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Ratna Foundation is dedicated to cultivating the fundamental sanity and dignity in individuals and in society at large. We help heal, strengthen, and empower individuals so that they can benefit themselves and others. Through generosity, we can foster environments that encourage humanity, dignity, compassion, and wisdom.
Ratna Peace Initiative has served the spiritual needs of several thousand inmates in our 18 years of working in prisons. There are vast numbers of people being incarcerated with draconian sentences for even non-violent crimes. Tens of thousands of America's incarcerated are held in solitary confinement, locked in concrete cells without sunlight or human contact for us to 23 hours per day. We feel very strongly that these individuals, even though they are spread out -- and often isolated -- across the United States, have an especially urgent need to have personal relationships with teachers and meditation instructors. We have developed, and continue to pursue a program model that provides personalized instruction and correspondence to each inmate student, and we pay special attention to those who are locked in solitary confinement.
Veterans Peace of Mind: In addition to our prison work, for the past 4 years, we have been teaching secular mindfulness practices to Veterans suffering from post traumatic stress, including a project combining mindfulness with equine-assisted psychotherapy, known as The Fearless Victory Project. The vets who have maintained a regular mindfulness practice have found it to be life changing. Last August, we held our first annual Veterans Retreat at Shambhala Mountain Center.
Incarcerated Veterans: We have visited three prisons to teach secular mindfulness to incarcerated veterans, and have discovered that there is a tremendous need for assistance among this population. It appears that we have come full circle in our prison work. There is a great deal of science which has increasingly demonstrated the benefits of mindfulness in mitigating stress. (For those of our donors who may be interested, we have attached some information on scientific findings in relationship to mindfulness practices.)
- Margot Neuman
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