The Quiet Within

"The Quiet Within" is a non profit organization that focuses on meditation instruction and practice for prisoners while incarcerated, and following their release.

The volunteers understand that sometimes one’s life circumstances lead them to act harmfully, and that those who offend deserve a second chance.
All our activities are performed by volunteers, out of compassion for people who are too often excluded and marginalized by society.
We deeply believe that meditation practice can be an important factor in positive transformation and rehabilitation and assist in preventing recidivism – which is beneficial for the prisoner, his or her family, and society at large.
Play Video about Ma'asyahu Prison

Inmates participated in our meditation groups


Years of activity


Current weekly meditation groups



“I suffered a lot in my life, from the people who were closest to me. When I was a child, I didn’t have the courage to respond. Whenever I feel that people around me want to harm me, I lash out and see them as those who previously hurt me. And today, when the officer came in during meditation and made a lot of noise, I got angry. In the past I would have immediately reacted, and expressed my rage. Today I remained seated, and after a minute he went out, and I returned to my quietness, and wasn’t angry at all.”
An inmate from
Sharon Prison


37 Meditation practice groups for inmates in prison and following their release

Weekly meditation and discussion sessions are held in prisons, as well as with released inmates through the Prisoner Rehabilitation Authority and the “Ma’agalim” Rehabilitation Centre. Volunteers from The Quiet Within lead these sessions. Through the practice, inmates learn to find some breathing space and serenity within the tough conditions of crowding, loneliness, and stress.

The “Inner Peace” Wing

An innovative program whereby all inmates in an entire wing of Ayalon Prison will practice daily meditation for the duration of four months. Research and experience show that practicing meditation frequently over time may significantly influence prisoners who practice, and the entire wing, and increase chances of rehabilitation.

Concentrated practice days for released prisoners

The purpose of the concentrated practice days is to deepen one’s practice through spending a longer time in a quiet environment away from one’s demanding daily routine.
It provides an opportunity for greater self-reflection, and supports rehabilitation processes for prisoners following their release.

Weekly radio program in prisons

The Quiet Within has a regular program in the Israeli Prison Service’s radio station. The program is broadcast in all prisons, and is composed of conversations between an inmate and a volunteer, about the difficulties in prison and in one’s personal life, as well as instructions for practicing meditation.

Meditation book “The Quiet Within – Meditation for inmates in prison”

The book was written by the organization’s volunteers. It was published in Hebrew and Arabic and is given as a gift to each group participant. An inmate said: “The book gives hope, it’s about hope.” Thus far, approximately 3,000 inmates received the book.

Future Projects

Inmates as Meditation Facilitators

The Quiet Within intends to train inmates so they become meditation group facilitators in prison. The training, commitment and acceptance of responsibility will support their own rehabilitation. This is an opportunity, for the facilitator inmate, as well as for the practicing inmates, to experiences generosity, and mutual support.

Integrating meditation practice in Israel Prison Service’s Attention Centres

Inmates will practice meditation as part of the therapeutic program for dealing with attention deficits and learning disabilities. Practice can reduce hyperactivity and improve attention skills and self-restraint. In this way, the practice will support the rehabilitation process.
“I was sitting in the New York subway after a year away, during which I started leading meditation in prison. At one point one of those people who stand in the middle of the subway car and give a fiery speech boarded the train. My old response would have been to try and ignore him and maybe be a little afraid. This time I found myself listening to him, waiting to hear crumbs of truth and wisdom, sentences that will illuminate me. When I realized I was listening to this person, whose life had led him to give speeches on the subway, I thought: wow, how prison work has changed me. Suddenly I listen to these people, marginalized by society and marginalized by my mind. Suddenly I realize that they have much to teach us – specifically because of the pain they live in.”
A volunteer at
Shita Prison