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An Alternative Sentencing Program
utilizing the Transcendental Stress Managementģ  program for Rehabilitation and Criminal Justice Reform

 

 

Experiences of Graduates of TESP, 2006

 

Joe M.

Dear Honorable Judge Van Amburg:

First off, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to be in the TSM program.  It has become a big part of my daily life.  It has brought a lot of peace to my life. Before TSM I was a very nervous person, never happy and always angry. But since TSM, itís like a light has been turned on. Iím always happy.  No matter what kind of a day it is outside, itís like itís always sunny and bright.  My nervousness is gone and people at my job tell me that Iím a better person to be around.  Iím a harder worker and never complain about any task Iím given. Iím always willing to help customers with a smile, which isnít easy to do day in and day out, but it is now, since TSM.


Since TSM, I exercise more, lift weights and run on a treadmill.  Plus I eat much better food.  No junk food. And Iím looking into more yoga classes because that too has helped to make me feel much better about myself.


My P.O. [probation officer] even said that I seem like a different person, since TSM.  Iím getting all of my stipulations done. I paid all my court costs and I finished my outpatient treatment and am now in the after care part of it. I have been more active in class and seem to be getting more out of it and understand It more.  Even at my AA meeting I talk more and got a sponsor and help out by making coffee, setting up chairs and anything else that I can do to help.  Around the house I do more chores and donít complain. Iím getting more done around the house. I sleep better and have more energy throughout the day.


There are many benefits to TSM, but I think the biggest is the fact that for the first time in my life l really care what people think of me.  It has made me want to try to be a better person in all parts of my life.


I work at Schnucks supermarket and I have always been afraid of working on the cash registers and I have put off learning to be a checker by using every excuse in the book.  But, now since TSM I am learning to work the cash registers and it is one more way that I can be productive at work. I even look forward to doing it. And I never thought I would say that, but itís true.


So in closing, I would just like to thank you again for the opportunity to be a part of the TSM class.

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John F.

Dear Honorable Judge Mason,
 

TESP stress management has really helped me improve myself in many ways.  Before I started this program, I was under a lot of stress and I wasnít sure of how to cope with situations in a healthy positive manner. Health wise I havenít been going to the doctor about my asthma as much as I was, I am only going once a month now.  I am also sleeping better because I am not going to bed with anger and pressure on my mind. Relationship wise I am talking things over with my girlfriend better.  I am not holding things in anymore.  I am addressing issues as soon as they arise.
 

At work I am working better with co-workers and I am keeping a more positive attitude.  My attitude is better all the way around because I am happy and I feel good about myself.  I have a strong desire to improve the quality of my life and I feel good about it.  I am going back into my religious studies that I shamefully had been neglecting.  That also helps me and gives me a more positive outlook on life.
 

As far as drug abuse, that is the farthest thing from my mind. And with Godís strength and the exercises Iíve learned in class, I wonít be going down that path. This class has helped me a lot and I would refer anyone that needs help with stress take it.

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Larry W.

Honorable Judge:

... Once I got into the program, and listened to what Mr. Farrokh had to say, I later learned it could be useful.  I was looking forward to my next session.

Just after a few meetings with the class I started to feel a change.  I was more peaceful and calm with myself.  I am able to think before I react to a situation or problem. 

For example, one Thursday night after class, I was walking to the metro link on my way home.  When I saw the metro link coming.  My first thought was to run and hop on the metro link.  Then I began to think, if I get on the train, I may get a ticket because I didnít purchase a ticket.  So I decided to wait for the next train, and buy myself a ticket.  Normally, I would have just got on the train. And if I was to get caught, I would have gotten mad or started to curse.  But I feel more calm and peaceful with myself from attending my TSM class.

This incident made me realize my meditation was working.  It had opened my mind a lot more than what it had been.  Before I started TSM my way of thinking was just actions.  (Just do it)  Now I think about the consequences of my actions.  Back in the day when I didnít care about anyone but myself.  Now that I am wiser and confident with myself, I can love and respect my family.  My children and I have a better relationship with each other, because when I was out in the streets, I didnít have time to be a daddy.

 So, I feel that TSM is a wonderful program.  And if a lot more people attended the classes, there might be less people in jail. So, I am thankful to you for allowing me to attend this program.

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Stephen K.

Honorable Judge Mason,

Before meditation classes, I walked St. Louis with a lot of anger for many reasons.  Not knowing who my father is but knowing he is alive, police brutality, discrimination for jobs, racism in school, you know the life of a black youth in America.  But, itís true what doesnít kill you, makes you stronger.  Iíve come to realize who I am and understand my self worth and responsibilities as a man.  It wasnít me being free cased that angered me, that happens all the time.  Part of my anger focused on the same people that saw me that day and knew me for decades, saw the cops let a suspect run away, and heard Officer H. say that he would spread the dope around.  No one came to court to testify for me.  I saw how people will sit on the truth just to save their own hide.  I learned that love, trust and honesty are not just words, itís an action that must be proven.  Also to love God, my children, family and proven friends, including myself.

Before meditation, it was hard balancing all my talents, my job, and my family.  It was just too much trouble and stress outside my door waiting for me.  This class is helping me structure my life how I know it can be.  To relax, concentrate at the most pressured times, and make it through.  I even pray more clearly, understanding to pray for the world.  We are all stressed at some time.  Speaking of sitting on the truth, youíre right, they would rather build more jails than use a sports arena or stadium to teach the masses about Transcendental Stress Management.  I no longer hold a grudge against Officer H., I am stronger and more aware of life today.  Thank you Judge Mason for another chance in society.

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William B.

...My probation officer was giving me the blues.  It was like they wanted me to fail, and returned back to prison.  But I wasnít going to let them win.  I screwed up with my family, and I couldnít get any help from them.  So what happens?   You end up going back to what you know.  But I knew that the devil was going to try to pull me down.

My health was starting to affect me.  My blood pressure was climbing up and talk about headache, I had them...  But after attending the [TSM] program for several weeks, it became very interesting, and I was eager to get all I could from it.  I noticed that my outlook on life was different and I didnít have those severe headaches I was having.  I had my blood pressure taken and it dropped tremendously and that was truly a blessing.

My life became more manageable, and for once, I was stress free. So today I have a relationship with my family, and Iím able to communicate with my woman without becoming violent.  I learn how to love myself and to respect others. It stillís a long journey to go. But I would recommend this program to those who have anger problems, and to all addicted.  This should be stipulated in everyone who is incarcerated and those being released.

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Excerpts from Essays

And if a lot more people attended the classes, there might be less people in jail.

Larry W.

_____________

 

Just after a few meetings with the class I started to feel a change.  I was more peaceful and calm with myself.  I am able to think before I react to a situation or problem. 

Larry W.

_____________

Before TSM I was a very nervous person, never happy and always angry. But since TSM, itís like a light has been turned on. Iím always happy. 

Joe M.

_____________

Before meditation, it was hard balancing all my talents, my job, and my family.  It was just too much trouble and stress outside my door waiting for me.  This class is helping me structure my life how I know it can be.

Stephen K.

_____________

But I would recommend this [TSM] program to those who have anger problems, and to all addicted.  This should be stipulated in everyone who is incarcerated and those being released.

William B.

_____________

 

 


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The Enlightened Sentencing Project is a 501 (c) 3 organization and is not affiliated with the national Transcendental Meditation organization. Transcendental Stress Managementģ is the registered trademark of Farrokh and Ruffina F. Anklesaria.  Copyright 2004, The Enlightened Sentencing Project.  Revised 11/07