
The responsibilities associated with this are many. We have a responsibility to capture people who commit offenses. We have the responsibility to provide fair trials and a just legal system. We have a responsibility to incarcerate people to keep them from committing more offenses. We have the responsibility to try to rehabilitate people.
About Societies’ Penal Systems
Two or three hundred years ago in big cities prison life was abysmal. Prison was intended to create horrible suffering, not only as a deterrent to future crime but also as a means of exacting revenge. Looking back even further in history, prison systems were filled with deliberate torture, there was no transparency, there was corruption, and murder occurred often. This was the case in every society in the world.
In ancient hunter-gatherer societies the idea of prison had not really come to fruition. If someone had committed a crime against their community they might have simply been punished or ousted from that community.
Punishing a person by banishing them only works if the offender follows the rules. When you’re ousted and if you stay ousted, that means that you’re still able to play by a certain set of rules. If a person adheres to punishment without being forced into it, then they are able to still abide by a specific set of rules. This type of system of correction is able to restore a balance in society. It works when a society is small and if the offender can comprehend and respect the difference between right and wrong.
As societies grew larger, the boundaries pertaining to the types of relationships that were prominent in earlier times weren’t as well-defined. Also complicating the situation was that modern times presented opportunities for new types of crimes. Things evolved in such a way that simply banishing a person from a community or from benefits provided by society would no longer work. The present penal system entails separation of criminals from mainstream society. That achieves the goal of separation, but the system has many flaws.
Our prisons are filled with people who are mentally ill and who have no interest in rehabilitation whatsoever. These people are the most dangerous offenders. Inside of the institutions they live in, they form gangs and live by codes of ethics centered on violence and criminal behavior. And those in power (in gangs or outside of them) will enforce any given set of rules.
Society worldwide must give much greater attention to prisons and mental institutions—the places where we keep persons who have done things to harm others and who threaten the safety of a civilized society.
Individuals certainly need to be contained in a space where they cannot continue to harm others or harm themselves. They should be kept in such institutions long enough and in such an environment that they are able to bring their own minds to a place in which they can cease being dangerous. There are so many valuable members of our society who have been brought back from death and destruction and gone on to contribute tremendously to society.
When we think of prisons, images of really evil people come to mind. People who are really evil are like the weeds that grow on a perfectly manicured grass field. They grow in such a way that if they are not contained they will overwhelm the grass, they will overwhelm the trees, and they will potentially destroy everything in their path.
But in a perfectly manicured field, a beautiful flower, rather than a weed, may come to the surface unexpectedly. It is our job in society to find people who are like those flowers. It is our job in the outside world to find the people that are valuable and redeemable and help them reach their potential.
This type of compassion from the outside world is the thing that’s required to slowly move all of society away from needing prisoners in the first place. It is the key to bringing our societies back to hunter-gatherer communities that once flourished. They had systems to protect each other from people who would commit infractions against them, and they didn’t need the vast torturous, expensive prison systems that we now have in society.
We are thousands of years away from even thinking that this scenario would be possible. But we must start the work somewhere or be at risk of going backwards. Our prison systems could very quickly become unspeakably brutal, archaic, and torturous if we don’t make improvements very quickly. And it’s clear to anyone who looks at police using excessive violence and force when handling people that our law enforcement system—as well as our penal system—needs major overhauling and restructuring.
An effective and humane penal system must be borne from compassionate thinking. People must realize that it’s important to protect society from those who would do harm, but as much as possible to use compassion when trying to rehabilitate offenders. Such compassion burns into the fabric of all of our society. The kinder we treat people, the kinder our societies will end up becoming.
And of course the reverse is true. The more angry we make others through mistreatment, the more we need thicker and thicker walls, taller and taller steel fences, more and more barbed wires, and more and more death penalties. The violence will never end.
If we reform our prison systems we will have to introduce deeper and deeper philosophical systems. We will have to look at people in prisons as if they are children who have not been taught properly. Even if they’re clever and smart in ways relating to the crimes they committed, they were in some ways like children doing bad things.
In some ways bad behavior is immature behavior. Consider a metaphor of a 19-year-old boy who gets a gun, gets in a car with his friends, gets high, and does a drive-by shooting. The individual may have experienced a loveless life and be suffering from grievous emotional disorders. He may have absolutely no connection to his feelings and the horrible thing that he’s done.
