One of the members of our Folsom Prison Sangha will be paroled soon. He is from Berkeley and he said he will return there. He is the reason we have a Sangha at California State Prison, Sacramento. He petitioned for Buddhist Services. He has practiced Tibetan Buddhism on his own for ten years, and we have been a sangha in that facility for three years now. Joel has been incarcerated for 21 years. To quote his letter to me, "I will have been in prison for 21 straight years. I am so frightened. I don't want to think about it. But I'm going to need some serious help." What resources can I refer him to? He wants to be part of a sangha when he is released, to continue his study and meditation. He also needs the mundane resources of a job, apartment, etc. Any help or advise is appreciated. I will be visiting him at Folsom on May 6 and would like to be able to provide some solid advise.
With a bow. Diane
Dear Genko Blackman: Joel won’t be released for several years. There was a little mixup about this. So he has not been released but I know he appreciates your response. I will send it to him. Many thanks, Linda Davis (Joel’s mom)
Dear Genko and others who were interested in helping Joel upon his release. Linda explained the situation. Joel is not being released anytime soon, I am sorry to say. Thanks for all you advise and wishes for Joel.
Thank you for the update. Linda, when you pass these messages on to your son, please let him know that he has the support of all of us whether he is inside or released. I hope he is able to tap into some of that energy.
2215 Prince Street (at Fulton), Berkeley
with Buddhist Teacher, Bee Uytiepo
These drop-in meditation classes consist of a talk, guided meditation and a chance for questions and answers. Each talk is a part of a series, yet is self-contained. This means that you can drop in at any point and still feel that you have something worthwhile to take home with you. Each month we present a different series of classes.
I've heard enthusiastic words about, but have no personal experience with Project Homeless Connect, which I've been told is a great resource for plugging in to /services/ (be ye homeless or no). http://www.projecthomelessconnect.com/
Oakland has a pretty good work-training program run by the city & the department of labor -- you have to be "of a certain age" to participate, but if you've been 'away' for 21... you might be of that age (I don't know what the cut off is) -- look up ASSETS sr. employment program: http://www2.oaklandnet.com/Government/o/DHS/s/SAD/OAK022069
As for the Tibetan Buddhists, you kinda can't miss 'em. Someone already mentioned Shambhala. There's also the Nyingma Institute (http://www.nyingmainstitute.com/) -- I'm not so familiar w/ the Tibetan Lineages but that could be a pretty good start!
I'm happy to see the already collected list of resources on the PDN website. I'd like to see more resources.