“I still find it hard to get in touch with my feelings. My gut tells me sadness is something I have a lot of. Today after my morning sitting I stopped and thought about how I feel about myself. My awareness shot to the memory of me as a little boy, and I felt a cocktail of sadness, feeling sorry, and maybe compassion for this little boy, who I realise is still within me. Sometimes I feel a vast space down inside my body that is so still. Anger can come back like a tidal wave and if I’m quick I observe it and the flames die very quickly and I feel like I’ve grown or maybe changed. This is so empowering.”
– Frank, HMP The Mount
Chris Herbert, who ran an ultra-marathon for us last year, took on the London Marathon this time around, his sixth time in the race. Chris started running over thirty years ago, while in the forces. He has been going to the staff yoga class at Spring Hill Prison for the past three years, and says yoga has been a huge help with his running training.
If you want to sponsor Chris, have a look at his fundraising page here – or you can send a donation direct to us.
We are so grateful to Chris for helping us, just as we are to all the prison officers who support our classes in prison. Whether it’s running a marathon for us or sorting out attendance lists and rooms for our classes, we couldn’t offer yoga and meditation to people inside without the work and kindness of all prison staff.
We are very sad to report the news of the death of one of our trustees, Tigger Ramsay-Brown, on the 3rd of December 2016 aged 94. Tigger was the sister of our founder, Ann Wetherall, and served as a trustee from early in the charity’s life right up until her death. Tigger lived a rich and exciting life, mainly in India and the UK. For many years she worked for Oxfam, where her passion and energy enabled so many people to be helped. We will remember Tigger as a forthright, fun and deeply compassionate woman, and a beloved friend to the Trust.
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We worked with Blackwell’s to celebrate the launch of our newest book for prisoners, Peace Inside: a prisoner’s guide to meditation, edited by our Director Sam Settle and published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers. The book not only explains how to practise silent breath-based meditation; over half of it is letters about meditation from prisoners to the Trust and replies from volunteers and staff. Peace Inside will be an important book for prisoners, giving inspiration to practise and a window into the hopes and challenges of others in prison, examining their struggles and insight with meditation, and underscoring the friendships which provide encouragement to keep looking deeper.
Paddy O’Connell (of Radio 4’s Sunday morning programme Broadcasting House) hosted the event, discussing the book, prison life, meditation and life after prison with Sam and three former prisoners whose letters appear in the book. The evening was a great success, selling out the space and resulting in many book sales! If you missed out, you can still get a copy here.