Luksar jail inmates get a garden for meditation

© Provided by Hindustan Times

Sprawling over 50,000 square feet, a garden filled with neem, amla, and fruit trees adorns the Luksar jail premises. According to the jail authorities, the garden, labour of more than eight months, was developed to create a space for inmates where they could relax and calm their nerves.

Vipin Mishra, superintendent, Luksar jail said the “meditation garden”, developed by the inmates, offers an environment to the prisoners where their feelings of fatigue, anxiety can be soothed. “Apart from its green field, the garden has a pond with a few ducks and a statue of Gautama Buddha. The serene environment of the garden, inspired by the philosophies of Mahatma Gandhi and Buddha, has created a space for the inmates where they can meditate in peace. This, in turn, can help in reducing their psychological distress and trauma. This meditation garden is also aiding the spiritual well-being of the prisoners,” he said.

The superintendent said that the idea of the garden was conceived by jailor Satya Prakash and him in January. “We discussed the idea with the inmates. Surprisingly, some convicts came forward to support it, and later put their wholehearted efforts into developing the garden. We along with other jail staff guided them, and took care of the expenses from our own pockets, ” Mishra said.

Work on the garden inside Luksar jail, which houses 2,738 inmates, started in the first week of January and the garden was completed earlier this month.

An undertrial prisoner, Dinesh (single name) said that sitting and meditating in the garden, christened as an ‘ashram (monastery)’ has had a positive impact on his health. “Now, I don’t have problems like headache and stomach ache. I feel that by sitting there, I’ve become more honest, and speaking the truth gives me satisfaction,” he said.

Similar experiences were shared by other inmates who often meditate in the garden. “I suffer less stress now. A sense of benevolence and compassion has come in me towards my co-inmates and jail officials too,” said another undertrial, who did not wish to be named.

The garden has more than 50 trees and shrubs of pomegranate, neem, amla, plums, papayas, guava among others apart from different varieties of flowers.

Jailor Satya Prakash said, “I regularly spend a few hours in the garden. It has increased my dedication to my duty. We have seen positive changes in the behaviour of many inmates, and we feel more compassion towards them now. After all, the concept of jail is to reinforce corrective behaviour in inmates,” he said.

The Luksar jail, which has two wings named after Gandhi and Buddha, also houses a library for inmates apart from training institutes.

Sign on to read the HT ePaper

Source Article

Read more

Meditation Room and Altar Decor

An immense sense of calmness takes over you as you enter your meditation room. Maybe it's the smiling Buddha statue or the carved wall sculptures of Ganesha and Krishna leading you to your space of spiritual awakening. Sustainable design is focused on utilizing materials like reclaimed woods that have been repurposed into cabinets and chests that are used as altars or for storage. Bringing with them the energies of the ancient times the carvings of chakra and lotus that are associated with the elements of nature.

Altars are places of worship, vortexes of energy that infuse the space around them with your aura. An altar is a physical manifestation of your inner spirituality. Beautifully decorated antique arches that are house Ganesha, Lakshmi sculptures and idols, malas and pyramids, elements that connect you with divinity as you see it within yourself, a space where you consciously reflect on relationships in the present and past. Your altar vibrates with your spiritual energy and when you meditate before it, the energy is reflected back growing exponentially.

The stack of cushions made from recycled saris and the canopy with the colorful sheers cascading to the floor makes this cozy small space bohemian and free spirited. The vintage wood arched frames on the walls ties the meditation space with the zen of the room.

Practicing yoga before your altar, or doing your meditation, it reconnects you with your innermost purpose of your life. The antique door leading to your meditation room has carvings of lotus and chakra, an ancient Indian door with hues of pink, so rich in its history of love for the divine spirit. A beautiful tribal damchiya sits in the corner with a plethora of herbs and potted plants giving their scent to your beautiful space.

The triple arch opens up to your lush green gorgeous backyard, and you feel one with nature. I have altars all over the garden, the hanuman statue in natural stone is surrounded with potted plants and sits under the huge banyan tree, my evening stroll is self reflective and energizing as I offer flowers to him, absorbing his strength and resilience, calming all turbulent thoughts and letting my guard down.

Malas in rudraksha, crystal quartz, lapiz lazuli and pictures of loved ones surround my altar as i seek reassurance in connecting with my mom and dad during meditation. I chant to Ganesha as he opens up new portals and new chapters in my life, teaching me his ways of wisdom. The beautiful Saraswati teaches me to be conscious in my choice of words and always be kind in thought and verb.

The tree of life carving teaches me to believe in the blooming of the love and life as we go through hardships and strained meditation room guides me with all its energies and helps my consciousness expand and merge with cosmic divinity. Hanuman and Shiva, both the same or different? The manifest and the unmanifest. Get a step closer to understanding the mystery of …

Read more