my names is Becca i currently live in the north east of the UK and work as a support worker for adults with learning difficulties/special needs. I have a joint BA(hons) in sociology and criminology and would like to find a position as a trainee social worker. I'm working on it :)
I found my way to the prison dharma network through a friend on facebook, she is the wife of a very good friend of mine and brother in dao cultivation Derek Lin. I have been a dao cultivator for many, many years, and actively involved as an administrator of derek's taoism.net/tea house forum for far more years than i care to recall.
I am not currently actively involved in prison or offender work, although i have worked with young offenders before now as a support worker/project worker at a halfway hostel, and introduced the basic principles of meditation and daoism, with of course a healthy helping of zen through lifestyle classes i used to lead once a week of an evening. I know at least 5 of the 20 people who attended the classes went on to build positive lives and give back into society.
My interest in the lot of prisoners and the justice system began as a child and my interest in key miscarriage of justice cases.
My own experiences of walking the path of dao and zen through difficult life situations (mental, emotional, physical and sexual abuse from my father) convince me the basic principles are applicable to any life situation including for prisons and prisoners.
don't know if this does much justice, i'll probably mostly read here and learn, but i thought it would be rude not to say hello :)
Welcome! The Tao is such a rich path through our hectic modern world and has a natural relationship with Zen practice.
We love Derek Lin! I receive many letters from prisoners who've also contacted Derek. We mail out his books by the bundle!
I am interested in hearing more about your work in the halfway hostel. The transition from incarceration back into the free world is rough for so many people. At PDN - headquarters, we are working on setting up some new programs that will hopefully help people guide themselves through this transition and back into stable lives.
Carter - PDN Staff