Such a person would be a dangerous person, but perhaps not unredeemable. There is a chance that he could be helped. The crimes that many people commit make it so that they can never go back to their previous standing in society. But they can live in such a way that enables them to contemplate, make restitution, and then educate others about avoiding making similar mistakes. The best teacher of a future criminal is a criminal who has been caught and shares his or her past.
A great many of those in our inmate population can be productive members of society, even within the confines of the walls they live in. Reform of our prison systems will require making it so that they can become productive despite their circumstances.
One way that inmates can be productive is by sharing their stories with the world. They can speak of traumas that may have preceded their horrible behavior. They can talk about their feelings. They can be taught to cry, to be angry without losing control, to love, to be loved, and to have compassion.
They can be taught basic education—things such as math, grammar, and the like. In America we require that our children be educated, and we should have the same requirement of those who are incarcerated in this country.
Group Behavior in Prisons
Inside these types of systems people do things that are bad just for the sake of being bad. Being bad makes them feel good. They do bad things and are praised by other bad people. To them, doing bad things is a way of gaining respect.
The male of the human species needs and craves respect. It’s very often the case that men didn’t get the respect that they craved when they were children. That unmet need became amplified tremendously when they became adults.
A tremendous problem in jails and similar institutions is the loneliness, sense of isolation, and boredom that occurs in them. It literally drives many people to madness. That in turn motivates them to create distractions centered on bad behavior. It’s a vicious cycle.
The most dangerous creature on earth is the human male between the ages of 18 and 60. Still filled with testosterone, such a man’s brain functionality urges him to fight when he has an absence of a sense of power. Power gives a man a sense of dignity, and when a man loses his dignity he becomes a ferocious creature.
This is complicated by the fact that the very nature of criminality is completely self-centered. That self-centeredness is a character defect that a person will take with them into an institution. It will be hard for most people to grasp that they’re in the position they are in because of their actions and their way of thinking.
Blame shifting is common among self-centered people whose behavior is such that they are incarcerated or institutionalized. They tend to blame other people, blame the institution that they’re in, or blame the system of government for the predicament that they for the most part put themselves in. This is delusional thinking. The one exception to that rule is if a person is completely innocent but nonetheless is wrongfully convicted.
About Me and My Purpose
Perhaps you’re incarcerated. By writing this book I want you to understand that I want your respect and I offer you mine in return. I do not judge you. I do not fear you. I do not think of myself as being better than you. I am simply in a different set of circumstances than you are.
I find your circumstances interesting to the degree that I want to study them. I hope that my writing will be of some value to you and also to people who are not in your situation. I hope to advocate for positive change.
For most of my life I felt like a prisoner in the free world. I was a prisoner of my own mind and my own ways of thinking. I had complete freedom, but I still felt like I was institutionalized. In a strange, somewhat abstract sense, when I think about prison life I have a deep connection to it.
I see the space that I live in as being tiny. I see my routines and my rituals as vital for helping me stay grounded during the time that I’m awake. But then I think about a person being inside of a concrete room with prison bars, in an institution surrounded by walls and a barbed wire fence. It makes me very sad to realize that there isn’t yet enough of an effort from all of society to help incarcerated people heal. Instead, people in society focus on separating themselves from criminals and offenders.
That may be simple-minded thinking on the part of society, but to a degree it's understandable. In this world we are conditioned to think of things in terms of “us versus them.” People on the outside of institutions think of people on the inside of institutions as “them.” And because of the things that people have done to get themselves inside of institutions, society dehumanizes them.
We don’t know how to humanize people that have committed horrible crimes. When we look at big scary men covered in tattoos who have done heinous things, we feel intimidated and alienated. Instead, we should ask ourselves, “Although that person has done something wrong, how can I help them become awake and enlightened?”
I believe something with all of my heart and mind. Specifically, that the more people wake up their consciousness and realize the truth about pain and suffering, the more our species will evolve in a positive way. This will make it so that fewer people will need to be incarcerated over time. And it will also change the quality of life for people who are incarcerated for the better.
I am convinced beyond the shadow of a doubt that all of our suffering begins with the difficulties of our childhood. And as we grow, our different defense mechanisms, different brain chemistries, and different reactions to exposures to specific influences will be such that some will be led into lives of crime.
I want to understand you. I don’t want to judge you. But I admit that I don’t want to be exposed to your violent behavior if you have a propensity for it.
Violent behavior seems to be a natural thing for some people. It’s likely that such people were handled violently when they were children. We commit violence as a reaction to anger or fear or because of a lack of control over our reactions. That lack of control spills over into our ways of thinking. But there’s a solution to this problem: It is to try to find peace within our minds through a variety of practices.
