12/02/2010

Yes Madam Sir, Kiran Bedi and Doing Time, Doing Vipassana


More on Kiran Bedi
Doing Time Doing Vipassana is a very moving documentary produced by Israeli Filmakers. It captures the experience of prison inmates in Delhi's notorious Tihar Jail before, during and after Vipassana training. In 1993, as the newly appointed Inspector General, Kiran Bedi, undertook major reforms of the Indian prison system. She asked for advice and found her answer inside the Tihar prison through an ancient Indian system of meditation called Vipassana, which was rediscovered by Gotama Buddha more than 2,500 years ago. Bedi's strong belief was that without reform inside prison, ex-prisoners would continue to commit crimes outside of prison. She instituted 10-day Vipassana meditation courses, first for prison staff, then for inmates. Following the success of the program in India, Vipassana has been introduced in a few prisons within USA
Prison Dharma Network is founded in 1989 by Fleet Maull, a former federal prisoner turned Dharma Teacher. PDN's mission is to provide prisoners, and those who work with them, with the most effective contemplative tools for self-transformation and rehabilitation. The US prison population exceeds 2.4 million and is out of control and we spend nearly 70 billion dollars to keep the system going. wikipedia One percent of this huge sum can easily be spent on restorative mindfulness and yoga practices for long term rehab and recidivism reduction. Without citizen awareness and civic action this is not likely to happen. [Alabama prison Interview by Buddhist Geek]