LEARNING TO BREATHE IN BALTIMORE
In West Baltimore, bordered by the battered row houses and glass-filled alleys made familiar by news reports, sits a small square you wouldn’t know was there— a green haven, decorated with bright murals and mandalas. Watermelon and mint grow in garden beds and shade trees provide respite from summer heat, offering solace rarely granted in the middle of a city.
Formerly a vacant lot, “The Quiet Place” was transformed by mentors and students of The Holistic Life Foundation (HLF), a Baltimore-based non-profit that uses mindfulness meditation as an intervention in schools and community centers. In many ways, “The Quiet Place”, is just the physical manifestation of the internal peace that HLF has spread in the community over the past 20 years. This is the story of an organization, and a community, challenging the narrative of urban violence and building well-being together, one breath at a time.
Writing by Courtney Sexton