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Meditation Behind Bars

If it is one thing that people living in prison have a lot of, it is time. And some prisoners are using that time to meditate. They are finding it an effective way to deal, not only with themselves, but also with the harsh and dehumanizing environment of the prison.

Sister Elaine MacInnes, is an 84-year-old Catholic nun and a Zen master, who has taught prisoners meditation for more than 20 years. She spent many years studying Zen in Japan and has worked with prisoners in the Philippines and England (with the Phoenix Prison Trust).

Here in Canada, Sister Elaine founded the Toronto-based organization Freeing the Human Spirit that teaches yoga and meditation to prisoners. 

She received the Order of Canada in 2001 and was featured A 2005 Vision TV documentary, The Fires That Burn: The Life and Work of Sister Elaine MacInnes.

Stark Raven spoke to Sister Elaine about her experiences teaching meditation to prisoners and what she has learned from her work in prisons.

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