Virtual Satsang

Resources for the community of seekers


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  • Meditation class for activists, allies, and all agents of social change: From the Center for Transformative Change in Berkeley. They also offer certifications in fearlessYoga and fearlessMeditation.
  • Meditation helps San Quentin prisoners come to terms with themselves and their crimes:

    The Zen meditation group at San Quentin began informally. A number of guys would meet on the yard to talk about Buddhism and its teachings. Then they decided they wanted an official program. So they had to write a proposal. The warden accepted it, and in September of 1999, the first meditation group at San Quentin began.

    … It’s still active. The group meets every Sunday evening. They convert a plain room – which they share with the Jewish and Islamic groups – into a meditation hall. It looks pretty similar to what you might find at any Zen center. About 30 people sit, meditating on chairs or on round pillows called “zafus.” After a period of silence, they do walking meditation, deliberately placing one foot in front of the other.

    Still, there are reminders of where we are. Guards with jangling keys pass outside the room. All of the 25 inmates here are in blue prison garb – several wear jackets or pants that say “CDCR prisoner.” And many of those who come on a regular basis are lifers. These are men who have committed serious and awful crimes: kidnapping, conspiracy to murder, attempted murder and murder.

    Accompanying AUDIO:

  • Hurry Up and Wait: “… a photographic essay by artists James Tribble and Tracey Mancenido-Tribble, a poetic meditation about America’s trucking culture. … The photographs illuminate both the openness of the road and it’s lonesome journey, with images that bring new light to the harsh beauty in the world of a truck driver.”
  • Wealthy Americans Can’t Stop Working: For financial reasons, it’s hard for many American workers these days to actually retire from work. Many who can afford to retire are also choosing not to. If only the retirement-eligible wealthy can direct their skills and passion to helping the many non-profit enterprises who can benefit from their management and business savvy! (full report in pdf format)

    Most want to keep on working in some form, even if they have little financial need to do so. These ‘Nevertirees’ are very actively engaged in what we would traditionally regard as their retirement years; continuing to work, starting businesses and taking on new projects. For many, their work is their passion, and to stop would be unthinkable. … for many their working life is an important part of who they are – it is something from which they derive self-worth and value, and not just a necessary evil to be endured until they can enjoy a leisurely retirement.


Written by virtualsatsang

October 4, 2010 at 8:08 am

One Response

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  1. […] Focused primarily in San Quentin, the Insight Prison Project seems like a larger-scale version of a program run by the SF Zen Center. They both reminded me of Bo Lozoff’s Prison Ashram Project, which is about to celebrate its […]

    Malas « Virtual Satsang

    November 8, 2010 at 8:25 am

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