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WILMINGTON, NC, April 28, 2018 /24-7PressRelease/ -- While it was not always considered a hot topic, the media today is filled with articles about how meditation, mindfulness and kindness can significantly affect and, in some cases, utterly transform the lives and experiences of those incarcerated in prisons and jails worldwide.
NBC recently presented a piece entitled "Prison Meditation Program Helps Inmates Rebuild Minds, Restart Lives". Amy Maclin offered a piece on Oprah.com entitled, "Why Meditation Is Becoming So Popular In Prisons." Lisa Rapaport's piece on Reuters.com was titled, "Meditation linked to lower stress among prison inmates." CNN.com carried a piece by Stephanie Chen titled, "Prison inmates go Zen to deal with life behind bars." More articles can be found on the websites of Huffington Post, NPR, The Washington Post and others. There are hundreds more.
In addition, organizations like the Prison Mindfulness Institute and the David Lynch Foundation focus on showing prisoners how to create a sense of "freedom behind bars".
Why all the fanfare about meditation and mindfulness in prison? Because it works like nothing else. Doug Carnine, author of 'Saint Badass: Personal Transcendence in Tucker Max Hell,' presents the proof in his highly praised, must-read book.
Carnine has personally witnessed the life-changing benefits meditation and mindfulness produce for those who are incarcerated in jails and prisons. The book is a story spanning seven years' worth of letters and Carnine's growing friendships between Roy Tester and three other prisoners.
In their own words, the prisoners describe the crises they face including disabling illness, a brain tumor, a prison gang attack, family betrayal, medical abuse and harsh punishments for mild offenses. Each prisoner in his own way achieves transcendence through his crisis using mindfulness, meditation and the blessings of kindness. Readers are stunned to see the destructive forces of an abusive childhood, a criminal adulthood, and a life without parole in prison result in their incongruously continuous acts of kindness. Their voices are raw and honest, and at times inspiring.
"Mindfulness is necessary but not sufficient to transform both prisoners and prison staff," Carnine stated. "Mindfulness clears our mind of worry about the past and anxiety about the future. But what then? The purpose of mindfulness is not primarily to make us feel better but to make us better able to act with kindness, which is the greatest win-win in the world. The recipient of kindness benefits. And those who act with kindness are happier, healthier, have more loving relationships and live longer. One of my co-authors, Roy, murdered his parents after being sexually abused for years by this father. Yet Roy risked his life to prevent the murder of a child molester who had just entered prison. Kindness overcame Roy's hate of child molesters."
Another of Carnine's books, 'How Love Wins: The Power of Mindful Kindness', follows in the same vein. Most of us recognize that being kinder and more present would not only improve our own lives and the lives of our loved ones, but also strengthen our communities. Numerous scientific studies have confirmed that both living mindfully and being kind to others offer a host of benefits -- from stronger relationships to longer life. Yet even if we truly care and are motivated to change, we find that old habits keep us from achieving our goal of increasing our kindness and improving our relationships.
In 'How Love Wins', Carnine offers another path. In this simple but powerful guide, leading the reader through a 12-step process of transformation, opening a toolbox of skills and techniques that anyone can use to live more fully in the moment and be more kind to themselves and others. A lay Buddhist minister who has worked with prisoners and hospice patients, Carnine provides a clear path that will enable almost anyone to build a mindfully kind life -- and make it stick.
Carnine was recently named one of 50 great writers you should be reading in the '50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading' Book Awards'. He was chosen from a field of hundreds of authors through a public voting process.
Readers and reviewers have praised his work. Geri Larkin, Founding Teacher of Still Point Zen Buddhist Temple and author of 'Stumbling Toward Enlightenment' said, "Saint Badass isn't simply about the transformative power of sincere spiritual practice. It demonstrates the impact of our practice on our environment and the people around us. These men have many reasons to be filled with hate, to be violent, and to be completely shut down given the lives they are leading in the bowels of the hell realm of our society, our prisons. And yet. They transform. One of them glows in the dark, I swear. Reading the book gave me hope."
Duana Welch, PhD, author of 'Love Factually: 10 Proven Steps from I Wish to I Do' stated, "This powerful book takes any of us from a life of 'me' to 'we,' from isolation to connection and love. In a world where kindness is so needed yet so little understood, How Love Wins is a must-read."
Doug Carnine is available for media interviews and can be reached using the information below, or by email at [email protected]. Both books are available at online retail book outlets. More information is available at his website at http://feedkindness.com.
Douglas Carnine, a professor emeritus from the University of Oregon, began his pursuit of scientific research, instructional design, Buddhism and martial arts when he was 21. His academic career focused on teaching at-risk students and led to him receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Council for Exceptional Children.
After retiring, working with men convicted of murder and serving as a hospice volunteer made him curious about the importance of kindness. After reviewing the research on kindness, he decided to devote his writing and his advocacy to making the importance of mindful kindness more prominent. The resulting project is his website, Feedkindness.com, along with his books, 'How Love Wins' and 'Saint Badass.'
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