I am not a religious man and I do not have a defined notion of God. I don’t use the word “spiritual” in my conversations because it is nothing that I can describe. I do think about things very deeply and I consider myself a philosopher of sorts, though. As you get to know me throughout this book you’ll see that my experiences give me a shit ton of credibility. And if you understand my life, you will not think that I am a pussy.
I have learned to control many negative aspects of myself and I have come a long way from being a 15-year-old drug-using kid to being the person that I am now. The work that I have done is work that I have done because of my own will. I reached out to many people for help. But it was my will to reach out for their help, receive it, and act upon it.
If you follow some of the guidelines that this book contains I believe that they will help you quite a lot. You will have to carve your own path. I will tell you right from the start, though, that the most important thing that you must adhere to is non-violence and non-harm.
I don’t seek to motivate anyone to not engage in violence or harm because there might be punishment in the afterlife. But I believe that when you reach a high level of intelligence that you won’t have a desire to act with violence in this world. Acts of violence are acts originating from our lower intelligence because violence might be the only solution that a creature with lower intelligence can find.
And it also makes perfect sense that for every action there’s a reaction. So there’s always a consequence associated with an act of violence. The initial violence might be a short-term solution to a problem, but there will be consequences for both the perpetrator and the victim over the longer term.
It’s necessary to do a number of things to achieve wellness and enlightenment. They are things that need to be done by both those who are incarcerated and those who aren’t.
The first thing that anyone seeking self-improvement needs to address is any addictive behavior patterns that are self-destructive. Such addictive behavior can involve cigarettes, drugs, alcohol, disruptive behavior, violence, and a long list of other things. Use of such substances or involvement in such behaviors will make it difficult for you to allow beneficial messages to penetrate into your mind and have a positive effect. Instead, you will gravitate toward feelings of isolation and depression.
You have to be able to identify your feelings at all times and recognize why you are reacting negatively to circumstances. If you are institutionalized, it’s likely that you experience depression. This is certainly understandable, as you’ve experienced the loss of your freedom and of the things that would ordinarily bring you pleasure.
It’s also very common for those who are incarcerated to feel a sense of anxiety. Anxiety is really just fear that is pervasive and constantly ongoing. You feel anxiety if you just sit quietly and become overwhelmed to some degree by all your thoughts. If you are looking at your reactions and note that you’re always reacting as if you’re fighting for your life, then you are experiencing significant anxiety.
Those in prison are in fear of so many different things and are just trying to adapt. In mens’ prisons especially, inmates try to look and act tough because this is the language. Respect and toughness are commodities traded to ensure safety. And the language is one that’s perpetuated by evil men, men who are completely unconscious and in a state of mind of badness.
I’m using the word “bad” because it’s necessary to put labels on things as points of reference in order for people to bring themselves to a place of happiness. “Happiness” is a label as well, indicating the opposite of unhappiness.
We have to liberate ourselves from our own suffering. We cause much of our own suffering by our ways of thinking, our lack of understanding of the true nature of ourselves, and our lack of understanding about the true nature of reality. I’ll go into some detail about that later in this book. But first it’s necessary to cover some things about addiction and formation of new habits.
The most important thing that you can learn at this moment in time is the practice of quiet meditation. It’s considerably less complicated and less burdensome than you might think. But one thing about it is crucial. Specifically, that you have to practice it for at least three minutes every single day of your life.
A very good beginning meditation practice is deep breathing. First, do a deep, long, slow inhalation through the nose. Next, do a long, slow exhalation, also through the nose. Do that 10 times in a row. And while you’re doing so, focus on nothing but your breathing. Don’t focus on any thoughts that might distract you. Your meditation consists of concentration on your breathing and nothing else.
Boredom is when you're feeling uninterested, restless, and not excited about what you're doing. It happens when things are repetitive, dull, or just not challenging enough. You might feel disconnected from what's going on around you, or not interested in the people you're with. Being bored sucks, but it can motivate you to find something more engaging and fulfilling to do.
Boredom is one of the worst mental states to be in, in my opinion. Our brains are wired to crave novelty and challenge, and when we're bored, we're not getting enough of either. Without boredom, we might just sit around all day and never truly experience life. But when we're bored, we're forced to seek out new experiences and find ways to engage with the world around us. Sometimes, though, boredom can lead us down a destructive path. Kids might act out to get attention, for example. But for many of us, boredom is a call to adventure and exploration. It's a lack of mindfulness because we're not fully engaged with our surroundings. Some people are more prone to boredom than others, but I see it as an opportunity to create something great and make the most of our time.
