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Malas for Prisoners~ The Mindfulness Peace Project

Hi, it’s Dawn, the owner of Sakura Designs. I had the good fortune over the years of helping with prison projects in a number of different ways. I always believe that people are not confined to mistakes they’ve made, and all of us are redeemable and have basic goodness, and the capacity to evolve. There’s a powerful mindfulness training organization that focuses in on veterans and prisoners, offering them mindfulness meditation, redirection and trauma recovery techniques. I was trained to go into prisons and teach meditation groups over the years and now most recently have been donating prison malas for inmates to be able to do their meditation practice. The malas have to be made a certain way for safety and according to the prison rules. We are so grateful to have a letter of appreciation from the Mindfulness Peace Project and write up about us on Facebook you can see the article here:


“Recently we got a call from the chaplain of the Boulder County Jail. He’s been getting a lot requests for malas, and we’ve been getting low on them. Malas are something we routinely provide for Buddhist practice in prisons, and they’re one of the few Buddhist items you can possess in a prison.

A mala’s main utility is to synchronize body and mind during mantra recitation. I find I space out a lot less with a mala in my hand. They, of course, also can be used for counting your mantras, if you have a practice requirement that way. Over time–like years and decades–they seem to get saturated with mantras you’ve done, so they acquire some blessing energy in the course of their use and have kind of a glow or power to them.

The first mala I got I bought in 1982 for $8. It was the cheapest one available, and therefore the least fancy, but all I could afford, just having graduated from Naropa with no job. But you can buy some very lovely malas indeed, with beads made from various semi-precious stones, that have different qualities and energies. I had to get a lot older before I bought one of those.

We’ve been able to supply some relatively simple but very nice malas to prisoners thanks to the kind donations over the years from Dawn Boiani and Sakura, her mala company located right here in Boulder. Dawn has volunteered for us in various capacities over the years, including visiting prisons. She came to our aid again, and I was able to ferry some malas over to the Jail for the chaplain. We wanted to acknowledge her support for our work over the years, and thank her for placing malas in the practicing hands of prison inmates.”

Gary Allen

Mindfulness Peace Project


Compassion is nonjudgmental. Regardless of anyone’s worldview or politics, people who are suffering deserve to be helped by the fact of our shared humanity. The practices of Mindfulness and Meditation, if wisely taught, inspire people and then give them the tools to relate to and reduce their suffering. The Mindfulness Peace Project


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  1. Repost: Malas for Prisoners~ The Mindfulness Peace Project – Dawn Lhamo

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