We started our present programme in Malmesbury New Prison in the middle of 1998. It started when the Centre received a letter from an inmate requesting help and assistance in learning meditation. This tentative step has grown into a fully-fledged Prison Programme.
The first Precepts Ceremony in the history of South African Correctional Services was held in the year 2000, subsequently there have been other Precepts ceremonies. In March 2002 we held our first meditation retreat of three days, and now have ongoing intensive retreats based on our MAIA Programme (Mindfulness Awareness in Action) These retreats are nondenominational, and offer a workable approach to mindful awareness. We have up to 40 inmates participating in this programme at a time. The Goodwood and Robertson Prisons also approached us to extend the MAIA programme to their facilities.
Our other approach is traditional Zen teaching, which is identical to what we offer at our Centres in Cape Town and Robertson.
Our prison work is not financed by Correctional Services, nor any other Governmental organization, but solely sponsored and financed by the Dharma Centre. Any donations for this ongoing work will be gratefully accepted.