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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

More is Possible

Only a great shock will penetrate the level of our being. Self Observation, Red Hawk

It's been a tough month at JDC and it has been a glorious month at JDC. The beauty of seeing the kids once a week for 2 1/2 years has been a joy and seeing the kids return has been the thorn. Each of the kids at JDC are really amazing, and vibrant, they live a life that they cannot see how amazing they are, they live under the blanket of regret, guilt, and calousness. It seems harsh but this summer in particular, there has been a strong "return to jail" crusade among the kids. Each week I say good-bye to one or two kids and they promise to never return, "You'll see me on the outs" they say; and two months later they return to JDC, a little more broken than before. It becomes easier to return to jail, what they know, for some to return "home".

Maybe their great shock is leaving, maybe that is what penetrates them and leaves them feeling alone and afraid, in turn subconciouslly returning to JDC where they know the routine, where they feel they have "family" in the guards. One of the guards explained to me that one of the long time kids, who had been in JDC about 8 months, calls every night at 10:00pm just to see who is working, and how they are doing-- the connection to the facility of JDC is stronger than the connection to staying on the outs--- that is fascinating.

Red Hawk describes "habits are a loop", when I read this to the boys class they resonated with it clearly. One boy said, "Jen, my thoughts are my habits, I cannot think of one good thing until you have us sit-- and in that moment, my thinking stops, and for the first time I breathe." WOW, that is true, I understand that of my JDC friend, we juggle all day thoughts, feelings, words, actions, committments, and on the mat, it's just us with our Sadhana-- moving our body, breathing, and yet the identification with the tape loop slows down. I also read, If you see it you don't have to be it- the boys looked at me like I have 5 heads-- they told me I was crazy and that I don't understand their life, and they are right I don't but I resonate with the idea that we all have a loop, and if we don't identify with it, it cannot take hold and in that moment we are in control of our thoughts, feelings and actions. And in that moment maybe there is the great shock-- we can stop the tape, we can control how we are everyday and we are in control of our reactions to things so that when we have a moment to receive a teaching we are ready. More is possible for the kids, and I'm honored to be along for their ride-- maybe my friend Eli can hold them dear as they move onto the "big" jail, as he has mentioned he'd like to teach there......

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