A Buddhist teacher shares insights into the prisoner's mindset, something with implications for us all, whether or not we are in a conventional jail As a prison chaplain, Cuong Lu discovered that when the men inside allowed themselves to feel their pain--including remorse for committing crimes--knowing and feeling the truth became a source of strength for them. This is a book of fifty-two vignettes--stories and teachings about Lu's six years as a prison chaplain. He found that when the inmates felt listened to, understood and not judged, it transformed their sense of who they are, and as a result changed their attitudes and their behavior. Cuong Lu opens our eyes beyond prejudice to see others--and ourselves--in a larger perspective. When we look at prisoners without judgment, we connect with those we might never know, and with our own basic goodness. The message of The Buddha in Jail is one of redemption. This book is not just about the prisoners. It's about all of us. We're all caught in distorted and limiting ideas of ourselves. We don't believe freedom and happiness are attainable. But when we come to believe in ourselves, we discover the freedom and happiness already within. Cuong Lu shows us that this approach works. It can be applied to all prisons, and also to our own lives. "Read these stories carefully, a few at a time, and apply them to our encounters with those who have acted badly, those we don't particularly like, and ourselves, for all these dialogues are taking place within each of us all the time." -- Roshi Joan Halifax
About the Author
CUONG LU, Buddhist teacher, scholar, and writer, was born in Nha Trang, Vietnam, in 1968. He majored in East Asian studies at the University of Leiden, and in 1993 was ordained a monk at Plum Village in France under the guidance of Thich Nhat Hanh. In 2000, he was recognized as a teacher in the Lieu Quan line of the Linji School of Zen Buddhism. In 2009, Lu returned to lay life in the Netherlands, where, together with five colleagues, he stood at the birth of the Buddhist Spiritual Care Program within Holland's penitentiary system. In 2015, he received a master's degree in Buddhist Spiritual Care at Vrije University in Amsterdam. Lu is the founder of Mind Only School, in Gouda, South Holland, where he teaches Buddhist philosophy and psychology, specializing in Yogachara Buddhism combined with the Madhyamaka (Middle Way) School of Nagarjuna.