Join a unique project:
A meditation book for prisoners in Hebrew and Arabic
►The meditation project for prisoners “The Quiet Within” has been ongoing for about 14 years and contributes to the lessening of tension and violence in Israeli prisons, to coping with prison conditions and the improvement of prisoners’ chances to be integrated in society and prevent their return to prison.
►The entire activity is carried out by volunteers who come on a weekly basis to facilitate 25 meditation groups in 13 Israeli prisons. In total, about 300 prisoners practice meditation throughout the country. Over the years thousands of prisoners have participated in our meditation groups.
One of the participants wrote: "My name is Rafi, I am serving a jail sentence for the third time, and this is my first time in meditation. Today, after some months in the group, I feel the beginning of a certain change. Meditation gives me not just calm and serenity, but the ability to observe my addiction, violence, anger, and slowly familiarize myself with these places so they have less and less power and control over me.”
What is meditation doing in prisons?
Through meditation, the prisoner begins to face the quiet that exists inside, and from there – an opening to change. One of the keys to change is the understanding that if we cannot change the world, we can change our own attitude towards it and our own behavior.
This change has a great potential to affect us and our environment.
Studies have shown that meditation programs for prisoners lessen the degree of violence inside prisons and the extent of drug use, reinforce the prisoners’ mental welfare and effectively lessen their return to prison. Meditation practice lowers tensions, relieves states of depression and anxiety, and contributes to emotional adjustment and self-acceptance.
What is the purpose of the meditation book for prisoners?
The book is an invitation for change. It offers a real opportunity to try to exit the incarceration cycle and move on to life in the community. The book accompanies the prisoners in their process of change and gives them hope.
Among other things, it holds a discussion of the prisoner’s suffering and hardship and suggests a train of thought that opens the way to change habits and conduct. There are personal stories of prisoners who participate in our program, and various ways of practicing meditation that suit life in jail.
Volunteers of “The Quiet Within” have written the book in consideration of the prisoners’ needs, the complex conditions of incarceration and the difficulty of daily meditation practice between prison walls.
Why do we need support?
Support is needed to publish the book in Hebrew and in Arabic so that every prisoner in Israel could continue practicing and get a chance at life changes and positive effects on the community.
A testimony by Rami, participant in the project:
“When I first came to the meditation group, it all sounded bla-bla-bla… But now I realize that I have learned a method that helps me better control my moods, my nerves. I wait for the meditation session – for my surrounding and of course for own self – to become a better and wiser person in certain situations.”