Steal a little and they throw you in jail
Steal a lot and they make you king ~Bob Dylan, from Sweetheart like you
In tribute to my sick Community of Mindful Living friend, Dharma Teacher Bill Menza,
who dedicated much of his life offering meditative healing to those locked-up inside,
please view his lesson about true conditions inside super max prisons. This clip provided listeners of my “Shooting Stars” children’s radio show a realistic, solemn impression. His clear takeaway message to “be free where you are”, whether inside or out, is insightful and moving.
If I had lived a life
of blameless conduct
would past’s thoughts be
fields of endless spring blossoms
un-littered by artillery craters
& unexploded ordnance?
Breathe in air’s precious gift
for others generous kindness.
Even after repeated lashing out
& behaving like a victim
in words & actions,
I was offered patience & forgiveness.
Favorable conditions, indeed
now being aware of precious
sights, sounds, tastes, smells & embrace.
To be, often, free
from self-imposed imprisonment.
Looking deeply I can see myself
in those who are unforgiven.
Having committed actions
or against others,
words & action that were
bad or worse.
What are just conditions
for those locked inside?
Continuing stripping them
of humanness with punishment
& solitary confinement?
In my heart I believe
guided by healing mercy
is loving rehabilitation
for us all.
Freedom is not given to us by anyone
we have to cultivate it ourselves. ~Thich Nhat Hanh