Meditation For Emotional Healing
Meditation will be difficult at first. This is because we are used to keeping our minds busy and active. Over time we will learn to control our mind and what it focuses on. We will be able to learn how to change our mind and the thoughts that flow through it. We will be able to change our thoughts from negative to positive. We will be able to direct ourselves to our feelings. We’ll be able to feel them and then release them.
This will create and begin a healing process. And mental and emotional healing is crucial, just as physical healing is. You would never stop yourself from healing a physical wound. If you were knifed or shot you would never ignore the wound. You’d know that the wound would eventually rot and that you’d eventually die.
Emotional Wounds and Liberation
You know what the bliss of existence feels like if you’ve ever been drunk and playful. You know what it feels like if you’ve ever been high. You know what it feels like if you’ve ever had really good sex or a really good meal. But when you’re in an institution you feel like your freedoms have been removed. You’ve been completely detached from nature and from all of the things that make life good. In such situations, we become numb after a while. We feel so much discomfort that the bliss of existence is covered. We have to discover it again, and it’s possible to do so with time and effort.
Very few people who embark on this journey will actually make it—most people will die numb and unconscious. The journey is hard, even on the outside. But you have one thing in your favor if you are incarcerated. That is that you can limit your distractions. This is especially the case if you’re in solitary confinement. In that situation, you can sit still and meditate for hours a day. You can even see yourself as a free person. Believe in your mind that everything that you’re doing is a choice that you made. You were institutionalized, but you can understand that you institutionalized yourself because of your actions.
Do not resist your conditions. Accept them and realize that you can be a monk in a cave meditating to achieve true liberation from suffering. This is something that those of us on the outside can’t seem to do very easily. We have difficulty because we're too distracted by commercialism and the passage of time.
On the outside, we’re distracted by social media, by technology, by fear, by delusion, and by ignorance. This is not a judgment. It’s the reality of what’s happening, and all of the great philosophers in the world talk about it.
If you are inside, you can bring yourself to a state of calmness. You can spend a lot of time building your knowledge in your mind, you can understand your family of origin, and you can heal from the deep wounds that you can uncover.
You can find forgiveness for yourself and your crimes. You can be liberated from suffering if you seek such deliverance. It’s crucial that you take on that mission for yourself, especially if you’re serving a lot of time. You cannot live out your existence in a hell created in your mind. In your mind you must make the yard into a beautiful playground. You must see every aspect of what you can see as a vision of light and hope.
There Is Hope
Later we will talk about the words that are hard to utter when you’ve lost hope. The words that I’m referring to are compassion, love, and hope. They’re all words that don’t equate to toughness.
Those words are hard to find when people did not have those words for us when we were children. If you grew up under a heavy hand from brutal parents, siblings and society, those words might be gone. But if those words spark passion, you can keep this book close to your heart.
I hope that you will embrace what I’m trying to say to you. I will not lead you down the wrong path. I will not profit from these writings. I have no agenda other than to share my experience with you and offer you strength and hope.
Love and Incarceration
I have written thousands of pages of material on various topics. I don’t believe that I titled any of my essays “Love,” and I don’t have an explanation for why that’s so.
When I began writing, there was a time that the only things I’d write about were connected with love, compassion, and God. But I began to wonder if I had enough unique material on those subjects to legitimately write about them.
At that point I felt I understood compassion more so than I understood love. I understood love with a woman, but I didn’t either understand or feel love for anything or anyone else to any significant degree.
When my children were born I loved them, but there were some issues I had to work through. I didn’t feel particularly disconnected from my kids, but I don’t think that I loved them with all of my heart. My heart was frozen. I loved my children in the flesh when I saw them. I worried for them if something went wrong. But when I had to sit and pay attention to them my attention would drift.
When I would spend time with my sister's young child I would almost instantaneously need to take a nap because I’d be very tired and would have to sleep for a time. Sometimes I’d sleep right there on the floor when I was playing with toys with my two-year-old nephew. I look back at that situation now and I understand that I was experiencing extreme grief at the time.
When I spent time with my children I would be confused about the nature of reality. And I wasn’t able to give enough of myself to be patient and to want to teach them lessons. It wasn’t until I realized that the most important meditation that I could do in my life was to meditate on the love that I have for my children and my responsibility to be their father. I had to be the ultimate role model to both of my daughters. I had to put aside all of my problems.
