Connection with Prison Sangha

Time flies and I have been here as an online volunteer for about 2+ years now.   Well, well what have I been doing during these 2+ years? Come what may and with good intention, I shall be able to accomplish whatever it is happily.  I am grateful to Xian Zhong Shifu for giving me some extra work which helps me in my daily learning. I have to search/ google/ to understand and along the way realise “原来如此”.

Initially, I was just helping Shifu to type letters for the brothers and have done so, for more than 100 letters from the brothers. I am always humbled and touched by their messages that are filled with gratefulness and so “real”.

Then Shifu widened my scope and suggested me to collect Dharma books and I thought it was going to be tough as to where to get them. The first person that came to my mind was Ms Lim Lay Hoon of Sasanarakkha (SBS) and my message reached Bhante Kumara who was quick to suggest helping me post my request elsewhere. I was grateful and motivated when Maha Vihara, Brickfields; Bandar Utama Buddhist Society & Persatuan Suttarama Kuala Terengganu upon receiving the request from Bhante messaged to inform that they are sending Dharma books direct to IBS, USA. … Rejoice!

Some of us also collect books from Temples/ Monasteries whenever we see free publications and where need be, we will put in our request for books eg to Dharma Realm Guan Yin Sagely Monastery (thanks to Ven Heng Tai) for 10 complete sets of Shurangama Sutra (80 books); 100 books of Khenchen Tsultrim Lodro Rinpoche & 15 books of Khenchen Tsewang Gyatso Rincpoche (thanks to Ms Susan Sim); some Tibetan books from friends and consolidated the stocks before sending over to Shifu….. it is indeed a great pleasure to have a chance to serve.

Another milestone that I just feel blessed and heart-warming is the practice of dana by all the wonderful & generous souls who have responded from the very beginning, believe and supported in this program, you know who you are and thank you very much! I always stressed, while big donations are important, no amount is too small and it will definitely make a difference as long as you don’t consider not giving. Anything from the heart will go a long way. Appended below, is the donations received so far and hope to do better with the continued support from all:-

2013/2014       –           USD5,318-00

2014/2015       –           USD7,011-00 (there is still some balance (approx. USD1,200+) to be

                                    transferred by end of Dec 2015)

I may not know about the prison world but IBS Prison Program deserves my praise. IBS Prison Program is doing a great job, bringing the Buddha’s Dharma/ teaching & meditation into a dark world to transform the inmates’ way of thinking, their behaviour and who knows this place could turn into the best place for their cultivation for some inmates are serving a very long sentence which is like eternity.

At the moment, IBS has already set up 82 Buddhist libraries in 22 institutions and I always have respect for this beneficial program to help free beings from suffering. I am happy and honoured to be part of this team and let us join our hands together to support in any way we can give.


Py Cheong

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