The Utah State Prison Buddhist Project
Objective: To provide meditation and general Buddhist teachings to those asking for instruction at the Utah State Prison. This project will be successful if a 98% attainment of scheduled activity, per calendar year, is met and the participants agree on some level of shared benefit.
Scope: This project will be limited to addressing the instructional needs of the Utah State Prison in Bluffdale, UT. Volunteers to this project will not be deterred from supporting nor obligated to participate on any other prison teaching projects.
Roles: Group Leaders:
Jean Gardner- Vajrayana /Tibetan Tradition (Nyingma School)
Dean Gonzalez- Zen Tradition (Soto & Rinzai Schools)
Phra Sombat- TherevadaTradition
Josh Hill- Unified Buddhist Church/ Vietnamese ZenTradition (Rinzai School)
Cynthia Shumway- Vajrayana /Tibetan Tradition (Nyingma School)
Session Instructors: Jean Gardner, Dean Gonzalez, Phra Sombat, Josh Hill, Cynthia Shumway
Session Support: Sangha Volunteers
Coordinator: Joshua Hill
Assistant Coordinator: Janice Kyle
Teachers and volunteers: Please help to get the word out to your Sanghas to encourage other members to get involved as session support, and, for each group to provide one to two backup teachers, should the session leader not be available. Per UT State Prison, minimum of 2 people mandatory per month for meeting with inmates. Ideally, minimum of 3 people should be available to become familiar with the sessions and the environment, and to help with instruction in the future should this arise.
Requirements: Each volunteer is expected to participate on a scheduled basis and undergo mandatory prison volunteer training and certification. Forty-eight hours advance notice of inability to meet scheduled sessions is required and more advanced notice is preferable.
Plan: Sessions will be rotated over periodic frequency depending on the number of groups engaged. We currently have five Sanghas to participate resulting in roughly nine sessions per Sangha over the course of the calendar year. A posting of the complete first quarter rotation schedule will be provided before the project begins. If a Sangha is unable to represent, a trade can be made with another Sangha. We have decided that teaching at the prison will commence Saturday, January 3, 2015. Teaching will continue each Saturday of every month except for the fourth Saturday of each month due to another volunteer group’s prior commitment and will include the fifth Saturday when applicable. We have been scheduled to teach from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm in chapel room one of the Wasatch cell block.
Management: The coordinators have been appointed and can be changed anytime, when discussed by all the project members. Meetings with all project members will be scheduled as needed quarterly. One mandatory yearly meeting will be scheduled to review the project and make any changes. These dates will be determined and placed in the calendar. The project members can establish additional structure to the project including the formation of officers and general rules of governance and administration, if so needed.
Calendar: Our teachings will commence Saturday, the 3rd of January, 2015 at 6:00 pm ending at 8:00 pm. Please refer to the website calendar for a list of days with instructors and assistants for the current quarter.