Letters from the Dhamma Brothers by Jenny Phillips
Meditation Behind Bars

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Synopsis

Through intimate letters, interviews, and stories, this narrative reveals the impact that a life-changing retreat had on a group of inmates at the highest level maximum-security state prison in Alabama. The 38 participants in the first-ever intensive, silent 10-day program inside the walls of a corrections facility—many serving life sentences without parole—detail the range of their experiences, the depth of their understanding of the Buddha’s teachings gained by direct experience, and their setbacks and successes. During the Vipassana meditation program, they face the past and their miseries and emerge with a sense of peace and purpose. This compelling story shows the capacity for commitment, self-examination, renewal, and hope within a dismal penal system and a wider culture that demonizes prisoners.

 

About Jenny Phillips

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Jenny Philips is a cultural anthropologist, a writer, and a practicing psychotherapist who teaches emotional literacy skills to inmates in both county and state prisons for the Lionheart Foundation. Her article, "Culture of Manhood in Prison," was published in the American Psychological Association Journal. Robert Coles is a child psychiatrist, a professor at Harvard University, and the author of more than 75 books. He has received numerous awards for his work, including the Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction for his Children of Crisis series, a MacArthur Award, the National Humanities Medal, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. They both live in Concord, Massachusetts.
 
Published March 6, 2012 by Pariyatti Publishing. 241 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Political & Social Sciences, Religion & Spirituality, Crime. Non-fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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Out of the silence of meditation came an awareness that was transformative for these troubled men and that has lasted for years, even in the midst of the anguish of daily prison life.

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Vitality

On the cover of the book Letters from the Dhamma Brothers by Jenny Phillips, there is a quote by American Congressman John Lewis: “No human being should be considered beyond the reach of redemption.” It is this conviction that inspired the book, which tells the gripping story of 36 high secur...

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