YOU CANNOT POST. OUR WEB HOSTING COMPANY DECIDED TO MOVE THE SERVER TO ANOTHER LOCATION. IN THE MEANTIME, YOU CAN VIEW THIS VERSION WHICH DOES NOT ALLOW POSTING AND WILL NOT SAVE ANYTHING YOU DO ONCE THE OTHER SERVER GOES ONLINE.

Meditation lowers violence in prison - Dhamma Wheel

Meditation lowers violence in prison

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
User avatar
Nibbida
Posts: 466
Joined: Sat May 02, 2009 3:44 am

Meditation lowers violence in prison

Postby Nibbida » Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:26 pm

"A Department of Corrections study of about 100 inmates who completed the program and were still in custody in late 2007 found they had 20 percent fewer disciplinary actions after the course, Cavanaugh said."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 052_2.html

User avatar
Ben
Posts: 18442
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: kanamaluka

Re: Meditation lowers violence in prison

Postby Ben » Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:54 am

Thanks Nibbida

When I was in Burma recently I met up with a number of people who were involved teaching in the prison programs in the US, including Donaldson, and in Burma.

According to one of the senior assistant teachers I met, Donaldson is currently building a 'vipassana wing', a purpose built building for 10-day courses of vipassana within the prison. And again, I asked how courses were attended and what the drop out rate was like, and unlike the washington post article, what I was told that only a few inmates dropped out per course. The other inaccuracy within the article was in regards to the technique of meditation. Prisoners practice exactly the same technique that everyone else who has done a 10-day course under SN Goenka or his assistant teachers practice.
The courses are run a little differently and that there is significant pre-course counselling and briefing.

Following my long course when I was back in Yangon, I with another old student and an american assistant-teacher couple, were invited to BL Goenka's (U Shwe) house for dinner one evening. U Shwe is the senior assistant teacher and coordinator of the Myanmar prison programs. I had known about U Shwe from an article (interview) I read where he discusses the prison programs in Myanmar. http://www.irrawaddy.org/article.php?ar ... mit=Submit
I was lucky enough to sit next to him at dinner and had the opportunity to discuss with him, via an interpreter, the efficacy of the program in Myanmar.

There are three concurrent vipassana prison programs in Myanmar and they run ten-day courses back to back in three separate prisons including Yangon Central Prison, Mandalay Prison and another one which I have forgotten. When I was talking to U Shwe he told me that over 300 inmates were released in the three years since the vipassana prison programs have been operation and following assessment of the prisoner following ten-day course/s and maintenance of practice for some time. The most serious of crimes includng rape and murder were simly 'forgiven' and the prisoner released within the community. Again, like the prison program in the US, the drop out rate is small in vipassana courses in Myanmar prisons. When I asked about this, I was told that for most Burmese there was already a certain familiarity with the Dhamma and whether it is a course run at a prison or not, the Burmese simply adhere to the code of discipline. The other thing is that prisoners have nothing to loose by being there and everything to gain - especially if they are taken out of the normal prison environment and away from other prisoners and circumstances that continue to cause difficulty for them in their day-to-day lives.
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

User avatar
christopher:::
Posts: 1326
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 12:56 am

Dhamma Brothers Prison Meditation Update

Postby christopher::: » Fri Feb 04, 2011 3:30 am

"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009

PeterB
Posts: 3909
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 pm

Re: Meditation lowers violence in prison

Postby PeterB » Fri Feb 04, 2011 8:18 am

The prisoners have two advantages , They cannot be in denial about being in prison. We are all in prison but many of us manage to distract ourselves from the fact.
And they cant kid themselves that they can leave prison by their own unaided efforts and without hands on instruction.


Return to “General Theravāda discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 25 guests

Google Saffron, Theravada Search Engine