- Consulting / Coaching
- Training / Speaking
Date(s) - 18/10/2018
6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Tzu Chi USA is celebrating compassion in action by presenting stories about Socially Engaged Buddhism in the United States and beyond. Helping those in need is vital in today’s unbalanced and turbulent world. We can all play a part in spreading and practicing the wisdom of altruistic service. Join our film screening event and let’s inspire each other!
FEATURING “The Peace Inside”
Sometimes, bad decisions can have tragic repercussions. For A-Peng, a young man recently arriving in the United States from China and not speaking a word of English, a poor choice of friends led to a lengthy prison sentence. Unable to cope with this shocking turn of events, he aims to end his life. And yet, a fateful intervention puts Judy, a volunteer from Tzu Chi USA in his path. This dramatic film presents the true story of a friendship that spans twenty years and continues, revealing how Buddhist wisdom can lead to inner transformation, bringing peace and solace to even the most troubled heart.
Short Film #1 “From Trials to Freedom”
They say walk a mile in someone’s shoes before trying to offer help. When it comes to helping prisoners, Fleet Maull certainly has. Early on his Buddhist path, he lived a double life through drug trafficking that led to a conviction and 14 years in prison. His fall from grace and discovery of the great suffering in prison sparked intense meditation practice and a drive to serve others. He founded a nonprofit support network from his cell, offering Buddhist prison ministry, something rare at the time. Nearly 20 years since his release, through what is now the Prison Mindfulness Institute, Fleet continually strives to relieve the suffering of those housed or working within the correctional system. As both inmates and correctional staff share after a class, his personal transformation brings an authenticity that awakens trust, so embracing the mindfulness tools he teaches becomes increasingly possible.
Short Film #2 “Second Chances”
Recently released inmates often find themselves alone, with less than $10 in hand and no job prospects to sustain their lives. The onslaught of challenges they face trying to reintegrate into society is daunting, and close to half end up back in prison within five years. In St. Louis, Missouri, thanks to a far-seeing non-profit, ex-offenders are getting a second chance. Led by Kalen McAllister, an ordained Buddhist priest and former chaplain with the Missouri Department of Corrections, Inside Dharma’s compassionate and comprehensive outreach is turning lives around, giving birth to self-esteem and a renewed place in the world for people yearning to start over.
Short Film #3 “Ripples from Compassionate Hearts”
Suffering is a daily fact of life for those living behind bars, yet the external conditions of incarceration aren’t the only source of frustration, as internal issues equally lead to pain. Anna Cox, a psychotherapist, knew this well when she founded the non-profit Compassion Works for All. Based in Little Rock, it’s the only Buddhist prison outreach organization in Arkansas, striving to offer “freedom from real and imagined prisons through compassion.” Anna’s vision inspired many to join the mission, teaching meditation, and tools of personal transformation, maintaining a correspondence with inmates and newsletter, or providing spiritual support on death row. Even after she retired, they continue to carry the torch, their compassionate service reaching deeply into the state’s correctional system.