Gary Meltzer
Meditation Instructor/Prison Volunteer


In 2004 I attended a MBSR Program which began my journey in the Mindfulness Community. That was followed by a committed daily practice of Meditation and Yoga, which I maintain today. To advance my practice and understanding I have continued to attend day long, weekend, and weeklong silent retreats, workshops, and lectures as well as on-line programs, and have been a regular participant in the Guelph Buddhist Meditation Group since 2005. I have hosted days of mindfulness, weekend retreats, co-facilitated and facilitated groups in mindfulness and presented workshops or talks for small groups which I participate in. In 2008, I was asked if I would like to become a volunteer for “Freeing the Human Spirit” at Grand Valley Institution (a woman’s prison in Kitchener, On). FTHS, founded by Order of Canada recipient, Sister Elaine MacInnes, brings Yoga and Meditation to inmates in numerous prisons across Canada. I did an orientation with FTHS, had a police check, a volunteer orientation with GVI, and began introducing the Meditation portion of the program. In 2013, I also began volunteering in the Ontario Correctional Institution (in Brampton, On), a provincial treatment centre for male prisoners. The following year I began participating with the One-on-One Program there where you meet with inmates weekly for one hour. Through participating in the prison programs for nearly a decade, I have been able to introduce mindfulness practices to the men and woman, but perhaps more importantly, I have seen how they have informed and advanced my own practice while observing the results firsthand.

Presenting Breakout Session: The Path of Service: Mindfulness in Prison

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