Mediative therapy for former parolees

Mediative therapy for former parolees
Chelsea Cooper

At-risk men and women were serenaded with meditative singing at the Stay’n Out Foundation in Bedford-Stuyvesant on Dec. 16.

Dozens of men and women, who are former parolees or homeless, attended a feel good session to relieve the stresses of life, and learn some breathing techniques. Guests enjoyed the session so much, they felt emotional, said meditator.

“They showed incredible humility — you could see it in their eyes. You could see it in their minds they felt better,” said Michel Pascal, French-born singer and mediator.

“After the show a lot of people took the time to talk to me and invite me to eat with them.”

With 15 years of experience as a meditator, Pascal’s meditative methods include singing and teaching breathing skills with visualization — where he makes people imagine an object or a thing, and pace their breathing around it. He says his techniques are not complicated, but intense enough to encourage a challenge so people can see quick results.

“My way of meditation is very simple, but simple doesn’t mean simplistic because it’s deep at the same time,” he said. “It must be concrete for me because they will feel better immediately.”

Stay’n Out Foundation is a local organization which provides therapy to assists adults who have been to prison on changing their lifestyles to combat recidivism. Pascal said he chooses to target these groups because often these services are not availabe to at-risk men and women for free, and he enjoys the sincerity of the feedback he receives.

“The experience I share with them is my highest — my highest spiritual experience is when I am with these people because they have nothing but essential, they have determination,” said Pascal. “This is why I want to break the rules — because when we teach free, I teach many and more people that they have hope.”

Pascal wants to expand his services to people who need it the most, but also encourages mediation in everyone.

“I am trying to start a new revolution,” he said. “People have too much stress — we should be mediating in the car, the workplace, a coffee shop, any place. Meditation is needed for daily stress.”

Reach reporter Alexandra Simon at (718) 260–8310 or e-mail her at asimo[email protected]