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Lions Roar : May 2011
SHAMBHALA SUN MAY 2011 39 in three counties, and “we’re doing it with only twelve instructors, all of whom do this part time.” it takes a particular kind of person to have the credibility and dedication, Mckenna said, to work with “traumatized, treatment-resistant populations, folks who aren’t go- ing to sit still for your garden-variety meditation class.” in addition to recruitment and offering training to people like parole officers, so there is support within the justice system, a major goal for Mba is developing successful aftercare programs for kids when they return home. “in juvie, they’re in the middle of a break in the action, and we have a chance of reaching them, but we need to see them again after they’re out,” he said. “we’re doing that to a certain extent, but we need to do more. we need to get them to a retreat out in nature.” Mba has been able to start developing a model for doing longer residential retreats, because a youth correction camp in the countryside focusing on drug and alcohol rehabilitation has invited them to do a long-term program. “at camp glenwood,” Mckenna said, “we’ve had kids in silence for three or four hours at a time. a lot of awareness can come out of a space like that.” across the bay from oakland, at the university of San fran- cisco, rhonda Magee works on another aspect of the justice sys- tem. in her contemplative law class, Magee said, “we’re trying to help lawyers become the kind of ethically engaged community that the public, and the american bar association, have asked us to become.” Magee feels it’s essential that the legal profession be- come something more than a lucrative dispute-resolution indus- try. She wants to train citizen lawyers who see themselves serving justice as much as law. Magee tries to find ways to bring her work outside the walls of the law school and into disadvantaged communities. for one thing, she would like to see more lawyers coming out of these communities. She also has begun to investigate compassion- ate politics, starting with a workshop run by oakland activists. “how do you advocate on an issue as polarizing as tax reform,” she asked, “and keep the dialogue civil and help people to under- stand how we are all interconnected, that we can’t keep margin- alizing certain groups?” Above: Mind Body Awareness instructors Vinny Ferraro and Sam Himelstein teaching at Hillcrest Juvenile Hall in San Mateo County, California. Right: Ferraro at a workshop to develop a mindfulness curriculum for at-risk youth in Oakland. Photo:chriStakaufMannPhoto:iSaiahSeret