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Medicine for the Mind

Jing Si Aphorisms in U.S. Prisons

People convicted of a crime and locked away could easily be forgotten over time. Haunted by memories and regrets, trapped in a crowded and tense environment, it may be difficult for them to begin the rehabilitation process that’s expected.

A group of Tzu Chi volunteers in Nevada took their plight to heart with the view that everyone deserves compassion and peace of mind. It all started in 2013 when one volunteer had the idea of donating publications of Jing Si Aphorisms to prisons. The team then obtained permission and began running Jing Si Aphorism Book Clubs, enabling inmates to discuss the wisdom contained in Master Cheng Yen’s observations and guidance.


Gradually, by discovering the importance of integrity and personal accountability, consideration and kindness, generosity and good deeds, the inmates who participated embarked on a path towards transformation and inner freedom, through cultivating a calm mind and loving heart.

Today, Tzu Chi volunteers maintain a profound and ongoing personal contact and exchange of letters with inmates across America, with Jing Si Aphorisms providing inspiration and practical advice that they can apply.  


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