Headline, October23, 2013



THE MAN  Soren Gordhamer : writer, yogi, activist, and founder of the ''Lineage Project''  a Bronx based nonprofit that teaches meditation and yoga to incarcerated kids.

THE MISSION Having with at-risk youths in the patchouli-scented enclave of Santa Cruz, California, Gordhamer figured that the New York City's street hardened juvenile offenders could use some spiritual adjustments as well.

By teaching awareness enhancing practices like yoga and meditation, he introduced residents of three of New York's juvenile halls   -and some young inmates at Rikers Island  -to a new sense of calm and well being.

''At first, my goal was to get them to meditate,''  says Gordhamer. ''Later I realized they needed more than that: They needed to understand their potential.''

THE METHOD Once, when Gordhamer suggested that his students close their eyes for meditation, one girl responded, ''I ain't closing my eyes. I'll get attacked.''

So Gordhamer took the opportunity to warn the class about levitation, telling them to hold on to their chairs in order to keep from floating away. ''The kids would be like, 'What the hell you talkin' about?' ''

As the mood lightened, the kids stopped worrying about their safety and could finally breathe.

THE MOMENT Gordhamer often doubted that his efforts were making an impact. Then he started hearing from the guards, who testified that the kids were doing breathing exercises before bed and standing by their bunks in mountain pose.

''A few kids,'' Gordhamer offers, ''said things like. 'Damn, I thought the only way I could feel like this was to smoke pot.' '' To them clarity felt euphoric.

THE MANIFEST With the Lineage Project : www.lineageproject.org. in full swing, Gordhamer is wrestling with the fundamental koan of the criminal justice system.

Can punishment and redemption coexist?

Believing there's rooms for both, he then turned his efforts to systemic reform. Under the auspices of the Gere Foundation, he organized a conference where ex-cons briefed the Dalai Lama on prison life.

And then Gordhamer compiled a book that will recount the experiences of former prisoners and share wisdom from spiritual leaders. He plans to distribute the book to inmates around the country en masse and free of charge.

With respectful dedication to all the Students undergoing imprisonments around the world. See Ya all on the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:

'''!!! Beyond The Walls !!!'''

Good Night & God Bless!

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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