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The Prison Community

Many people have practiced within the prison meditation communities. Here are a few of their stories and accomplishments.


Barnet Fisher translated the complete Dhammapada from the Pali while he was an inmate at Donovan and a member of the meditation community called the Sangha at Black Rock Mountain. Click here to read his translation.




Eric Wilkins was a member of the meditation group that served those preparing to leave the prison. After leaving Donovan he has gone on to graduate from Wayne County Community College where he received the Lansing Award. Click here to read part of his writings about his experiences.





Poem by Van Trae inspired after a day of practice


"Daddy" What's in a Name


Drifting into forgotten Pain…
Thoughts of father, framed,
Daddy, was never his name.
From childhood, thru the
Denial of passage…heroin, daddy’s master,
And claim to fame.
The street-gangs became my
Instructor…still, momma/daddy remained
My conductor, no matter…the
Path, traveled.
Never truly realizing every moment
Momma/Daddies soul unraveled.
Sailing within the abyss, a whisper…
Within the mist.  Never spoken
Momma/Daddies hearts broken.  By whom?
The child who searched/wanted
Father/Daddy, the spirit who rebelled
Against life itself…now sits caged-
Penance, he now must address.  Forgiveness
Momma/daddy is this once searching, childs