meditation in an indian prison

meditation in a prisonyesterday at the meditation meetup, we watched a film, doing time, doing vipassana – a moving documentary of how meditation can change life in prison.

this is the story of an ancient meditation technique named vipassana, which shows people how to take control of their lives and channel them toward their own good. it is the story of a strong woman named kiran bedi, the former inspector general of prisons in new delhi, who strove to transform the notorious tihar prison and turn it into an oasis of peace. but most of all it is the story of prison inmates who underwent profound change, and who realized that incarceration is not the end but possibly a fresh start toward an improved and more positive life.

these people have shown that reform can work if it is self-reform. their success has been so dramatic that recently the indian government decided to apply vipassana in all the country’s prisons. other countries are becoming interested as well. the filmmakers spent about two weeks inside tihar central prison in new delhi and baroda jail in the indian state of gujarat. they interviewed inmates and jail officials, and filmed in places rarely accessible to film crews, whether indian or foreign.

“we are all in prisons,” said one of the people shown in the movie. we are imprisoned in our frames of mind, in feelings of anger and resentment, we are imprisoned by our cravings. meditation is one of the keys that lets us open the prison and go free.

5 thoughts on “meditation in an indian prison

  1. kristen

    thanks for the reminder about vipassna in prison. I remember hearing about the film and wishing I could see it. I work in a maximum security prison which s ALWAYS noisy. It’s hard to find a quiet place to teach meditation but maybe if I just look hard enough, I’ll find one. I love your site. It has everything I’m interested in plus more! Thank you for your good work. Please feel free to check out my site: http://losingtheway.blogspot.com.

  2. kristen

    thanks for the reminder about vipassna in prison. I remember hearing about the film and wishing I could see it. I work in a maximum security prison which s ALWAYS noisy. It’s hard to find a quiet place to teach meditation but maybe if I just look hard enough, I’ll find one. I love your site. It has everything I’m interested in plus more! Thank you for your good work. Please feel free to check out my site: http://losingtheway.blogspot.com.

  3. isabella mori

    hi kristen, and welcome to this blog. glad you like it!

    meditating in the midst of noise is an interesting experience. and of course that’s where we need it the most 🙂

    will go visit your blog for sure.

  4. isabella mori

    hi kristen, and welcome to this blog. glad you like it!

    meditating in the midst of noise is an interesting experience. and of course that’s where we need it the most 🙂

    will go visit your blog for sure.

  5. Vijay Agrawal

    Hi Kristen, You can buy the DVD “Doing Time, Doing Vipassana” online from the site
    http://www.vridhamma.org/Products_Cds.aspx?book=2

    The documentary is simply going to touch the innermost corner of your heart.

    You may also like to explore a two page PDF document on http://www.prison.dhamma.org/brochure.pdf

    For more info on prison courses, you may email info@prison.dhamma.org

    It may be a good idea to go for a Vipassana meditation course yourself and find out why it is so effective on inmates as well.

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