The Quiet Within

A volunteer at Shita Prison shares:

“One of the inmates in the group was told that he could not participate in the morning classes because he is driving the teachers mad. When I arrived at prison that afternoon he was irritated and didn’t want to join the meditation. It took time, but eventually he agreed to join the group. I knew he liked singing, so I asked him to sing, and asked another inmate to suggest a song for him to sing.

He sang a beautiful, long song in Arabic. When he finished, he thanked the man who suggested the song, walked over and embraced him. I asked for a translation. The song was about a prisoner who wants to be free. It is a song of longing for the village, longing for liberty. The participants talked about how music and sitting together takes them away from worrisome thoughts that preoccupy the head and leads them to the space of the heart. These moments were moving and full of sadness. Sadness because of the great sadness expressed in the song, and moving because of the embrace, and because it let us feel the power of togetherness.”