21 Week Solitary Experience – The experience of a fairly new mindfulness practitioner:
“I was transferred after nearly twenty-one weeks of confinement at Gulf CI and I am stronger for it than I could’ve thought at first. Their torments only gave chances to practice my control, in which I found much peace, even when alone after awhile. I learned to meditate after — and through — mental and physical traumas and provocations. These are phases I was hard-pressed to even believe possible in my past. Paranoia can be released, and even seen as just another form of delusion of mind. And with a bit of contemplation as to the ‘whys,’ it can be overcome by a resounding peace.
“I feared at one point to be assaulted and sprayed again by officers for yet another false reason, and so would stress in my meditations until I was unable to get any silence at all. But after the realization that my own perception of past events had expanded my view, followed by the trauma of my emotions, I was able to face those ‘demons’ with a sense of peace I’d begun to lack in recent months. I paced my cell at points, awaiting the next ‘visit’ by the Warden or one of his Captains. Until I realized that I was creating my own punishment, and that was what they all wanted. Then through my own practice of mindfulness, I removed my fear and took control again. And then I was unshaken — even if on occasion angry at circumstances — by anything or anyone I faced.
“I recently read in Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning, a quote by Nietzsche: ‘He who has a “Why” to live for can bear almost any “How.”’ And it is very true. At the same time though, that man can choose not to let external influences determine his reactions. Meditative practice offered me this after I remembered that I choose my path by my reactions to what I face.”
– Nathan S.