Inmate Letter 1


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[Note, words in italics have been altered to improve readability. Asterisks denote redacted text]

Dear Father Freeman,

I have been incarcerated for almost 21 years now. I have been meditating for 18 of those years — mostly sporadically and for time periods of not more than 5 or 10 minutes, for the first 12 years or so. In recent years, I’ve finally become willing and able to sit up for 1 hour at a time, though usually I sit for 20 mins. or less. A recent change in my schedule has made it more difficult to utilize my formerly favorite time slot, 1-2 AM. So I have, sadly, a more “hit & miss” approach lately, sitting for a few minutes here and there. I make sure I sit for a few minutes before going to bed, which is my most regular practice lately.

My primary spiritual path is Siddha Yoga. They have a worldwide organization, and a Prison Project out of Oakland, Cal. They teach a mantra-based meditation, and encourage us to take a meditative, contemplative, sacred approach to everything we do and everyone we come in contact with. This latter “active meditation,” “seeing the divine, the goodness in everybody and everything,” is more up my alley and feels more natural to me. But I am grateful to have reached the stage in recent years when I am feeling more RELAXED throughout my body when I sit and meditate, even my face! I never knew what a relaxed body and face felt like until about 4 years ago. Now it feels quite easy to attain, but I still have to pause and get in a meditative mode to do so.

I am enjoying being a part of our “Faith-Based Dorm” here, and I really appreciate having *** come in twice a month to facilitate our Christian meditation class. I also enjoy our Buddhist/Mindfulness style meditation we practice as a group with our (Buddhist) facilitator (Chaplain ***.) I also participate in Chap. ***’s Buddhist Sangha class twice a month. We meditate about 20 minutes in each of those classes.

The FRUIT of my meditation and other spiritual practices includes: a less agitated mind and emotional state; a greater sense of CONTENTMENT and COMPLETENESS; very few fears and insecurities; virtually no more lust or objectification of others or myself (I’m in here for a sex offense); no more desire for sex, and almost no desire for romance; no more envy of young and other people who are engaging in romantic or sexual activities (on TV, etc.); a great sense of love, compassion, and empathy for virtually all others; freedom from all forms of addiction, and almost all forms of carnal compulsions.

Enough for now. Thank you for making a special trip to see us here at the *** Unit, south of ***. That was quite a treat! May all those who attended be inspired to meditate more and deeper, and discover the kingdom of heaven within them! and bear much good fruit that will glorify our Heavenly Father! Amen! Let it be!

Sincerely, in the spirit of Unity and Agape,