Teaching meditation in the prison system

Steven Vannoy gave this talk at the Mid-America Buddhist Association in Augusta, Missouri on March 2, 2002.

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  • Introduction (download)

    • Meeting Venerable Thubten Chodron in Seattle
    • Early volunteer work with prisoners

    Demographics of the American prison system (download)

    • There are six million people under supervision: incarcerated, on probation, or on parole
    • There are two million in prison
    • The US has the highest rate of incarceration in the world, except possibly for China
    • Most of the people there are average people, and are good to work with

    Specifics of working with prisoners (download)

    • Teaching meditation to women as a stress management technique
    • Using a subset of Lam Rim meditations (attachment and aversion, etc.), and some purification (the Four Opponent Powers) to advance the meditations
    • Working with men in a course called “Anger Management”

    Experience in the county jail (download)

    • A stressful environment for the prisoners

    The prison guards (download)

    • The training and demographics of the guards

    Graduate work in counseling psychology (download)

    • The search for credentials to support the meditation work
    • A masters thesis on evaluating anger management techniques
    • Measuring anger, empathy, narcissism

    Buddhist techniques (download)

    • Anger management tips derived from the teachings of Venerable Thubten Chodron

    Working with the prisoners (download)

    • People who self-select for the program are just the sort of people you want to sit and talk with
    • How to talk about love

    Masters thesis (download)

    • Results of the study

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