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.
The Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai (BDK) (Society for the Promotion of Buddhism) was founded by the Reverend Dr. Yehan Numata in December 1965, one year after the Mitutoyo Manufacturing Company celebrated its 30th anniversary. With the worldwide success of his company, Dr. Numata decided that the time had come to realize his dream of making the Buddhist teachings more widely available. Working with a community of like-minded people, including leaders of each Buddhist sect in Japan and eminent Buddhist scholars, Dr. Numata established the BDK in order to “to transmit the Buddhist religion to as many people in the world as possible, without expounding the doctrines of any particular sect or denomination.” To achieve this goal, the BDK promotes a wide range of activities and projects in the hope of contributing to world peace and mutual understanding among humanity.
Currently there are two other major publication projects handled by the BDK America Berkeley Office. The first is distribution of the popular introductory Buddhist book entitled “The Teaching of Buddha” which has more than 8 million copies in circulation throughout the world, in more than 42 languages. Secondly, BDK has published a Buddhist anthology called Buddha Dharma, which is an expanded version of “The Teaching of Buddha,” and comes with a detailed index and accounting of the Buddhist teaching presented with each story.
Liberation Prison Project offers spiritual advice and teachings, as well as books and materials, to people in prison interested in exploring, studying and practicing Buddhism. A Tibetan Buddhist organization and social services project affiliated with the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition, since 1996 the project has supported the Buddhist practice of over 20,000 prisoners. Active mainly in the U.S. and Australia, where we are established as nonprofit organizations in San Francisco and the Australian Blue Mountains, we also have branches in New Zealand, Spain, Mexico, Mongolia and Italy.
Monthly visits to six state institutions, bi-monthly visits to two others, books are provided and correspondence maintained. Three institutions have full programs of zazen, kinhin, service, dharma talk, and discussion. Tonen O’Connor no longer visits the prisons herself, but is still the main contact and organization person responsible for sending teachers to prisons. She also organizes the monthly “Sosaku” newsletter, produced by inmates.
Path of Freedom Webinar graduate & Zen sangha-leader, Pake Hall, heads up a Path of Freedom program at Gothenburg Prison in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Thay Kobai Scott Whitney is the spiritual director and conducts meditation classes in the coastal, Grays Harbor area of Washington as well as leading retreats around the northwest. He especially works with marginalized people who do not feel comfortable in other spiritual communities: people in 12-Step programs, those recovering from prison or homelessness, domestic violence or loss of a loved one.
Mark Stiles Unit – Beaumont, TX
Discovering Ethics Class – Wednesday Morning
Meditation Class – Wednesday Afternoon
Ramsey Unit – Rosharon, TX
Meditation Class – Second Tuesday of the month
Terrell Unit – Rosharon, TX
Meditation Class – Second Friday of the month
Lojong Correspondence Course – Lojong: Attitude Transformation in Seven Parts – Palden Atisha
A Study Guide is Available on request –
Individual Correspondence with inmates on practice.
Project Clear Light
2220 Postoffice Street Suite B
Galveston, TX 77550
The sole purpose and intent of Project Clear Light is to bring the peaceful and soothing Dharma teachings into the lives of participating offenders, to guide them in their understanding of these teachings and practices, and to become a bright clear light unto the world.
Project Clear Light is a Dharma based program that is pledged to work with and within the administration, staff, policies and procedures of TDCJ. It is not evangelical or in any way a religious, social or political advocacy agency, supporter or contributor for any individual offender or group.
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.
Since the outset of prison dhamma work initiated by Bhante Wimala and sponsored by Triple Gem Society, a regular sangha in now in place at Mahanoy State Prison and plans for sangha at Somerset, Greensburg and Cresson State prisons are in the process of formation. Triple Gem Society has provided Buddhist service to inmates at the Federal Prison, Philadelphia; and corresponds with a number of other Buddhist inmates in association with the Prison Dharma Network and Buddhist Peace Fellowship.
The services and programs of a prison sangha will focus on the central teachings and practices of Buddhism, with emphasis on meditation techniques and practices. The duration of sangha is two to three hours, usually on a weekly basis but no less than monthly.
Bohdi House is a non-sectarian spiritual community house located near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Bodhi House was created in order to provide a modest re-entry plan for post release men who want to continue the study and practice of Buddhism. It is not intended to be a monastery or monastic center. It is simply a spiritual community for lay practitioners, based on a lifestyle of simple living, unselfish service, and a daily commitment to the five precepts.