The team held a Prison Program last week at Krugersdorp Correctional Services.
One of the the volunteers shares his experience:
“This Prison Program was the first that I had assisted on. There were 43 offenders who joined and completed the 5 day program. For me, the experience created a paradigm shift. Prior to this, I had a concept of what criminals were, hardened, violent beings desiring to inflict harm but this experienced showed me that this view held little truth. My preconceived notions were shattered and I realized that the Prisoners could be like any other every day person with whom we interact. A person who somewhere along the line made a mistake, or was in the wrong place or possibly placed in a pressurising situation borne from a place of disadvantage.
Sri Sri’s poignant words “Behind every culprit there is a victim crying for help. You need to identify the victim and heal him.“ solidified my realisation as my experience during the course left me full of compassion.
The Prison Program brought up a memory of when I experienced injustice; an armed robbery in our home. I recalled that strangely, during that encounter, I experienced a divine sense of compassion and love towards the perpetrators. During a shoot out that later ensued, I witnessed as one of the robbers lay bleeding out; I appealed to my wife (a doctor by profession) to assist him in his time of need. Sadly he did not make it. While in prison it allowed me an opportunity of reflection and I acknowledged that in that moment, no fear or hate existed, it was only Love.
It was phenomenal to witness the transformation that can take place in ones life after just a few days of yoga and purposeful breathing. Initially, many prisoners were distracted and reluctant participants but then on the 3rd day, Stillness! These prisoners tasted the depth of peace and fulfilment through yoga and Sudarshan kriya. When one truly experiences this, there is no choice, transformation will happen. I am grateful for this experience for these situations are here for us to grow.”