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You are browsing all posts tagged with the topic: prison

Suvarnaprabha

May 05, 2009

Freedom on the inside

Light coming through prison windowPeople behind bars are often open to change, as Suvarnaprabha discovers when teaching prisoners to meditate.

There is a series of rituals you learn when you start going into prisons. Of course they aren’t meant to be rituals –- they’re for security, but they end up feeling like rituals, in the same way that some of us automatically bow when we enter a meditation room. You walk up to the door, push the button, turn your back to the door, the door buzzes, and you turn around, open the door and go inside. Every time you go through a door, even on the inside, you do the same thing: you push …

Sarvananda

May 04, 2009

“Razor-Wire Dharma” by Calvin Malone

Razor-Wire Dharma, by Calvin MaloneFor some inmates imprisonment offers an opportunity to reflect on the causes and conditions that have shaped their lives, and a powerful incentive to bring about personal change. Calvin Malone’s first book, Razor Wire Dharma, elegantly and powerfully outlines the challenges and rewards of practicing behind bars.

Calvin Malone began practicing meditation and Buddhism soon after he entered prison — about twenty years ago. In “Razor Wire Dharma,” he gives an account of time served, of fellow prisoners, and of his attempts to practice the Buddha’s teaching in this most challenging of environments.

And challenges Calvin Malone has encountered in plenty. In a series of short and …

Steve Bell

Mar 02, 2009

What Rikers Island taught me about meditation

Rikers IslandPrison can be a tough environment for those who work there as well as for inmates. Psychotherapist Steve Bell reflects on a few tough months spent in Rikers Island and realizes how much he learned.

For four months last year I worked with women detainees on Rikers Island in the Intense Treatment Unit, or ITU. Those four months were an adventure, but I won’t easily forget the trauma and abuse the women reported, and eventually the need to live a simpler life led me to give up working there.

The idea of the ITU was to try and apply the work of Marsha Linehan — who created Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) for people with …

Bodhipaksa

Sep 21, 2007

Authorized list of Buddhist books for prisons is short on numbers, high on repetition, and contains non-Buddhist titles

The New York Times has, from a contact in prison, managed to get hold of the lists of 150 government-approved titles for the various religious traditions.

The news for Buddhist inmates is bad. The list supplied by the NYT (PDF) lacks any serious scriptural works such as the Dhammapada, does not even come close to the touted 150 titles, contains many repeated titles, and even contains a few non-Buddhist works!

One thing to be noted is that the various Christian denominations each have their own list of titles, while all the Buddhist traditions have been lumped together. Thus there are lists for Catholics, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons,
Messianic traditions, Orthodox Christianity, and Protestants, and yet Theravadin Buddhism, Zen, Ch’an, the …

Wildmind Meditation News

Jan 01, 2004

Tibetan nun’s path to asylum hindered (Washington Post)

Washington Post Sonam always feared her devotion to Buddhism would land her behind bars in her native China. As it turns out, she is serving a long term in jail — not in East Asia but in central Virginia. The 30-year-old Buddhist nun, who grew up in a Tibetan village near the foot of Mount Everest, fled to the United States last August after family members had been tortured and friends jailed for their faith, she said. But when she arrived at Dulles International Airport and requested asylum, federal immigration officials detained her and placed her in the local jail in this small city outside Richmond.

Sonam, who is known by that one name, has been here ever …

Wildmind Meditation News

Jun 25, 2002

India’s meditative model jail

Pramod Morjaria visits Delhi’s Tihar jail, where staff and inmates have taken an holistic approach to reform and rehabilitation. Read more

Wildmind Meditation News

May 08, 2002

Thai prisoners reform through meditation

Thai authorities plan to expand a meditation course for prison inmates, after participants in a trial programme responded so positively. Read more

Wildmind Meditation News

Oct 07, 2001

Prisoners benefit from meditation

A form of meditation is being successfully used to improve the behaviour and well-being of prison inmates, says a study. Read more