About three dozen men file in to a drafty room, quickly taking seats in wooden pews.
A chaplain, dressed in a flowing brown robe and a gold sash, draws their attention from the front.
He begins teaching them how to breathe, focus and empty their minds.
He begins to meditate and the room falls silent.
They lower their eyes with the chaplain.
Like his their heads are shaven, though not because they are Buddhists or men of any particular faith, but because they are inmates of the notorious Men's Central Jail in downtown LA.
At first meditation can seem like a paradoxical thing for violent offenders to engage in, but when understood it is, in fact, an ideal match.
And not just for prisoners too; this ancient self help course can, in fact, benefit anyone experiencing agitation and suffering.
The Men's Central Jail meditation course, run by volunteers, is one of several examples of prison based meditation classes.
Like the others it is well attended by inmates and several examples of how it has helped prisoners with their anger and behavior have already begun flowing out.
"It's a way to go beyond these bars" and the constant agitation of prison life, says Joshua Silva, 25, who has been incarcerated since last year for robbery.
Meditation is not meant to help us deny the pains and stresses of life.
It is, instead, all about earnestly immersing ourselves into them.
The real place where our pain burden sits is within our body.
By sitting still and just being with it, we allow it to roam free within ourselves.
The anger or aggression that prison inmates, or any of the rest of us for that matter, feels no longer needs to oscillate between forced suppression and explosive eruptions, but instead it can float untied within us as we give it the time and space it needs to work itself through.
Meditation is my ultimate self help course.
When I do it, all sorts of emotions and feelings arise that have been down there for anything from days to years.
If I did not meditate and feel them within, no doubt, through some - largely unconscious - route or other, I would have pushed them out into the world, and so inevitably added to my own pain and that of others.
Meditation is about being the inner observer - watching what is inside and not judging it.
Through it we will slowly gain an acceptance of who we are and that, by definition, will make life better each day.
If it can work for the inmates of an infamous LA jail, it can work for you too.