June 28, 2014

Personal Update

by Allan Lummus


Trulincs 23038076 - Lummus, Allan Craig - Unit: Bas-t-a

TO:Clf Prison Ministry, The
DATE:05/30/2014 11:49:26 AM

mp71 personal update 5.28.14

Haven't done a personal update in a while. I have been admitted into Drug and Alcohol programe (DAP) and placed on the wait list. I will take the program sometime in the future, probably in a year or so. If I complete the program I can earn 12 months off (summer of 2018 rather than summer of 2019). I will complete an additional year of post prison treatment. That would mean I am only 4 years to the door. I have completed 5 years so over half way there. Given the additional year waiting to be sentenced and the 5 years inside, I feel the coming 48 months is really rather short time.

I continue to attend the protestant (evangelical) service. There are a few other fundamentalist alternatives, but none representing a mainstream protestant point of view. I decided to drop the chapel choir, it's practice time interferes with my band rehearsal. My bass playing and singing in Reverb is providing plenty of pleasure and challenge. We are doing mostly rock and roll covers from 60s and 70s rock and roll bans (CCR, Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, Birds). Lots of fun. We have plenty of aged 50+ fans.

The biggest growth has occurred in my participation in 12 step and meditation. The structure of the 12 step program helped me to systematically take apart what elements of my past habit energies. Which were destructive, which were constructive and how to retell my story that make sense of my past.

One of the most disturbing aspects of landing in prison, is that I could not really make sense of what happened. I can remember sitting at the computer after a session, mystified about why I was obsessing in this way. I was driven to repeat the process over and over, but could not figure either how to stop or why I was repeating it. This lack of clarity stayed with me until I started attending an inmate-led 12 step group for sexual addiction (SAA). The 12 step process forced me to process through describing exactly what I experienced in relation to my compulsive activities. Exactly what needs were behind my behaviours, which were distortions of thought and how could I begin to think and act in ways that promote my healthy happiness.

Critical to helping me define what is healthy human behaviour and thought is the psychology and meditation of Buddhism. While I don't find much meaning in the metaphysical aspects of Buddhism, the practice principles of how to think about the mind and how to live in the world as it is (accepting the impermanence of things/people/feelings, the interdependence of all things/people, and the self as an aggregate of experiences, not a permanent, separate entity) gave me a language to describe not only what is true, but what is real and how to live a full, compassionate, healthy life.

Over the past year I have been working with two others helping them to move through the 12 step process. This has been critical in helping to form a concept of what role I can play (both now and in the future). I meet with them weekly and serve as a sounding board and suggest ways to strengthen their path of recovery (both psychologically and spiritually). The process has helped me clarify how to express a healthy path in how I interact with them as much as what I say. I try to "Be" more and "do" less and encourage their strengths as way for them to choose healthy behaviours as opposed to me teaching or telling. I am not nearly good enough yet, but I am loving the challenge to be an encourager rather than a teacher.

As far as what I will do when I get out, I am more and more convinced that it will include some combination of mindfulness, meditation, recovery work and transition care for those who are coming out of institutional care (recovery and prison). Now exactly how that will play out as paid work or volunteer activity will depend upon where I end up and what connections I make when I get out. I really cannot possibly predict that (something I cannot control...:). so I have been working on not constantly day dreaming about the future. I am doing better at it, but it still is a challenge. The environment encourages future daydreaming to say the least. My focus is on preparing my skills to be as free of my old habits and develop my mindfulness skills to be able to take each month as the beginning that they truly are. I have relationships that I can practice being present and freer of ego clinging. I have time to practice sitting and daily mindfulness. I can practice my recovery skills personally and develop recovery support skills in my weekly 12 step work (and later treatment program DAP). I have guys that I can work on both friendship and romantic relationship work. While I do not have access to women for relationship work, it is interesting how similar relationship issues are across genders. It helps that I like feminine men (&Trans women), they are closer to females in a lot of ways. But my primary relationships problems were more of a lack of mindful attention and clinging to fragile ego behaviour. Both issues are my primary spiritual program in the first place. So I an not really concerned about the lack of females (outside of guards) in my present environment.

Emotionally I am pretty good. I still grieve my losses and the harm I did to those who loved me. I am sure that will never leave. But the grief serves as motivation to not harm others or myself in that way again.

The bottom line is I am beginning to see some glimpses of the me I am becoming and I like what the new me feels like.

Allan Lummus #23038076 / pobox1010 bastrop, tx 96402 /betweenthebars.org /mindful prisoner


Replies (1) Replies feed

z-m Posted 9 years, 9 months ago. ✓ Mailed 9 years, 9 months ago   Favorite
Thanks for writing - I finished the transcription for your post.

Really interesting to read such a reflective piece.

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