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An Open Letter to the Lotus Sutra Schools

Don Ross
San Diego, California
April 13, 2003


The Buddhist Inmate Sangha was founded in January 2001 by Betty Lu Buck, who has been practicing the Lotus Sutra since 1965. We are an independent interfaith Sangha dedicated to providing spiritual support for 140+ buddhists behind bars. We currently donate buddhist books, magazines, videos and audio cassettes to prisons and inmates around the country upon request. All of these study materials are donated by temples, sanghas, organizations, and individuals.

I am writing to your Sangha today with a sincere request for new or used book donations for inmates and prison libraries. While a large proportion of our inmates are Nichiren Buddhists, most of the donations we receive come from Southeast Asia, particularly in the Theravada, Pure Land and Zen traditions. While this makes for well rounded studies, it would be nice to provide the Nichiren Buddhist inmates with Lotus Sutra and other related study material.

If you would like more information about the Buddhist Inmate Sangha, please check out our webpage at http://buddhistinmates.net. You can either mail your donation of study material to Betty for distribution (address below) or mail it direct to an inmate in your area (soft cover books only). We keep an active database of inmates with their sectarian affiliations (if any) open to all participants of our Yahoo discussion group which you are most welcome to join.

Most of our prison groups are also looking for ordained clergy who are interested in leading regular buddhist meetings. If you have ever thought about doing a prison ministry in your area, or from long distance as a pen pal, perhaps now is the time?

Thank you for your generous donation of time and energy to spread the Buddha Dharma in America, and if you see fit, your donation of booklets, magazines, and/or sutra books for our bodhisatva-inmates, however small, will be most appreciated. You might also consider putting out a box with a sign on it: "Used Book Donations for Buddhist Inmates." Please feel free to stamp your organizational information on the inside cover of the books (or other media) so that interested parties may contact you directly.

With my deepest appreciation,

Don Ross

Webmaster of BuddhistInmates.net
and Nichiren's Coffeehouse at LotusSutra.net

If you and your Sangha would like to support our prison ministry with english or spanish language study material, you can mail it to:

Betty Lu Buck, PO Box 16, Culp Creek, Oregon 97427.

Thank you very much!

This letter was snail-mailed to a majority of the Lotus Sutra Schools in the USA that are listed in my directory, excluding current donors such as Nichiren Shu (San Jose, Houston, and Kentucky), Hongaku Jodo and BIONA Books. All addresses were found online. This letter is reprinted here in the hopes that others may also find it in their heart to support this worthy cause.

BIS Homepage Our Yahoo! Discussion Group Database of Bodhisattva Inmates Prison Sangha Links and Resources

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