Thanksgiving in Prison (A Letter of Thanks from SCI Graterford)

Updated: Jan 21, 2020

This blog post was originally posted on Transformation Yoga Project's blog on November 18, 2016.


(Note this is a letter received from Steve, one of our teacher training students)

Greetings to my Transformation Yoga Family,

Before the commercialized holiday of Thanksgiving our ancestors celebrated harvest festivals. It was a time to thank their God(s) and be mindful of the blessings that their hard work has brought forth. Most of the food that they would need for the coming winter has been put up and a portion shared for this special day of thanks.

On Thanksgiving Day most of us will sit down to a nice meal without one thing on the table having been grown by us. Yet, we will say grace being thankful for the food before us and appreciating the many gifts shared with loved ones who are physically present or present in spirit. We may bring to mind all those who labored to bring the gifts before us: farmers, truck drivers, packers, etc.

This year, I ask that you extend the mindful practice to the many generations that came before us. The hardships that they endured and the work they did so their family could make it through the winter. Sometimes we get lost in our comfort that we forget that life is still a struggle.

When we stop and take that cleansing breath we can see that every moment is a true celebration of life. Even here in prison we are grateful for the community and fellowship of those who serve us. We try to pay it forward by serving those around us. We are grateful for those who acknowledge and give us a forum and listen to our voice. We are thankful for the giving of your time, energy and non-judgmental faith in our spirit.

It is with this deep sense of appreciation that I want to send my love and gratitude to Brianne, Colleen, Frank, Jim, Joe, Rob, Mike and all the great people who support this work.

May you and your family have a very Happy Thanksgiving!


This blog post was originally featured on Transformation Yoga Project's website. To learn more about the organization, go to

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