New York

The Buddhist Association of the United States Prison Program provides free books and, when available, tapes about Buddhism to prisoners who request them and answers questions they may have about Buddhism or Buddhist practice. If the prison Chaplain is willing to be the recipient, a carton of books on Buddhism can be sent to them for the prison library.

BAUS serves hundreds of prisons in the U.S. with their book program.

Rev. Richard Baksa

The Interfaith Coalition of Advocates for Reentry and Employment (ICARE) “Circles of Care” ministry program assists communities of faith in developing supportive relationships with incarcerated and formerly incarcerated men and women.

In collaboration with chaplains of New York State Correctional Facilities, ICARE connects people in prison with a “Circle of Care”: three or four members of a congregation who commit to encouraging an individual through letter writing, and to supporting him/her upon release from prison.

During our program, we teach yoga and mindfulness meditation practices. Studies have shown both practices reduce stress, reactivity, increase resilience, help manage anger, teach self responsibility, create a positive outlook on life, and in the case of those formerly incarcerated, these practices have been shown to reduce recidivism.

Peter Oppermann

Lalitamba Mandiram offers outreach programs in places where people are in transition, searching for a way back to the heart. Our workshops have served thousands in hospitals, shelters, prisons, and spiritual centers of various faiths. Yoga, meditation, and sacred music are universal ways to rediscover ourselves.

The temple is affiliated with the URI-UN Council and the Buddhist Peace Fellowship. Our offerings are inspired by the selfless example and unconditional love of Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi.

Siddha Yoga Meditation Study Courses

The teachings and practices of Siddha Yoga are brought to incarcerated men and
women through the Siddha Yoga Meditation Study Courses. The 17 year long Course
lessons describe in simple, down-to-earth language the timeless, transformative wisdom
of yoga. Lessons are received monthly and are free of charge to all who are
incarcerated. They are available in Spanish translation on request. Persons of all
spiritual and religious persuasions are invited to participate. Nearly 5000 inmates are
enrolled in the Courses in over 900 prisons in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Italy, the U.K.,
and Australia.
Interested inmates can enroll in the Courses by writing to: Prison Project, PO Box
99140, Emeryville, CA 94662. The Prison Project web page is at:

Murali Pacini

The Lineage Project is one of the nation’s leading non-profit organizations providing alternative tools for physical, emotional and mental wellness to at-risk and incarcerated youth ages 10 to 21. Through the teaching of yoga and meditation to over 600 of these youth annually throughout New York City we provide a unique forum to cultivate resiliency and positive youth development, providing tools that can transform young lives.

Beth Navon, Director

The Village Zendo is a Zen community in the heart of downtown Manhattan. Serving as a sanctuary in this busy world, we offer meditation, services, retreats, workshops and study groups. Participation is open to all.

Meditation program at Sing Sing.  We do a 1.5-hour meditation program
and service there each Sunday.

A Jesse Jiryu Davis

Working under the name of the National Buddhist Prison Sangha (NBPS), activities include weekly or monthly visits to NY prisons by senior ZMM monastic and lay students who lead group practice in meditation, liturgy, talks on Zen practice, and periodic intensive meditation retreats. Volunteers also maintain regular correspondence with incarcerated men and women from around the country offering guidance in Buddhist meditation and practice and sending supporting materials.

Zen Mountain Monastery’s prison program began in 1984 after a court battle allowing the program to become the first Zen practice group in NY State Correctional Facilities. The National Buddhist Prison Sangha’s Practice Advisors offer support and guidance to people who practice Zen Buddhism in prison. We visit several NY State prisons, and correspond with hundreds of people in prisons throughout the country. We also have training manuals, which reflect the training in the Mountains and Rivers Order, and introduce the basic practices of Zen Buddhism.

Prisons Served: Green Haven, Woodbourne, Shawangunk, Wallkill, Elmira, Wende, and Arthur Kill

Mailing address:
Zen Mountain Monastery, NBPS
P.O. Box 197, Mt. Tremper, NY 12457

Geoffrey Shugen Arnold Sensei, Director

The Zen Den is owned by two Long Island school teachers who decided their mission was to spread as much loving-kindness as possible by teaching children, youth and adults how to meditate. Michelle and Kristen write all their meditations and they travel to the different locations who request their workshops.  They bring everything needed for meditation, therefore bringing a zen den with them.  Their love and dedication to teaching, people and meditation is what has allowed them the opportunity to be the holistic meditation coaches they are grateful being.

Contact: [email protected]

Michelle and Kristen
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