What is Prison Contemplative Fellowship?
Prison Contemplative Fellowship (PCF) is an association of volunteers, prison chaplains, prisoners, and former prisoners, who practice a form of silent meditation called Centering Prayer. This prayer practice was well-known in the early church, then lost for centuries, and now is emerging as a powerful tool for personal transformation.
We provide guidance and materials to individuals and groups who wish to do this prayer practice in prisons and jails, regardless of any denomination preference or religious orientation. When asked, we send books and pamphlets, in English and Spanish, free of charge to volunteers and prison chaplains to support their efforts to help prisoners maintain a contemplative prayer practice.
Through an association with the Human Kindness Foundation, an organization that has sent religious and spiritual materials to prisoners for over 30 years, and who is familiar with the complexities of prison regulations for mailing books to prisoners, we are able to send Centering Prayer materials directly to prisoners across the country. As of the end of September 2021, nearly 1850 prisoners in over 825 prisons, have received Finding God Within, Contemplative Prayer for Prisoners. We have also sent over 3600 books to nearly 75 volunteers going into prisons and jails.
In addition to publications, PCF has recently produced Holding Still, Centering Prayer and the Spiritual Journey, a riveting, candid, and insightful short documentary film about practicing Centering Prayer while incarcerated at Folsom Prison. The film focuses on a diverse group of men who speak candidly about their years-long journey practicing Centering Prayer while serving time at Folsom Prison. The film’s aim is to allow prisoners to speak directly to other prisoners who are incarcerated across the country. They share their unique stories and deep wisdom about the power of Centering Prayer in healing trauma and addressing profound feelings of toxic shame.
Along with the film, PCF is developing short companion films featuring individual interviews with the men in the film; a Course of Study, and Discussion and Screening Guides for individuals and organizations who facilitate Centering Prayer in prisons, wish to introduce the practice, and/or would like to screen the documentary to their respective communities. If you are interested in knowing more, please contact us via email at [email protected].