Friday, August 07, 2009

The Dhamma Brothers

Taken from:

The Donaldson Correction Facility is a maximum security prison in Alabama, a state along the United States’ so-called ‘Bible Belt’. In this prison are some of the most dangerous criminals of the state, men convicted for murder, manslaughter, gang activities, shootings and stabbings. And yet, horrendous crimes they may have committed, some of them yearn for emotional and social change. In 2002, their opportunity came in the form of a meditation course and Vipassana meditation retreat that was introduced in hope of offering inner peace and genuine rehabilitation for these men. Such a program was unheard of in the West, and even the participants of the course were partially cynical about it. As one of them put it, “I’ve been through every course imaginable. A meditation course? C’mon!”

For 10 days, the men faced their inner personal traumas, and the program was a resounding success. Unfortunately, complaints by the locals that the prisoners "were being turned into Buddhists” caused the program to be shut down. With the change in prison administration at the end of 2005, the meditation course was reintroduced. The participants of the previous course were interviewed, and to the surprise of the interviewers…



The question should not be:

Are people turning into Buddhists?

The question should be:

Are people becoming better

- happier, more loving and peaceful?

No comments: