"Thanks Carter. Something that is a little confusing for me is that I thought I'd joined awhile ago, but couldn't recently access PDN and also had an invite from Kate to join. Did I just join some part of the site last year or when I signed…"
Tell us about yourself & your interest in prison dharma: (answer required) .
My interest began when I saw Dharma Brothers some years ago. At the time I was practicing at CIMC. I met Robin Casarjian, who authored Houses of Healing, a prisoners guide to inner power and healing. Her work was very inspiring. When I met her I habn't yet begun to think about volunteering in prisons. Meditation is a component of the program which is set up to go for 12 weeks and is an earned good time program. To get my feet wet Bill Milhomme suggested that I volunteer at a weekend program at Pondville prison. It was a Skills Building workshop for men who were soon to be released. The second time I was there the other facilitator asked me to take over teaching the class. What amazed me was that I rose to the occasion. I really appreciated the fact that she and I took time to process what happened a few days after the class. I then volunteered at MCI Concord in the Houses of Healing Program, now called the Beacon Program. It's a three month program for earned good time. I've meditated since my twenties and was very pleased that the inmates wrote in their evaluations that they had particularly liked learning to meditate. Long story but the next prison volunteer situation was being part of a team at Concord MCI that brought meditation to the inmates. I've joined meditation teachers at Norfolk MCI for afternoon sessions and retreats. I'm currently helping to facilitate POF at Concord MCI. I can't imagine doing anything much more rewarding than celebrating our innate basic goodness than doing this work. It is challenging but so rewarding. However filling in this form on my tablet was a big mistake. Never again.
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