Unprocessed Grief and Loss: A Deep Dive into the Shadows of Pain in our Prajna Series

With our fourth and final session ahead, it feels imperative to look back at our last few gatherings, where we had the profound honor of diving deep into the realms of unprocessed grief and loss. The theme resonates with many, often lurking in the shadows, waiting to be acknowledged and addressed.

Key Themes for Prajna Season 3:

  • Personal Grief: Each of us carries the weight of our own sorrows. And as we dive deeper into our roles as caregivers, teachers, or guides, the question lingers – can we continuously bear witness to the trauma around us without being consumed by the overwhelming injustices?
  • Witnessing Others’ Grief: The inevitable mortality faced by individuals on Death Row brings forth a unique kind of grief – one that’s both poignant and profound.
  • The Grief Embedded in the System: The systemic grief faced by incarcerated individuals on their healing journey is immeasurable. The pain of being denied parole repeatedly, losing loved ones while incarcerated, and the lack of ceremonies or rituals to process such losses further amplifies their anguish.

Practices That Heal:

To cope, several practices have emerged as balms for these wounds:

  • Breathing exercises: A simple yet profound tool that offers solace.
  • Cyclic breathing practices, often referred to as the ‘grief release valve’, help in channeling the pain. Providing relief from neural pathways and transitioning from the stagnation of grief to the fluidity of mourning.

Our Hosts and Guests:

  • Rev. Susan Shannon: With her vast experience, including a Masters in Divinity, Susan serves as the Buddhist Chaplain on Death Row at San Quentin State Prison in California. Her work, Buddhist Prison Ministry, showcases her immense passion for service. Learn more about Susan Shannon.
  • James Fox: A dedicated yogi and founder of the Prison Yoga Project, James has devoted his life to weaving trauma-informed yoga into the fabric of correctional facilities. His work resonates not just in the U.S., but also internationally in Mexico, Europe, UK, France, Australia and beyond.

Our Prajna series is one of the benefits to being a facilitator with Prison Yoga Project or joining our Community Website as a paying member. This an opportunity to directly support Prison Yoga Project.

You can view all recordings of Prajna here: https://community.prisonyoga.org/video-category/prajna-series/

You can sign up for our Community Site here: https://community.prisonyoga.org/plans/membership/

You can join us for our next session of Prajna on October 20 here: https://community.prisonyoga.org/event/prajna-series-with-special-guest-san-quentins-death-row-buddhist-chaplain-susan-shannon-session-4/