Since the mid-1990’s, our Sangha has supported inmate Sanghas in the North Carolina Department of Corrections by visits, cushion and book donations, correspondence, and other means. In January 2009, a new inmate Sangha formed an hour north of Charlotte in Salisbury. Dharma Teacher Leslie Rawls and Sangha member Ardith Allen attend weekly inmate gatherings, which include meditation, study, and practice. Several inmates have received the Five Mindfulness Trainings from Leslie.
The Joy of Practice Cannot be Contained is an article beautifully written by one of the inmates at the Piedmont Correctional Institute describing his practice.
Click here to read Alan Davis’s writing about his experience on a prison Day of Mindfulness in Spruce Pine, North Carolina. The article should open in a new window.
Room in the Inn
Our Sangha regularly supports the Room in the Inn by preparing meals, making beds, and other activities. Room in the Inn offers a welcoming safe place and nourishing food for homeless people during the winter. Many children of Sangha members help us in this practice.
Welcome Bags Project
There are several agencies in Charlotte under contract with the U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program that sponsor and support refugees when they first arrive in town. One agency is Carolina Refugee Resettlement Agency. It is affiliated with HIAS-The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society.
This group has helped refugees coming to Charlotte from countries including: Bhutan, Burma/Myanmar, Afghanistan, and Iran. Also the Montagnards, Chin, and Bantu people. They start with a set amount of money to help each refugee get set up in an apartment. It's not a lot of money and often difficult to stretch to meet all the needs.
For the past 3 years the sangha has made 12-15 cloth bags or provided re-usable shopping type bags and filled them with some of the needed items.
Here's the timeline for 2012:
November 4-December 16 Sangha members bring donated items to meditation room. There will be a basket for donations.
November 11 -During our Family Practice/second hour the sangha would work on cutting out and sewing cloth bags.
December 16 Family Practice Day -We'll create handmade welcome cards and fill the bags.
Here's a list of the Items we will be collecting: