I'll be running the marathon this year, and I’m hoping to raise money for the Prison Dharma Network.
PDN was founded in 1989 by Fleet Maull, a federal prisoner then serving a 14-year sentence for drug trafficking. Fleet is an Acharya (senior teacher) in the Shambhala Buddhist Community. He is also a Sensei (Zen teacher) and dharma successor of Roshi Bernie Glassman in the Zen Peacemaker Order and a senior priest in the Soto Zen tradition.
A little from PDN’s website: “We support prisoners in the practice of contemplative disciplines, with an emphasis on sitting meditation practice and the practice and study of Buddhist teachings and other wisdom traditions. We promote these paths of wakefulness and non-aggression as ideal vehicles for self-rehabilitation and personal transformation.”
There are more than 2.2 million people incarcerated in the United States. That’s more than any other country in the world. How we got to such a place and what to do about it is a lot to ponder. Making a donation to PDN can provide immediate help for people in prison and support a greater vision for a criminal justice system that stresses transformation rather than retribution and punishment.