Reflections of a Buddhist monk who was raised near Tucker prison

Ashly Uncategorized

A contemplative Buddhist monk wrote me about Saint Badass. He gave me permission to print his comments, but living in a monastery he asked to remain anonymous: “I find Saint Badass particularly poignant as I grew up in Arkansas with the shadow of the Arkansas penitentiaries in the background. The worst thing that could happen to one (the ultimate threat …

Put a dog in a small cage and keep poking him with a stick

Ashly Roy "Saint Badass"

Update from Roy 11-30-17 One of our partners and another prisoner took two guards hostage and stabbed them. Then the two prisoners were severely beaten.  Lots of guards resigned because of violence. Because of the excessive violence recently, the warden was removed. I asked Roy why the hostage taking happened. He gave two reasons: Holidays are volatile. The hostage taking …

Cody’s Lies

Ashly Cody "youngster", Doug

Cody has been lying to me from the beginning of 2017 until September of 2017. His lies were used to obtain money for drugs: He is not in a wheelchair; the money to buy a wheelchair was used to buy drugs. His sister did not die, she just does not talk to him. Money to attend her funeral was used …

John – Prison is a blessing

Ashly John "thinker"

February 22, 2017 I bet when you read this you thought the writer must have lost his senses. Besides other expletive words that crossed your mind or voiced orally to yourself or those around you. On the contrary though, do I say this. First, I must state that, I don’t mean this for everyone in the world. Two, I do …

An us-help book for replacing anger with kindness

Ashly Doug

How Love Wins focuses on ‘us’ rather than ‘me’ because both anger and kindness involve a recipient, making it ‘us harm” for anger and ”us help” for kindness.  Another aspect of us-help is that it is very difficult to maintain your kindful practices all by yourself. You are more likely to ‘stick with’ your kindful practices if you can periodically …

John – This too will pass

Ashly John "thinker"

July 7, 2017 I want to tell you of a true story. It comes from AJAHN BRAHM. The new prisoner was afraid and very depressed. The stone walls of his cell soaked up all the warmth; the hard iron bars sneered at all compassion; the jarring collision of steel, as his cell door closed, locked hope beyond reach. His heart …

How do love and anger go together?

Ashly Doug

Love is a feeling. Our culture is enamored with the feeling of love and talking about love.  Everyone wants to receive love and give love. Sometimes in our personal lives, and often in the larger world, we encounter countless examples of statements of love accompanied by actions of anger. How Love Wins is possible when we replace anger with kindness. …

John – Loneliness

Ashly John "thinker"

Older letter from John: Well Doug, Linda – prayer does work. Friday the 4th, I got a card in the mail with No return address. But, it was from my Mom. She said that she loves me. Always have and God loves me more. You know what my reaction was? None. I felt nothing. I thought to myself, why? After …

Maybe we have too many good ideas about how to deal with our anger

Ashly Doug

When I am on the Internet reading the research about dealing with anger, I am overwhelmed by all the worthwhile practices that have a solid evidence base. When I notice that I have collected another four or five excellent suggestions, I stop and reflect, “Wait a minute. I already have too many practices I’m trying to remember to deal with …

John – This moment of life

Ashly John "thinker"

Older letter from John: Looking forward towards something used to be a, no, was the anticipation of something wonderful happening. Now over time I have realized that being alive here and now, is the greatest of all feelings. Because now in this moment I am alive and able to enjoy all feelings. All emotions. I do not know when I …

Learning from our anger

Ashly Doug

Listening to the newly-finished audio book for How Love Wins, I am struck by the difficulty of applying all that I have included in the book, for example dealing with anger. I realize I will need to listen to sections again several times, each time re-activating several ‘overlooked’ practices. In the section on the kindful cycle for hard times in …

John – Anger is in their nature

Ashly John "thinker"

Older letter from John: When I was imprisoned in the world, to the world. Sex, drugs, alcohol, hatred, crime – these were the chains that held me. My self-made prison was built by these blocks and mortared in my beliefs, that these are what made me. Nothing else could satisfy me. And yet, these never satisfied me. It was a …

Christopher – I’ve got to decide who I want to be

Ashly Christopher "Twisted"

June 8, 2017 I have to practice mindfulness everyday! I’ve always been a fighter, tough on myself so when I I’ve discovered something. I have to decide who I want to be! See theres an image a reputation, I’ve upheld for so long that honestly I’d come to love everyone knows Twisted, wanted to be like him yet don’t know …

Dealing with an angry world—don’t eat the rat poison

Ashly Doug

Are you often angry about what you see in the news? I try to limit how much ‘bad news’ I take in. In 1826 a doctor wrote: “Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are.” I have a similar saying: Tell me what you hear and I will tell you how you feel. If you take …

John – 7×10 space for living and dying

Ashly John "thinker"

June 2017 Doug I want you to order the movie – (LIFE) –. It is part comedy, but understand the significance of life in prison on those living here. This movie is about (2) guys that are innocent of the crime of murder, and sentenced to life. You need to watch it. Eddie Murphy plays – Ray Gibbson and Martin …