Our friend Rod Meade Sperry at Shambhala SunSpace has a great idea for the holiday season (or any season): Give the dharma books you can spare to a prisoner in need via Prison Dharma Network. You don’t need to do much looking into the horrors of our “justice system” to see that the United States has way too many people in prison and that their experience while there is not edifying. The United States has 5% of the world’s population and nearly 25% of the world’s prisoners, and many of them are nonviolent drug offenders.

Prison Dharma Network has the means and know-how to get Buddhist books to prisoners who request them. As many people are unfortunately already aware, mailing books and publications to incarcerated individuals is not always easy. Some well-meaning Christian chaplains and prison officials look askance on dharma books and do not encourage prison libraries to stock. So take Rod’s excellent advice and send those Buddhist books you can spare to:

Prison Dharma Network
11 South Angell St. #303
Providence RI 02906

You’ll be doing a lot of good.