The main organisation for Buddhist Prison Visiting/Chaplaincy is Angulimala. Much of the information on this page is taken from their site. Please follow the links for further information.
What prison visiting/chaplaincy means
From Angulimala site:
Exercising a pastoral ministry to the whole establishment and ensuring the availability of Buddhist Teaching and Practice.
Encouraging the development of Morality, Meditation and Wisdom.
Being a kalyana mitta or ‘good friend’ to the registered Buddhists.
Making a Buddhist contribution to the life of the prison.
Read this by Dick Allen, who worked as a prison chaplain for 20 years.
Karuna Thompson, Buddhist Chaplain at Oregon State Penitentiary, walks the cells block at the maximum security prison.
Some points from Angulimala’s ‘Note for Prospective Buddhist Prison Chaplains‘.
- devote a certain amount of time and trouble to it
- maintain a serious practice of the Five Precepts
- have a grasp of basic principles. These would include: the Four Noble Truths, the Noble Eightfold Path, Karma and its Results, Giving, Loving-Kindness and Compassion, etc
- have knowledge of other Buddhist traditions and not proselytise their own
- commit himself or herself to at least one training session a year