Giving Prisoners a New Ray of Hope

‘Jamaica no Problem’ – is now Dushyant Savadia’s slogan. With the vision of creating waves of peace and happiness across the Caribbean, Dushyant has been teaching meditation to people from different walks of life - from farmers to corporate executives, inner city communities to heads of State and youths to prison inmates, Dushyant is striving to give the people of Jamaica lasting peace and harmony through meditation.

He has recently begun an intensive effort in the Jamaican prisons to transform the lives of the inmates. He strongly believes that meditation can heal the victim inside them and will give them a new ray of hope. In recognition of his contribution to Jamaica, he was recently felicitated as an Honarary Jamaican at the Caribbean Yoga Conference.

In a chat with Divya Sachdev, he shares the experiences of some of prisoners who have experienced meditation and have felt transformed and empowered.

Q-You have taken so many courses in prison and the transformational experiences that they have shared have been intense. So what does meditation do, that prisoners change so much?

Dushyant Savadia- When people are physically sick, they go to the hospital for appropriate treatment. The converse is not true for an offender sent to prison. Once incarcerated, emotional and mental rehabilitation is rarely afforded to them. As a result, they become more frustrated and aggressive

Meditation gives them the opportunity to express and release their emotions. It gives them the strength to take responsibility for their own actions and let go of the negative feelings associated with it. They cannot undo what they have done, but meditation helps them to accept what has happened, allowing their frustration and anger to subside.

When they meditate, they feel empowered, refreshed and renewed.

After Sudarshan Kriya and meditation one of the prisoners said, “You know, I feel I have been baptized with the holy breath”. After the course many strongly felt that they would like to use most of their time constructively during their incarceration

Q-‘Make the most out their time’ - how does that happen? Especially with prisoners who have life sentences, they lose hope like it’s the end of the world, how does meditation give them a new ray of hope?

Dushyant Savadia- When we were conducting courses in the Jamaican prisons, there were inmates serving up to 25 years. We encouraged those inmates who had long remaining sentences to become teachers of the Art of Living, taking the knowledge further inside the prison system.

Meditation allows acceptance of the present moment which then creates a sense of responsibility towards peace and non-violence.

There is a policy of reduction in sentences if inmates demonstrate good behaviour and conduct, showing signs of rehabilitation. In such cases parole maybe granted or they maybe allowed greater access to their family members. And this can be achieved through meditation.

Meditation adds to their personal rehabilitation and state of being. It can improve their state of mind and in turn their conduct. This will be the ray of hope in their quest to rejoin the society as responsible citizens.

Q-Sri Sri Ravi Shankar says that behind every criminal there is a victim crying for help. Do you think meditation can heal this victim?

Dushyant Savadia- Meditation not only heals; it revives the soul. It makes you accept what is and strengthens one to move forward.

Q-Sri Sri also says “violence ends where love begins”. So do you also think that meditation can bring more love in people?

Dushyant SavadiaViolence ends where love begins - Love begins when there is peace within - And peace radiates when you meditate.

Meditation takes you through that journey where you recognize the love that blossoms within you. Once there is peace, balance and harmony in ourselves, there is no longer any space for hate or violence. Love takes over and it radiates our entire being.

Giving Prisoners a New Ray of Hope (Part-2) >>

 

Founded in 1981 by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar,The Art of Living is an educational and humanitarian movement engaged in stress-management and service initiatives. Read More