January 24, 2013 RSS feed

Remembering Bo Lozoff
It was with tremendous sadness to learn that Bo Lozoff died in a motorcycle accident on November 29, 2012.

Bo was a teacher, author, and singer-songwriter whose work has drawn fans as diverse as His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Public Televisions’s Mister Rogers, who called Bo one of his “personal heroes.” The Utne Reader named Bo “one of America’s 100 spiritual visionaries.” Bo’s first book for adults, We’re All Doing Time, has been hailed by the Village Voice as “one of the ten books everyone in the world should read,” and is widely known by prisoners around the world as “the convict’s Bible.”

Bo started the Prison-Ashram Project to inspire and encourage prisoners and prison staff to recognize their depth as human beings, and to behave accordingly. He felt that the nature of our lives is an incomprehensibly wonderful mystery which each human being can experience only in solitude and silence. Prisoners have the opportunity to dedicate themselves to this inward journey without the distractions and luxuries which occupy many people in the "free world."

To learn more, request Bo's books.
  posted by Daniel M.    Post a Comment

January 16, 2013 RSS feed

Taming the Tiger Within by Thich Nhat Hanh
Cover Art
Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh offers daily guidance for becoming free of the strong emotions that make us suffer the most. Everyone wants peace, but as anyone who has tried to find it knows, the biggest obstacle is often our own powerful emotions.

In Taming the Tiger Within, the author distills the wisdom of his many books into short meditations and contemplations for applying his advice to daily life-for transforming anger, fear, jealousy, and other difficult emotions. An acclaimed scholar, peace activist, and Buddhist master revered by people of all faiths, Thich Nhat Hanh has inspired millions worldwide. Now, he focuses his profound spiritual in-sight on the basic human emotions we all struggle with every day: anger, fear and love.

Drawn from his national bestsellers No Death, No Fear ; Anger ; and Going Home and grounded in the Buddhist practices of mindfulness and compassion, this handbook of meditations and reflections offers readers inspirational and pragmatic techniques for diffusing anger, conquering fear, and cultivating love in every arena of life.
  posted by Daniel M.   2 comments

January 6, 2013 RSS feed

Talking About Trauma

Recently, Freedom Ticket talked with Hennepin County Probation Officers Cheryl Tigue and P.J. Bensen about trauma and the new program that addresses it for residents at the women’s section of the Adult Corrections Facility (ACF).

What is trauma and how can it impact someone’s life?

Trauma occurs when a person’s response to an event involves intense fear, helplessness, or horror. Trauma can also be described as a reaction to an event that overwhelms a person physically and psychologically. Trauma can also be used to describe an event and also a reaction or response to an event.

The trauma process begins with an event that overwhelms a person’s physical and psychological systems which lead to a fight, flight, or freeze trauma response. This response sensitizes the nervous system and causes changes in the brain. Trauma can be a result of abuse (sexual, physical, and emotional), exposure to domestic violence, severe natural disasters, war, abandonment, witnessing violence at school and in neighborhoods, personal attack by another person or an animal, kidnapping, bullying, medical procedures, serious injuries or accidents. Stresses in one’s life and reminders of the trauma can lead to painful emotional states that result in one of three categories: retreat, where one isolates oneself, disconnects from one’s social circle and experiences depression and anxiety; engage in self-destructive actions such as substance abuse, eating disorders, self-harm and suicide; or engage in destructive actions such as aggression, violence and rage.

Trauma is quite widespread in our society today. Therefore, organizations that work with people need staff who understand trauma, can recognize and avoid trauma triggers, and know how to adjust behaviors and environments to assist trauma survivors in managing their symptoms and responses.

How is the facility helping residents who have experienced trauma in their lives?
At the women’s section, staff help residents understand what trauma is and how it affects their lives. Staff explain the impact of trauma and the relationships between violence, abuse and their trauma response. Gender-responsive trauma courses as
well as individual support are offered.

Any final suggestions for people who want to learn more about trauma?
We have included a few of the many community resources available to help with trauma:

Crisis Connection

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

National Women’s Health Information Center

Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Veterans Crisis Line
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