Change in Extremis: A Prison Bodhisattva
San Quentin is perched on the shoreline of the San Francisco Bay and at the foot of the Richmond Bridge, with a gorgeous waterfront, moist ocean air, and a view of Marin’s Mt. Tamalpais in the distance. The prison was built in 1855 and has the look of a castle, a crenellated hulk with gothic arched windows. The whole place, other than the building blocks themselves, feels totally antiquated. Every process is paper-based: you sign in and out on clipboards. Paper laminate IDs peel at the corners, signs are washed out, there is dirt in the corners, mismatched furniture, cracked cement, chain link fences leaning every which way. On the appointed day, I signed in at the gate….
Read more in the free download chapter, which covers finding yoga, teaching fighters and being changed by life-eligible inmates doing their own inner work.