top of page
Search

Compassionate Listening Behind Bars

By Andrea Cohen, Senior CL Facilitator


Rolling up to the barbed wire fence of the Washington Corrections Facility for Women, I prepare myself for teaching some of the institution’s residents the practices of Compassionate Listening. It’s part of a program designed to help them “turn around” conflict in their lives.


With all of my jewelry, money and identifying information left behind, other than the driver’s license which I’m required to give the guard for safe-keeping, I’m ready to meet the women who have voluntarily signed up for the workshop. After going through multiple levels of security and passing a number of residents clothed in loose gray sweats along the way, my colleagues and I finally arrive at the education building where approximately fifteen women are waiting for us. I know nothing about the people present – what they’re in for, how long they’ve been there, who is a wife or a mother, and whether there are some who might be there for the rest of their lives. What I see before me is a very diverse group of women curious about what we have to offer and perhaps wondering why we’ve traveled so far to offer it.


After introductions, we do a brief centering and exploration of what it means to be fully present with our hearts – from that special place of beauty that lives within each of us at the core of our being. And then we do listening exercises. The women experience what it’s like to be listened to without judgment, interruption or fixing. They practice reflecting back the facts, feelings and values contained in each other’s stories. They laugh, they cry and they’re grateful. They’d like us to return, and we do. A few sessions later, I gift them with a copy of Practicing the Art of Compassionate Listening, which they excitedly read portions of to each other - clearly “getting” the power of our work and wanting more.


This is just the beginning of my story about teaching Compassionate Listening to women behind bars. A number of my fellow CL colleagues on both coasts have been doing similar work with incarcerated men and women in their communities. Why do we keep going back? Because we have something important to share – skills and practices that can make a difference in the residents’ relationships with themselves, their families and the people they interact with “on the inside.” By what stroke of fortune, circumstances of birth and personal choices made am I not the one living behind barbed wire? What are these women there to teach me – about courage, patience and commitment to growth?


Without regard to how we’ve each arrived at this moment, now is the time when, perhaps together, we can help heal our world...from the inside out. A lofty goal that truly begins one heart at a time.


212 views3 comments

3 Comments


The regular season is over and many Oklahoma State commits will compete for state titles while a few will turn their attention to Stillwater with their HS playing days behind them https://www.whoutletstore.com/Kevin_Thomson_Jersey-71. I'm convinced that the saying "it's the most wonderful time of the year" actually refers to high school football playoffs. Oklahoma may only have three rounds, but the Texas HS football playoffs are six rounds, culminating the weekend before Christmas every year. Check out last weeks' results and the path ahead for our playoff-bound future Cowboys.Garret Rangel, QuarterbackFrisco Lone Star saved the toughest for last. The Rangers capped off the regular season with an 8-2 record following a 7-6 loss to district rival and defending 5A-I state…

Like

With questions surrounding Mike Gundy, Kasey Dunn and the Cowboy offense after the past three games, the Cowboys started the first half off with a bang. Scoring 24 of the Cowboys 31 points in the game. The Cowboys did not score in the second half for the second straight week but still covered against the Wildcats from Little Manhattan, 31-20. Spencer Sanders played his best game of the year thus far Tavien Woodworth Jersey. Throwing 34 times and completing 22 passes for 344 yards and two touchdowns. Additionally, Sanders ran for one touchdown to go with 18 rushing yards. But it wasn't just Sanders on the offensive end. Jaylen Warren had another solid game after his monster outing …

Like

So gewinnen Sie den Hauptpreis im Ras Legend-Spielautomaten: Lesen Sie 5 Tipps unter https://mr.bet/at/game/view/demo/ras-legend. Die hilfreichsten Ideen für Spieler werden in den mr bet Guides geteilt. Lesen Sie sie, verwenden Sie sie ohne Einschränkungen und verdienen Sie Geld, um sie nach Belieben auszugeben.


Like
bottom of page