Whoa everybody, this one really threw me for a loop!
I don't want to reinforce any negative sterotypes about my home state Alabama (Dear Ole Dixie), but needless to say I was a bit surprised to watch a trailer about this new movie The Dhamma Brothers. This movie is about how some filmmakers and meditation teachers held the first 10-day Vipassana meditation retreat in a maximum security prison in North America in January 2002, according to the website. Donaldon Correctional Facility in Bessemer is about 45 minutes from my hometown and I am elated and encouraged by the fact that there are people teaching meditation there.
Please watch the trailer and learn more through this link: http://www.dhammabrothers.com/trailer.html
There are some great letters from the inmates on the website as well (which will soon be published).
I lived for 23 years in Alabama, and growing up in the "Bible Belt" was not without its challenges as I became an adult (and also gave me some good fodder for therapy :). That is why I am so inspired by the work of these filmmakers, that they brought these tools and teachings to people who would otherwise not have access to them. I haven't seen the whole movie, but it's possibly similar to Doing Time, Doing Vipassana, which is set in an Indian prison. Please watch the trailer and let me know what you think.
I will be contacting the filmmakers to hopefully get a copy of the film--I'll keep you posted.