Copyright © 2019 by Sravasti Abbey. This book is strictly for free distribution. It is not to be sold.
It is well known that Michelangelo Buonarroti transformed a block of marble into the statue of David. Actually what he did was remove all that was not David from the stone. By doing so, Michelangelo made it possible for us to see the David that was already there. He freed the statue that was imprisoned in the marble by changing the way we see it.
In many ways we are like that marble block. We want to transform ourselves into something better, more useful, and kinder. But sometimes we don’t have all the skills necessary to do so. We need a skilled guide to get us going in the right direction. This booklet is designed to encourage you to examine yourself — your past, your perceptions, your thoughts, and your current conditions—and to help you decide what adjustments to make to initiate positive change and create the causes for happiness.
This booklet is a joint effort of Venerable Thubten Chodron and Mr. Calvin Malone, a civil detainee at the Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island in Washington State. Venerable Chodron and Calvin have been corresponding for many years, and she has taught Dharma to the Buddhist groups in prisons where Calvin was residing. Venerable Chodron shared some of the discussion and meditation questions she used with Buddhist groups, and Calvin had the idea of incorporating them into a booklet, together with other material. This booklet could then be used by inmates to help bring more awareness to their mental states and behavior, and encourage mental and emotional transformation that would bring them and those around them more happiness and peace in their lives. Since all of us are imprisoned by our ignorance, anger, and craving, all of us — no matter which side of the razor-wire fence we’re on — could benefit from learning about and improving our perspective on life.
How to request a hard copy
- Hard copies of the book are generously being published for free distribution only by the Corporate Body of the Buddha Educational Foundation in Taiwan and should be ready by mid-2019.
- If your organization works with inmates and you would like to request hard copies of the book in bulk, please write to livestream [dot] sravasti [at] gmail [dot] com.
- If you are an incarcerated person who would like to request a hard copy of the book, please write to Sravasti Abbey, PO Box 607, Colbert, WA 99005-9998.
- To request a hard copy for personal use, please write to office [dot] sravasti [at] gmail [dot] com.