Prison Chaplains in France

Today I had the most fruitful and beautiful conversation about chaplain work in France. The Lama I met with was so wonderful, curious, exciting, and dynamic of all the people I have spoken with.

Our meeting was set for 1700 however because she was attending a funeral of the husband of her mother she asked if we could move the time to 1800. If course I agreed and even offered to hold our meeting next year when I return. Then the day turned rainy, and not light rain either, it was torrential rain by the barrel full.

In order to protect the safety and security of the Lama we agreed not to name her nor show any photos.

We had a much too short a conversation and what we had went right to the core of the issues. There was great interest in hearing the nature of the work we do and how the challenges are similar.

The Lama said that they are just now increasing the involvement i prison reform and creatures strategy for organizing and communicating with others. There was agreement that prisons are increasingly harsher and cutting costs to increase profusely French prisons are slowly becoming more privatized.

There was genuine interested in creating retreats and lengthy training schedules for prisoners, and was curious about some models used in the US.

Our time together concluded with a general plan for me to visit the monastery in central France sometime early next year along with perhaps a drive around of the large territory this Lama personally covers.

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About Ryusho 龍昇

Nichiren Shu Buddhist priest. My home temple is Myosho-ji, Wonderful Voice Temple, in Charlotte, NC. You may visit the temple’s web page by going to http://www.myoshoji.org. I am also training at Carolinas Medical Center as a Chaplain intern. It is my hope that I eventually become a Board Certified Chaplain. Currently I am also taking healing touch classes leading to become a certified Healing Touch Practitioner. I do volunteer work with the Regional AIDS Interfaith Network (you may learn more about them by following the link) caring for individuals who are HIV+ or who have AIDS/SIDA.