Monday, 21 January 2013

What do you know about Zen meditation?

I tried it with students back in the 80s. The fundamentalist community didn't like it.
I used it with gifted students. My principal called me up on it and made me stop.
They used visualization with uOttawa's Terry Orlick and the Olympic athletes.

When I taught creative writing at the minimum security Beaver Creek institution, I used it with the inmates. No one interfered there!

They are now using it with inmates in medium security.
What is totally ironic, is the I took classes in it and while I can lead silent meditation, I cannot sit still long enough to relax! It's so sad!

Not very often does one mention yoga, zazen, the Catholic Church and the prison system in the same context. Unless, of course, you're talking about Sister Elaine MacInnes, Catholic nun, Zen Roshi and founder of Freeing the Human Spirit, an organization that brings yoga and meditation to inmates in prison.

This article is the first in a series entitled Doing Good, Doing Yoga that tracks the public service efforts of members of Toronto's yoga, meditation and wellness community, as they apply their practice for the benefit of others.

Sister Elaine MacInnes is a Catholic Nun and a Zen Roshi trained in Japan and fully accredited by the Sanbo Kyodan lineage of Kamakura. 

Theresa Redmond, was the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal on December 17. She joins Sister Elaine in this great honour!  Theresa was nominated by Marnie Johnstone, Director General, Regional Operations. Theresa and Sister Elaine met during a raging snowstorm in Ottawa on a Saturday afternoon, and the rest is history. She has created an amazing group of volunteers. 
   Since 2005 Theresa has helped run a local branch of "Freeing the Human Spirit" for female detainees at the Ottawa Regional Detention Centre. This organization offers woman tools to make their lives better through the teachings of meditation and yoga.


Kay said...

Gracious! This is amazing! I tried doing zazen at Eiheiji in Japan a couple of years ago and it wasn't easy. My mind kept wandering. Poor husband couldn't get his legs crossed.

It's nice to be back in Hawaii. I've been gone for a week in Los Angeles where it was really cold... perhaps not as cold as Canada though.

Cloudia said...

you bring peace, Jenn

Happy Aloha to YOU
from Honolulu,
Comfort Spiral
~ > < } } ( ° >
> < } } ( ° >

Olga said...

You are a true pioneer. I am amazed that something like meditation can be so controversial, but I do know it sure can be.

Olga said...

You are a true pioneer. You are doing such good work in the world.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

The teacher needs to practice what she preaches ;>)! I have taken lots of Yoga classes and meditation classes. Love yoga, out of my league in meditation. Both seem to be moving more toward the mainstream in peoples' minds these days.