An Angulimala Workshop with the Chief Inspector of Prisons

You may not know this but all the Buddhist prison chaplains are members of Angulimala, the Buddhist Prison Chaplaincy and four times a year we have a day together at The Forest Hermitage. Not all come every time but usually twenty or more spend the day here with me. We meditate together, some rather fine Thai food is provided by some of the Thai ladies who regularly come here and we have a chance to discuss both prison and Buddhist matters. For our meeting in September we were blessed with a lovely sunny day and held our meeting outside in our small marquee. That gave us the extra space we needed to comfortably accommodate a slightly larger gathering than usual attracted, no doubt, by the presence of the Chief Inspector of Prisons, Peter Clarke, who joined us for the afternoon. He’s a very nice man and generously gave us a good talk and answered a range of questions. When it was over I presented him with a copy of a new book that had been launched at a conference in Thailand that I had spoken at in May. Published by Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University Press, it’s called Common Buddhist Text – Guidance and Insight from the Buddha and is an anthology of texts from the three main traditions of Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism. It’s rather good and I’m hoping it could provide a basis for a general Buddhist curriculum within the prisons. I brought back a few copies and I’ve had some more sent so I could let all the chaplains present take a copy too. So, there we all are in the photo clutching our respective copies.