March 31, 2014

Path of Freedom

In the harsh environment of a Rhode Island men’s prison, a group of 50 inmates are transforming their lives through the practice of meditation.

Acharya Fleet Maull is the founder of Prison Dharma Network, Peacemaker Institute, and National Prison Hospice Association. Learn more about Maull's work and the Prison Dharma Network in Tricycle's interview with the teacher, and watch his Tricycle Retreat here.

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aj1's picture

An inspiring, thought-provoking story....thinking about prisoners as people is counter-intuitive, let's be honest about it. They ARE people and change is possible. For some, it's returning to God, for some, it's appreciating the power of their own mind and their own actions. We need more programs like this.

george.iber's picture

If you didn't know that the individuals in the video were prison inmates you might take the comments to be from ordinary people, ordinary people trapped in habitual thinking and suffering. In this world nobody seems far from acts of criminal intent, our greed, hate and lust drive so many of our responses. In the final analysis we are all in the prison of past, and present, karmas. A compassionate response like this is valuable. I remember in the 70s similar efforts were made by some TM practitioners. Eventually most of these positive education programs were stopped for what appeared to be political and funding reasons. Money however was allocated to build more prisons. The more I go on writing the closer the analogy of society and these prisons comes into focus. May all prisoners find inner peace.

caryl.s's picture

Thank you for showing this film. It is so moving and also humbling. I wish all prisoners, everywhere had access to such a compassionate teacher and that all prison governors understood the value of meditation.

mobrien17's picture

Films showing the effects of meditation in prisons are absolutely inspiring and in many ways heart rending. As inmates share some of their story, my heart goes out to each one and I also feel grateful that they have shared this part of themselves with me and all who watch. They are remarkable people.

eemhorse's picture

Beautiful story, thank you

Lee M. Kaplan's picture

I have heard of Fleet Maull's work within the prison system. I was very pleased to watch this video, and remember my own place in the universe. The Buddha states: "No matter how hard the past, you can always begin again." I remember that there are no bad people, but people who find themselves in bad situations. The solution is to return to our center and live within!