The Khanti Outreach Program
In 1995 Bodhana was handed a letter received at the Buddhist center by an inmate and asked if he would be interested in corresponding with him. Little did he know that this simple act would grow into a major part of his Dharma practice. Bodhana quickly began visiting the local county jail to meet with the inmates with an offer to help them deal with the stress of being incarcerated by teaching them meditation. Very quickly the men attending the class expressed interest in learning more about the teachings of the Buddha, and in no time at all a second weekly class was established to explore the Dharma.
After several years volunteering at the city jail close to his home, Bodhana was then asked to consider teaching a meditation course at the New Hampshire State Prison for Men in Concord, NH. Not surprisingly, a momentum was quickly generated and the initial introductory course became an ongoing weekly class from which the Concord Prison sangha was established. This class continues to grow and benefit many beings inside the walls of the New Hampshire State Prison and beyond.
The mission of Khanti Outreach Program is to support prisoners who wish to practice the Dharma inside the prison walls. Khanti accepts donations of Dharma books that are distributed, along with meditation manuals, to inmates across the country. We also work with men as they transition out of prison and are developing a program to help make the transition a successful one.
How You Can Help
Over the years many people associated with the Aryaloka Sangha have offered much help and support to the Concord Prison sangha, in addition to Buddhists from other traditions. For this, we are very grateful. If you would like to volunteer to support Khanti Outreach Program, here are some of the ways you can do so:
- Attend a retreat at the prison in Concord
- Support one of the two classes at the prison in Concord
- Support an inmate transitioning out of prison
- Financial help in any amount is always welcomed
- Do not forget those who are locked up around the world
- Send metta to all people imprisoned around the world
If you would like more information, or would like to help with this project please email Bodhana directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more on volunteering at Concord State Prison, and to download the application form, visit: http://www.nh.gov/nhdoc/public_volunteers.html