What I’ve learned to do in my life right now is keep myself connected to my emotions much better than I’ve ever done in the past. The first emotion that I had to become aware of was boredom. I had to think about things that I’d do when I felt boredom coming on, particularly movement.
I thought of boredom and measures to avoid boredom among incarcerated or institutionalized people. Such people in particular need to determine very quickly how to occupy and entertain themselves. Some people in prisons find ways to keep the same behavior and actions that they were involved in in the outside world going on. They can’t bear the change that they’d need to go through to let those things go even while they’re incarcerated. They need the negativity or the bitterness that they had in the outside world. They need a sense of competition. They need some kind of pride or vanity to keep their mind at peace. What they should be concentrating on are character defects that they (as well as everyone else) have as a result of childhood experiences and of living in the society that we are in.
Prison structures are not enlightened. If they were, they would teach enlightenment and would try to wake up as many minds as possible. And I’m under the impression that many people in prison could become awake. They could be given basic education and life skills training, and they could be taught how harming others is not compassionate, intelligent behavior.
I don’t judge people in prisons. Many people on the outside behave the same way as people in prisons do but just don’t get caught. I don’t want to take lightly the terrible conditions that many people inside of prisons must endure. But maybe in some kind of strange way some people that are in prison are better off than some of the criminals on the outside who never get caught. Some people in prison get to the stage at which they are willing to change for the better, and maybe they wouldn’t have gotten to that stage had they not been incarcerated.
Back to the topic of love and compassion. I love my children and I love my wife. I wouldn’t want to change that even if I could. I love some of my ideas, I love yoga, I love the books in my small library. I love the spaces that I inhabit, and I’m excited to think about the spaces that I’ll inhabit in the future.
I was watching a documentary about a New Mexico state prison. It spoke of an intelligent inmate who had made a series of bad choices throughout his life. He was an Aryan, and he wanted to raise his own flag and start his own gang. He asked for permission from a larger Aryan gang to do that. He was told that the requirement was he had to wage war with another gang of a different race.
I thought about this for days.
I thought of how this man decided to become famous by digging his own grave. No matter what he does going forward from the initial decision to raise his own flag, people will have to die, and more time will have to be added to his sentence.
Perhaps he will gain the respect of others in his vicinity. But he will share nothing with them but suffering. He thinks he will benefit, but the benefits are only an illusion in his mind. And all of the suffering that he causes himself will be worse than if he had just kept to himself and did his time.
But he can’t and he won’t. He’s too angry and fearful. He does not have the ability to step out of his darkness and into the light.
Why is he like that? Why are there millions of people on both the outside and the inside that are like that?
The answer to those two questions is obvious to me. If we look at our early home life and the turbulence within it, we can see clearly that hostility, neglect, abuse, trauma, and a lack of good training plays a role in all of this.
There will always be prisons and inmates. There will always be crime. But can you free yourself from the suffering inside of your own mind? You can’t change that you are an inmate in a cell in your physical body. But you can free yourself from the prison in your mind. That’s the case because you created it.
Even though we were all once victims as children, we made choices as grown-ups. You lead yourself into your own prison. You can free yourself, though.
The work that freeing yourself entails is hard. You have to unravel forms of madness and sickness. You have to surrender attachments to “respect,” “violence,” and false codes centered around fake honor.
Criminality becomes an addiction. Violence can be an obsession. But it’s all nonsense and ignorance. We need to see the truth and leave this path, even if it means that we will die. To die on the path of goodness and self healing is more valuable than dying for nothing but violence for the sake of violence.
Dying or killing for a gang and having “honor” is empty. It means nothing. It’s lonely. It’s suffering. And it leads to nothing but more and more suffering.
Become willing to let it all go.
If I asked 10,000 men to read this book and set about changing their life around, I would guess that as few as 50 of them would even try. The pull of old habits is so great that such words of truth will resonate with only a very few people.
I need to state that I’m not really the author of these words. These words have been spoken throughout time. They’ve taken on different shapes and forms with different people delivering them in speech and in writing.
It is up to you to sit with these words and read them over and over again until they take shape in your mind. There is no greater waste of life than the waste of the gift of consciousness. You need not let the remainder of your life be wasted suffering.
