Source: (2005) Contemporary Justice Review. 8(1): 107-120.
Self-mastery is a 4000-year-old Vedic concept referring to growth in one’s capacity to discover the various dimensions of one’s own personhood–physical, mental, and spiritual–and to use those dimensions in a conscious, skillful way. Seven men who had been convicted of violent offenses and incarcerated in a U.S. mid-western maximum security prison volunteered to embark on a journey toward self-mastery by participating in yoga and meditation classes for three months as part of an exploratory research project. This paper draws on their journal entries and interviews. Content analysis reveals a continuum of desires and reported benefits from yoga and meditation. As the range of desires broadened, so did the benefits, including the emergence of certain individuals’ “own truths” and a sense of “meaningfulness rooted in a higher purpose.” It was in the spacious openness of disciplined self-awareness wherein some men found “response ability” and, thus, themselves, as well as others. Author’s abstract.
Your donation helps Prison Fellowship International repair the harm caused by crime by emphasizing accountability, forgiveness, and making amends for prisoners and those affected by their actions. When victims, offenders, and community members meet to decide how to do that, the results are transformational.Donate Now