Monday, August 4, 2008

Om. Om. Om....

I felt I needed to thoroughly eradicate my mind, body and soul after watching the Hollywood blockbuster Dark Knight (harsh, I know.) this week, so I headed over to the film house in my city that rarely ever disappoints me in both visual and intellectual film stimulation.

I was intrigued to see a film called The Dhamma Brothers . The film is set in place that time forgot: The Donaldson Correctional Facility, located just southwest of Birmingham, Alabama. I've never been to the the correctional facility, or even passed through the state of Alabama, but the documentary stated Donaldson detains 1500 of the most dangerous criminals.

On a cold day in January, 2002, 36 of the prison's inmates went through 10 days of a silent meditation process called Vipassana'. To quickly summarize: Vipassana' means to see things as they really are, and is one of India's most ancient techniques of meditation. The eastern based practice is both physically and emotionally demanding. Its most basic concept is to cleanse one's mind of mental impurities; resulting in highest happiness of full liberation. The practice is a way of self-tranformation through self-observation, by focusing on the deep interconnection between mind and body.

So, you're probably wondering, "Did the practice work? Were these men changed?"

My answer, "Yes."

Neve Black

No comments: