The spirit of Lioness is strong and beautiful. I can well imagine how deeply her story can touch, reach and heal.
-Jack Kornfield, Author, Buddhist Teacher
The Lioness Tale was written after a decade of deep listening to incarcerated women. It was created as a tool to engage them in the process of looking at their life story in a way that opens up new possibilities for insight and growth. It is an allegorical telling of their heart-rending biographies of abuse, neglect and imprisonment. The story joins their yearning for freedom and healing to the universal longing for liberation that is a part of our common human story. It points us all to the essential wholeness that both holds our brokenness and transcends it.
The lioness of our tale is captured in her youth and grows up in captivity. This experience shapes her sense of identity, her possibilities for the future (or lack thereof), and obstructs the essence of who she is. A panther imprisoned with the lioness breaks through the hard exterior she has built and shows her love, compassion and ways to connect to her true self despite the control that the captors have over their daily lives. Readers are led to examine their own life stories, the essential wounds underlying their own personality and to discover resources within themselves for healing and transformation. The lessons in this story are potentially life altering for any of us, and are that much more relevant and urgent for those of us who are literally imprisoned.
The Lioness Tale Prison Project is based on and built around this book. Story telling is a way for a community to share its wisdom. The women participating in the program have been amazed at how truly it reflects their story of incarceration and inner imprisonment. But it also gives them something else – hope in their own personal transformation. This book, and the project for which is serves as a foundation, are about assisting women in becoming receptive to, and sharing resources that allow them to participate in, their own transformative process.