Here we can discuss ideas, inspirations and philosophy that does not readily fall into an established category. Often the most interesting ideas and the ones that are hard to classify

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  • Dear David
    Thanks for your swift and helpful reply.
    At the moment the prisons we work in are in
    Uganda and Kenya. We hope to expand into other
    East African countries. Exactly as you say, the cultural
    differences are significant. There are very great problems
    in the prisons but also some good things.
    We do provide plenty of Education, Health and Access to Justice
    initiatives. We run some singing groups and occasionally
    a Yoga teacher visits some of the prisons.
    Most prisoners have fairly fundamentalist religious views.
    One of the broad aspirations of the Project is to transform
    Criminal Justice systems and to transform the mindsets that
    generate so many damaging vicious circles at the moment.
    I was wondering how far some Buddhist practices could
    be encouraged in this social context.
    The Angulimala story makes an interesting starting point.
    I will follow up your suggestions.
    There is no need for you to do anything else but
    if you happen to come across other interested people
    I'd be grateful to hear about them.
    Yours
    George
    reply.at - This website is for sale! - reply Resources and Information.
    This website is for sale! reply.at is your first and best source for all of the information you’re looking for. From general topics to more of what y…
  • That sounds like extremely worthwhile work. Where is your Africa project? Your question is a challenging one. There have been and are a variety of Buddhist prison projects, especially in the USA, but how relevant they would be to your people I'm not sure. Then there is the work of Naikan people in Japan. I think it would need some adaptation to fit local culture, but might then have some relevance.

  • Dear David
    As part of the work of the African Prisons Project we have
    retreats for some of the people involved. I have often wondered
    how Eleusis might be able to contribute. I often find it hard
    to work out how to incorporate the wonders of Buddhism into
    the lives of people caught up in prisons in our parts of Africa.
    Is there anyone you know who may be able to help work out some
    way of doing this. I have another Trustees' Strategy meeting coming up in September and I would like to float some ideas then.
    Hope you are enjoying the Summer.
    Yours
    George
    http://Africa.Is/
    See related links to what you are looking for.
  • Thanks, George. I've added a response in Questions in the Sand

  • Hi David
    Thanks for your comments.
    I was always interested in "Island" which Huxley wrote
    as he was dying. It is a sort of Utopian counter to his
    Brave New World. The island tries to live according to a blend
    of Tantric Buddhism and Scots' pragmatism.
    I enjoyed Guy Claxton's books as he seems to understand
    huge amounts of modern science and psychology.
    Derrida is often obscure but is famous for
    saying that "there is nothing without a context"
    and I wondered whether his thinking partly overlapped
    with dependent origination.
    Anoeda Judith is very Californian in style and I find
    that many people interested in East meeting West quote her.
    A few years ago a prisoner suggested I read Eckhart Tolle
    so I did.
    I tend to read fragments of these books and I try to avoid
    fogging the mind with discursive reading but i do like to hear
    what other people think of them.
    I hope your own writing is going well.
    Yours
    George
  • I did read Huxley a very long time ago. I've read some Guy Claxton - also a long time ago. Jesus on the Kingdom of God is very good :-) The other three I have not read.

  • Very nice too. It's pouring with rain here.

  • Thanks for the questions.
    Now happily investigating in the garden.
    Yours
    George

  • When walking around a lake
    investigate.
    Look at the lake.
    Who is walking around today?
    What is the lake saying?
    Whose face is playing on the ripples?
    Whose ripples are playing on the lakeside path?
    Is the lake only now or was it there before the advent of oneself?
    Will it still be there when one has ceased?
    Is that a power?
    Is that the heart of Buddhism?
    Does one’s Buddhism have heart?
    How many chakras has one drowned in the lake?
    Is this all just a deconstruction of the kingdom of God?
    What are those hungry ducks saying?
    They too are caring for their chicks.
    How beautiful, the sunshine reflecting on the water!
    Gazing into the blue, I see a few clouds sailing in.

  • Bonjour
    Just back from a pleasant walk round the lake
    reflecting on your many points.

    When thinking about and discussing how Buddhism helps
    I often find myself trying to put together a recipe or
    cocktail of ideas and practices. Some ingredients come up
    many times.

    At some time I would be interested to know what you think
    aboutany of the following. Do they resonate or jar with your
    own understanding?

    Eckhart Tolle on The Power of Now
    Guy Claxton on The Heart of Buddhism
    Aldous Huxley's Island
    Anoeda Judith on the chakras
    Derrida on Deconstruction
    Jesus on the Kingdom of God

    I realise this is a big ask but if you
    have the time to share your responses
    to any of these I'd be grateful.

    Yours
    George
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