Success in the study program is based on incarcerated participants achieving the goals of the program, which are defined as follows:
- Identifies the link between awareness of his/her thoughts and a reduction of confusion and acting out. ”I’m less likely to react to things people say to me.”
- Begins to manage anger and arrogance and to recognize emotions earlier, as they arise.
- Becomes more sensitive to the environment and others.
- Becomes more optimistic and motivated to engage in other educational and therapeutic enrichment programs with an eye to improving their post-release life.
- Develops significant enthusiasm for the studies and meditation instruction provided by RPI as evidenced by sharing this enthusiasm with other inmates and asking many questions of RPI instructors.
- Experiences the desire to help – not hurt – others and takes the opportunities to do so provided by the prison.
- Expresses the desire to change from volatile emotionality to a more stable state, and commits to that process.
- Expresses regret and remorse, including talking about the motivation to make restitution to their victims and to their family, particularly to their children if they are parents.
- Expresses acceptance of their situation and stops struggling against it, which can lead to experiences of joy, contentment, and peacefulness.
This delineates an expected path of achievement for traditional mindfulness practitioners for the last 2500 years and turns out to hold true, in general, for an imprisoned practitioner as well.
If we give something away, it not only benefits the person who received our gift but will also benefit us because the results of generosity will bring us very close to buddhahood. Whereas if we keep things for ourselves out of attachment, it will likely be the cause of pride, jealousy, hatred, all sorts of negative feelings… “If we give things away,” the Buddha said, “then you really possess them because the goodness of the gift becomes inexhaustible; whereas if you keep it, the goodness of the object becomes small and is quickly exhausted.”
— Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche
Excerpt from: Jewel Ornament of Liberation (Zhyisil Chokyi Publications)