BELOW IS A DESCRIPTION OF
INSIDE DHARMA'S VARIOUS PROJECTS
Since 2004, Inside Dharma has been working to assist incarcerated individuals in making a successful transition back into society, as well as offering support and materials that could make their prison experience less traumatic and more beneficial to the people around them.
Inside Dharma members respond to requests for ‘DRESS-OUT CLOTHING' so that an inmate doesn’t have to arrive at his destination in gray prison sweat suits after release.
Once released, they are invited to attend MEDITATION SESSIONS at Shinzo Zen Meditation Center. Some of the men now attend both sessions and rarely miss.
In 2010 we started a BICYCLE DONATION PROGRAM and so far over 35 bikes have been given out, many of them to residents the St. Louis Community Release Center, (those on parole with no acceptable home plan at the time of their release.) The bikes can make job hunting and just getting around the city much easier.
By offering MEDITATION GROUPS IN PRISON inmates discover teachings that can lead to a measure of acceptance of their current situation, the means for discovering insights into why they are there, and tools that lead to wisdom and compassion wherever they may be.
In 2009 we saw the need for a list of resources to distribute to people who are being released. This turned into a 52-page booklet called the ST. LOUIS AREA RESOURCE DIRECTORY, and to date over 14,000 copies have been handed out at no charge to homeless shelters, libraries, parole offices, prison chaplains, training centers and countless individuals. We keep getting requests for the directories and will continue to provide it for as long as possible. A corresponding website may be viewed at www.StartHereSTL.org.
Our bi-monthly, practice-oriented INSIDE DHARMA NEWSLETTER reaches over 600 inmates in prisons throughout the country.
Insider Art is a website that features ARTWORK by prison inmates.
At various times during the year BAKED GOODS, including special pecan pies and Karmic Korn, are sold to raise funds for Inside Dharma activities.
As a result of these seasonal efforts, a full-time commercial operation, Laughing Bear Bakery, opened in 2015.