Gary Meltzer
Meditation Instructor/Prison Volunteer

In 2004, Gary attended a MBSR Program which began his journey in the Mindfulness Community. That was followed by a committed daily practice of Meditation and Yoga, which he maintains today. To advance his practice and understanding, Gary has 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. Gary has hosted days of mindfulness, weekend retreats, co-facilitated and facilitated groups in mindfulness and presented workshops or talks for small groups which he participates in.

In 2008, Gary was asked if he would be interested in volunteering for “Freeing the Human Spirit” (FTHS) 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. Gary 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, Gary also began volunteering in the Ontario Correctional Institution (in Brampton, On), a provincial treatment centre for male prisoners. The following year, he began participating with the One-on-One Program there where he got to meet with inmates weekly for one hour. Through participating in the prison programs for nearly a decade, Gary has been able to introduce mindfulness practices to the men and women, but perhaps more importantly, he has seen how they have informed and advanced his own practice while observing the results firsthand.

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

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