Kindness and compassion are extremely important in every area of life, whether we are prisoners, prison guards, or victims of crime. It is futile to harbor hatred and ill-will even toward those who abuse us. Cooperation, trust, and consideration are far more constructive. The hostility and negativity of prison life will not change until both staff and inmates can improve their attitudes toward each other in this way.

—His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama


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Aryadaka is slowly dying. One of the first paid Buddhist chaplains employed by a state prison system in the United States, he has hepatitis C, and a transplanted liver is failing. His doctors give him a fifty-fifty chance to live three more years. But he’s not letting his health problems keep him from his prison work.

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