Children of the Night: giving girls a safe haven – within

by Puki Freeberg on February 4, 2011

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One year ago, I arrived in Los Angeles on a bright, sunny February day with a directive from the great film director David Lynch: Teach the Transcendental Meditation/Quiet Time Program at Children of the Night—a school/shelter dedicated to assisting homeless children and teens who have been involved in prostitution.

As a recent university graduate from the cold and pretty much “out-in-middle-of-nowhere” Iowa and a newly trained teacher of the TM technique, I will admit that I was a bit nervous. I had absolutely no clue what to expect when I arrived.

In fact, prior to learning about Children of the Night, I will admit I had no real clue that the problem of child prostitution even existed on such a large scale in the United States. I think most of us don’t, and if we do, we don’t want to believe that such horrific things could happen right here in our own backyard.

When I arrived at Children of the Night, I found myself in a large room surrounded a widely diverse group of beautiful girls ranging in age from 13-17. From the start, they were quite open to the idea of meditation.

Annie was one of the first I taught to meditate. She was a tough girl, she had to be in order to survive and make it out of life on the streets alive. In the beginning she wanted to keep up her tough exterior and didn’t want to tell me that she liked meditating, but now she says, “The first time I did it, it was the most calming experience I had ever had in my whole life… TM is something that helps you with your mind, your body and your soul.”

Mary described her experience during the TM technique: “The deep silence that I have when I do TM is something I look forward to just about every day, because I don’t get that throughout the day. When I am in meditation, I just have a deep silence that I can’t replace.”

Dr. Lois Lee, the founder and president of Children of the Night said, “Transcendental Meditation has given our children a tool that they didn’t have before. Because of the abuse that they have incurred, they always react, they are never in control. Even if it’s goodness, they may push it away.  Transcendental Meditation provides a pause that allows them to stop, listen, think and then act—it gives them the opportunity to take control of their lives.”

Over the past year, I have spent almost every day with these girls, teaching them to meditate, playing softball, helping drive on their outings, listening to their stories, being a friend. I have seen first hand the strength and resilience of the human spirit as each girl blossoms to be more powerfully centered in her self and in control of her life and destiny.


Related posts:

  1. Helping ‘Children of the Night’ – Transcending a Different Type of PTSD
  2. David Lynch Foundation: Teaching meditation to at-risk girls
  3. Documentary Highlights Value of TM for Teenage Girls
  4. Effortless, Drug-Free Therapy Helps Children with Autism
  5. Laozi – “His mind becomes as vast and immeasurable as the night sky”
  • Natalie

    This is very touching. Thank you for your work with these young ladies.

  • Maia Berens

    I love those girls and that place! I taught them how to crochet a couple of times; I read them the story of abuse and healing in my own book and taught them a way to appropriately express the feelings they have about their past. I’m so glad they were taught to meditate.

  • Laurie

    Glad to hear that tm has helped these girls to overcome their horrific abusive childhood experiences. Finally they can feel safe, calm and free to expand themselves and experience some bliss in their lives.

  • Evolving Entirety

    Please continue to be friends to these very dear and lovely children and there for them in every way and for as long as you can. Give them warmest care and love and support and encourage them in every way in helping them be what they want to be.

  • Jeanne

    What a moving story, and one that I will share the women that are in recovery from addiction that I teach meditation to. Hearing how others over come abuse and hardship with the aid of the TM technique is a great reminder of how powerful it is to transcend.

  • Annette DuQuesnay

    The accomplishments of the Children of the Night school/shelter in taking these children and teens off the streets are to be lauded. These unfortunate girls felt that the only option to survive on the street was to turn to prostitution. Sadly, they were sometimes forced into it. They were victims of circumstances beyond their control. Meditation will raise their consciousness and improve their lives. Bravo for the David Lynch Foundation.

  • António Deodato Batista Milhano

    A TM veiculada pelo realizador David Lynch e outros! Julgo ser uma forma

    adequada de atingir-se a plenitude do nosso ser. Ao mesmo tempo o nosso

    conhecimento do Universo vai se ampliando! Devemos pois, por todos os

    meios, esforçarmo-nos para compreender a TM.

  • Sarah E. Brown

    Incredible work. You’re wonderful to help others find peace in the world, Puki!

  • sreejith

    t.m gives you a great feeling, happy to hear children is taking advantage of it.

  • C.Rajeev

    Jai Gurudev.

    There are millions of people in the world who do not have the knowledge for a disciplined behavior.It seems to me that academic degrees and money do not bring spiritual enlightenment in a human being. It is only by regular practice and deep involvement in Yoga and Meditation that a person becomes an enlightened one.

    I urge that it is the duty of the enlightened people to educate and tame the spiritually illiterate global population who are subjected to various immoral activities like substance abuse, and the like.

    In this age, TM and TM-SIDHIS are a gift to mankind.

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