I want to take you on a step-by-step journey to help you get the courage to change. I am taking interest in you because you’re part of my world and my society. There are many people that live on the outside that take everything for granted. And there are many people who struggle on the outside with things that people on the inside would be so grateful for if they had freedom to be a part of them.
In this first chapter I’m just trying to establish the purpose of this book and clarify if I have an understanding of the things that you’re thinking about. I mean no disrespect to anyone by writing this book. I’m just trying to offer people a choice. If people want to live inside the society of a prison and make violence become their mantra, that’s their business. But I think it’s a poor choice for them to do so.
I think it’s an unconscious choice when they go on that path, though. People make decisions that move them towards violence, cruelty, destruction, and addiction. And I believe that they are acting out from compulsions that were set up within them from traumas in the past. They perpetuate them when they could be fixing them.
I will describe my experiences and my practices and put them into words that I hope will be of use to you. Before I do that, though, I want to give you some information that I hope will help you understand the addictive patterns that all of us struggle with.
The first thing that we have to consider is the nature of anxiety. Anxiety keeps us locked into addictive patterns. We believe in our own minds that the patterns we create will help offset our difficult feelings of anxiety. But if we recognize the symptoms of anxiety and we learn to identify when we’re feeling it, we can come up with alternatives to our regular destructive behavior.
We don’t have to smoke. We don’t have to masturbate. We don’t have to stab anyone. We don’t have to cause destruction to offset the feelings of anxiety.
One incredibly simple thing that we can do to offset anxiety is deep breathing exercises. We can flood the brain with oxygen, and this will help us control our reactions. When we do this, it allows the waves of anxiety to move past us. As we practice this more and more, our obsessive compulsive behaviors become more evident. And when we’re aware of them, we can cease engaging in them. We can stop.
When we begin this process, we will need something more substantial to replace the behaviors we’re seeking to overcome. We won’t be able to just rely on deep breathing exercises. We will need to find faith in something more powerful than the negativity that we’ve been following for a very long time.
In upcoming chapters we will discuss the idea of meditation and the idea of contemplation of the nature of reality. If we work at it, meditation and contemplation will offer us tremendous distraction from our anxiety.
I need to make another thing clear. Specifically, that this message is not for those whose minds are too far gone for them to pursue recovery. Any human being who is capable of feeling remorse, regret, or shame is still capable of recovering and coming full circle to the liberation of their mind.
Using Time Wisely
If you’re a prison inmate, you understand that being removed from the freedoms that you want is difficult. Coming to acceptance of those circumstances is the next major hurdle. Two helpful tools in achieving that are prayer and meditation.
It’s crucial to not engage in addictive, destructive behaviors while incarcerated. Such behaviors numb our feelings and make us unable to feel and function well after being released. When we block ourselves from our feelings, we can’t improve our circumstances and find a clear pathway to higher and better thoughts.
Prison life should be methodical, disciplined, and careful. An inmate should practice disciplines of self-care and self-healing. Such disciplines can include silent retreats, hours of meditation, reading philosophical books, and reading books on the physical sciences.
If you want your freedom back, don’t look at freedom only as freedom of movement of the body. Look at freedom as the freedom to educate yourself and fill your mind with wisdom. Many people on the outside have closed their minds and do not spend time embracing the process of getting good knowledge are in a prison of their own making, even though they don’t have restricted physical movement as you do.
In prison you must see yourself as being on a retreat for a specific length of time. Seeing it any other way will drive you mad and will also be a waste of time. From your cell or from the yard you can close your eyes and you can visit the world. You can still be in the present moment in the cell you’re in. You can find wisdom in teaching yourself compassion, love, and nonviolence. You can explore your character. You can write about it and you can change it.
You can discover the universe through books. When you read history you can go on a great adventure, and when you learn science you can expand your consciousness to understand the nature of reality. When you read mathematics you can teach yourself how to think in an organized way. You must consider education to be an incredibly important part of your rehabilitation.
While incarcerated you must also be willing to learn about your own personal life. What happened to you in your life that made you the way that you are? It’s important to discover who we are and how we became that way in this life. By doing so we can find the things about ourselves that we need to change.
We are all on a long journey to improve ourselves. To do that, we have to understand ourselves first. For that reason, it’s crucial to learn a lot about psychology and put what we learn into practice, even while we are serving our time.
Check out the ilovegoodsugar website for insightful guides on meditation and addiction. These resources offer valuable information on how meditation can support recovery and promote well-being. Explore these guides to discover the transformative power of meditation in the context of addiction.