Longest trip to Iron Temples.

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About a month and half ago, the IBS team decided to have a long trip for the prison visitation program. We started this extensive journey on the 19th of July of this year in the Los Angeles County State Prison system. We have been visiting a different prison on every single day. The ones that we have visited so far include Kern Valley, Wasco, North Kern, and Avenal State Prison. Avenal State Prison is one of the largest prisons in the state of California, which used to house 8200 brothers and consists of 6 different yards. The IBS team spent two days covering all of the 5 yards where there were Buddhist practitioners. This time around, we had the rare opportunity to celebrate the completed course event at Avenal. It was our honor to have the warden, associate warden, and the community resource manager be present during this joyous event. It was quite evident how they appreciated IBS for providing mediation services at this institution. It is our organization’s pleasure to continue with our program for our dharma brothers who truly seek to continue with their diligent practice.
During this special event, IBS brought cheesecakes and sodas for all of the participants. The brothers were so happy to have this special treat. Some of them were saying that it was the very first time having cheesecake in over 30 years. Cheesecake is very common for those of us who live on the outside, but to them it is considered a very special treat. We were so happy to share cheesecake and soda with all our dharma brothers. We also presented certificates to all those who completed the course. They were so delighted to receive the course completion certificates. A special thanks go out to one of our dedicated volunteer, Andy Hamilton, for designing the certificate for us. We also presented the three refuges and five precepts card to over 60 brothers at 4 different Sanghas. They were so happy to receive them as well. Thank you also to our online volunteer, Nelly Soh, for working so hard on these certificates.
There are 21 prisons in all that are on our itinerary for this trip. We only visited 6 prisons so far, so there are 15 more remaining. I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the fact that this trip would not have been possible without all of the online volunteers’ and supporters’ hard work. Your contributions are a key to making this trip happen. The brothers have sent their loving kindness, appreciation, and compassion for all your support. We received lots of thank you letters from them, which will be posted shortly. May all beings be free from suffering and causes of suffering. Amituofo

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