Angulimala Buddhist Chaplaincy serves those not served elsewise; primarily veterans, prisoners, ex-convicts, homeless. I am the volunteer Buddhist chaplain for the Seattle VA Hospital, and a student of Koro Kaisan Roshi. If you have not been able to find a sangha home or are unable to get to one, please call or email.
To make available facilities for the teaching and practice of Buddhism in Her Majesty’s Prisons and other places of lawful detention or custody.
To recruit and advise a team of Buddhist visiting chaplains to be available as soon as there is a call for their services;
To act in an advisory capacity, and to liaise with the Home Office chaplaincy officials, with individual chaplains within Her Majestys Prisons, and with any other relevant bodies or officials;
To provide an aftercare and advisory service for prisoners after release.
A small group of volunteers who serve as Buddhist Chaplains in the Los Angeles County Jails and the California Men’s Colony in San Luis Obispo.
Our prison outreach is at the Huron Valley Women’s Correctional Facility. Our program consists of two components:
Buddhist Services every Sunday for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
We have a group of four leaders from our Temple who rotate doing the services. About eight women prisoners participate regularly. Two have taken the precepts and another is scheduled to take them this summer. Our services consist of meditation, chanting, and walking meditation followed by a half hour discussion of a dharma subject. These discussions are consistently enriching and thoughtful for all involved. In 2011 and 2012 we had one day meditation retreats that were attended by about 20 women.
Two facilitators also teach meditation classes. These are held weekly for 1 1/2 hours.
Around 75 to 100 different women have taken the classes over the last three years.
The class is presented as a secular practice although Buddhism does get a mention quite often. We teach many basic meditation techniques including breath counting, sound, relaxation, focus on emotions and thoughts; loving kindness. We lead guided meditations, give didactic instructions, and discuss meditation topics. Many women have reported that they are able to cope better with some of the stresses of prison with the help of these techniques.
Prison: Huron Valley Women’s Correctional Facility
Prisoners served: 75-100 women
In 2001, the Arcata Zen Group was contacted by an inmate incarcerated in Pelican Bay State Prison, near Crescent City, for help in establishing a Taoist/Buddhist Study Group. AZG members travel to Pelican Bay every Saturday to sit with this sangha. Locally, AZG members lead meditation in both the men’s and women’s
sections of the Humboldt County Correctional Facility on Thursday
Prisons Served: Pelican Bay State Prison, Humboldt County CF
Our group at Attica is a non-sectarian meditation group, meeting every Thursday night for about 2 hours of meditation and a little period for Questions & Discussion afterward. The group was originally started years ago, then languished after a few years. Recently there had been much interest in some of the inmates to re-establish the group, and the Attica Chaplains were considering doing so and leading it themselves, even though they were untrained in meditation (to show how powerful inmates’ were becoming!). Just at that juncture, I was given a contact to the former leader, who then directed me to the Chaplain been the original Volunteer Advisor for him. I called her immediately, and was joyously received! The inmates, the Advisor, and of course, I too, were all overjoyed to have found one another just at the right moment!
I have been a member of the Rochester Zen Center for some 40 years, and sitting with the inmates has challenged and deepened my own practice, as well as giving me an opportunity to give something back to the Dharma after so many years of receiving the teaching freely given.
A group of volunteers from meditation centers in the Twin Cities, and others interested in human liberation. The Beverly White Community Outreach Project is sponsored by the Minnesota Chapter of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship (BPF). Nationally, the BPF is an organization that has made connections between meditation, non-violence and social justice for 25 years. We are an ecumenical Buddhist effort to teach mindfulness practice to those in difficult circumstances. Affiliated with the Twin Cities BPF. Group goes to Shakopee State Prison (women only), Oak Park Heights Prison (super-max security), Stillwater and St. Cloud (maximum security), Faribault (medium security), Appleton (private prison), and Red Wing (secure juvenile facility). Hour to 2-hour meditations guided by outreach group members at least once a month, day-long retreats have been done in most of the aforementioned facilities.
Prisons Served: Shakopee State Prison, Oak Park Heights Prison, Stillwater, St. Cloud, Faribault, Appleton, Red Wing
Tampa Bay prison meditation projects affiliated with the Buddhist Peace Fellowship (There is no BBF prison work, but the Tampa Bay BPF website does have a recently updated prison information page:
Prisons Served: Hardee Correctional Inst, Bowling Green FL – Sponsored by Southern Palm Zen Group, Boca Raton FL (http://floridazen.com/prison/). Three other volunteers also regularly visit with this group – usually one volunteer each week.
Avon Park Correctional Institution, Avon Park FL, Sponsored by Hokori Zen Center, Lakeland (http://www.hokorizencenter.org/). One other volunteer also visits. One or both of us visit monthly.
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.
The Buddhist Chaplains Network serves the educational and informational needs of Buddhist chaplains and spiritual care givers and provides leadership to help ensure the growth, development, collaboration, community, dialogue and communication among Buddhist chaplains.