In this book of 52 vignettes—stories and teachings about Cuong Lu’s six years as a prison chaplain–Lu shares insights into the prisoner’s mindset, something with implications for us all, whether or not we are in a conventional jail.
As a prison chaplain, Cuong discovered that when the men inside allowed themselves to feel their pain—including remorse from committing crimes—knowing and feeling the truth became a source of strength for them. And when the inmates felt listened to, understood, and not judged, it transformed their sense of who they are, and as a result changed their attitudes and their behavior.
The Buddha in Jail is not just about the prisoners. It’s about all of us. We’re each caught in distorted and limiting ideas of ourselves. We don’t believe freedom and happiness are attainable. But when we come to believe in ourselves, we discover the freedom and happiness already within.
The author: Cuong Lu