Yesterday we had a fabulous discussion at the Socially Engaged Symposium held at the Zen Peacemaker Farm in Montague Massachusettes. Over 30 people attended the group led by Fleet Maull & Kate Crisp (from PDN) and Melody Ermachild Chavis (Death Penalty Investigator in CA). It was so great to hear and meet all the wonderful people that are doing a wide variety of prison dharma work in correctional facilities around the world from ethics to meditation to writing to death penalty to theatre groups. We had a brief but lively discussion on many topics including: the value of ‘identification’ in prison work; the need for connection among prison dharma volunteers; working with intentions for doing this type of work (including possible shadow motivations); providing programs for the whole ‘system’ of the prison industrial complex (staff, post release, etc), creating ‘gangs’ of random acts of kindness, prison abolition and other subjects.
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