By Jack Murta
I have worked for about 6 years with a group of men who are homeless at an organization called The Ottawa Mission. I am presently on the board and have served as President of the board and recently filled in as Chaplin for 5 months. The organization serves approx. 1300 meals a day, every day of the year and sleeps about 300 per night.
I normally meditate with 10 men that are in a program called the “LifeHouse”. This is a recovery program that lasts from 1-3 months. These are individuals that have gone through the various addictions recovery programs and are slowly getting ready to enter back into society.
We do not do strictly a Christian meditation session but a cross between Christian meditation and mindfulness and we do it for between 12-15 minutes per week. Most of the men meditate to their higher power—”whoever that may be”. Those that do not profess to have any faith meditate to their breathing. I believe that part of the benefit is the lively discussion on meditation we have before and after each session.
I must say that the majority of the men I meet have an extraordinary faith.
The men all seem to be very receptive to meditation. I have spoken with those I meet much later and they tell me that they still meditate a few times a week.