04/30/2015 09:28 pm ET Updated May 01, 2015

This Foundation Is Using Meditation To Bring Baltimore Together Amid Riots

For the past 13 years, the Holistic Life Foundation has focused on bringing mindfulness meditation and self-regulation techniques to their headquarters in Baltimore and beyond. As this week's riots hit extremely close to home, the team behind the organization stepped up to help bring peace, love and compassion back to their community.

Members from the organization joined HuffPost Live host Alyona Minkovski to discuss their efforts, as well as what's been happening behind the scenes in Baltimore this week that most news outlets aren't covering.

"Baltimore is a really segregated city, and it's horrible that this chaos had to happen to bring all these different communities together, but I think something beautiful can come out of this and we're seeing it through the citizens of Baltimore coming together from all demographics," said Atman Smith, one of the founders of HLF. "Hopefully this will be a building block and we'll be able to continue to grow together as one community."

HLF plans to host a mass meditation meeting for the greater Baltimore community on Saturday, May 2, in the space where the riots earlier this week took place. It's the same area where they also happen to run their after-school program for children. Andres Gonzalez, another HLF founder, said it's at times like these -- when emotions are running high -- that mindfulness, meditation and compassion can do their best work.

"I think it's extremely important right now," he said. "The aftermath is what's really going to hit these kids soon. They're already talking about it in their schools, in their programs and the impact that it made. You can see their empathy and compassion growing... I think at this time, they're going to need it more than they ever needed it -- to go inward and find that place of inner peace away from all the atrocities that are going in their immediate vicinity right outside their windows."

Watch the HuffPost Live clip above to hear more from the conversation.



Baltimore Protest April 29, 2015