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About meLiberation Prison Project is a Tibetan Buddhist organization and social services project affiliated with the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition. Active in the U.S., Australia, Spain, Mexico, and Mongolia Liberation Prison Project offers spiritual advice and teachings, as well as books and materials, to people in prison interested in exploring, studying and practicing Buddhism.

ArturoThe project began in 1996 when Arturo Esquer, a young Mexican-American ex-gangster serving three life sentences at Pelican Bay, one of California’s maximum-security prisons, came across Introduction to Tantra (Wisdom Publications), a book by Lama Yeshe, the founder of FPMT. Moved by Lama’s talk of compassion, Arturo wrote to FPMT, then based at Land of Medicine Buddha in Soquel, California: “I’m writing in hope to be able to receive the Foundation’s journal on a regular basis. If possible, I would like to personally get involved in the Buddhist way of life.”

Ven. Robina, the editor of Mandala, the FPMT’s magazine, sent Arturo some books, some copies of Mandala and she and Arturo began writing one another regularly. Several months later Francisco Vasques, Arturo’s cellmate in the Security Housing Unit at Pelican Bay also began writing to Ven. Robina.

More letters followed as other prisoners began writing, seeking spiritual advice and counseling. By the end of 1997 Ven. Robina was writing and sending books to forty prisoners – all of whom had heard about her through word of mouth – as well as visiting prisons and offering Buddhist Refuge and Lay Vows.

Due to the needs of people in prison, what began as correspondence between two people has grown into nonprofit organizations in the U.S. and Australia and two volunteer-run centers in Spain, Mexico and Mongolia.

“It was as if there were no choice but to allow it to grow,” says Ven. Robina. “Here are people whose needs are strong, if not desperate, who are clearly in situations where they have little power to control their own lives. Most, it seems, have nothing, and have no one to turn to. How could we not help?”

About my libraryCorresponding teachers may select books from our library to send to prisoners.



Real nameLiberation Prison Project

LocationSan Francisco, California

Favorite authorsNot set

Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/lpp (profile)
/catalog/lpp (library)

Member sinceAug 30, 2007

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