Damien Echols writes in an article published in Salon today that his meditation practice kept him sane in prison and was, though he didn’t know it, preparing him for his life after Death Row (“sometimes I thought I was just getting ready to die,” he writes).

In his new life, Echols, who lives with his wife, Lorri, in Salem, Mass., is teaching the practice of meditation.


Here I sit writing this in my new office in Salem, Mass. My home. I’ve christened this place, my work area, the Hermetic Reiki Center. And in this place I teach people the things I learned that helped me to survive the brutality of death row. This is my passion. It’s also where I am truly myself, no longer one of the “West Memphis 3″ or “Inmate SK-931.

Echols said he’s not teaching meditation as a religious practice but a scientific method of physical and mental healing. According to his website, sessions with Echols go for $130 an hour. Crystals and T-shirts are available through the Hermetic Reiki center as well. Who would have pictured this future for Echols a couple of years ago?