Ligmincha Prison Project
Volunteers Are Welcome
The Prison Project, now in its fourth year, is a member of the Prison Dharma Network. It consists of three modules of secularized basic meditation practices that are presented to inmates who have committed to participate in a 12-week program. These practices are:
• The Nine Breathings of Purification
• Sitting in the Nature of Mind
• The Tsa Lung practice
• The Five Warrior Syllables practice
Our instructors have been approved and trained by Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche and have received letters of credentialing. They are providing excellent volunteer service to a population that can benefit greatly from these practices. Our goal is ultimately to provide these individuals with skills for reducing stress and improving decision making, reducing recidivism. The project includes pre- and post-evaluations. Once we have amassed enough data, we will submit a report to keep everyone informed as to effectiveness.
Excellent research exists regarding the long-term benefits of such meditation practices for stress reduction as well as regarding their relationship to improved ability to function both while incarcerated and upon release into the community.
Ligmincha’s Prison Project now hosts active programs in Europe, Poland, Mexico City and the United States (Oklahoma and Virginia). We have established initial contacts and are making progress toward getting approval from correctional systems in California and Massachusetts, as well. Programs also are being developed in Germany, Denmark, France and Finland. Twenty-six active volunteers are communicating with each other via an email listserv.
Besides the volunteers who assist with the teaching modules, there are several others who are taking the time and energy to act as spiritual pen pals for those who write to Ligmincha asking for assistance while incarcerated. As our infrastructure develops, we are looking for volunteer website developers, media experts, translators, instructors, pen pals, regional coordinators and fund-raisers.
We look forward to further developing the Prison Project and welcome volunteers. If you are interested in joining our effort, please email Hannah Lloyd, Ligmincha's Prison Project Coordinator, or email Nicolas Gounaropoulos, European sangha regional coordinator.