Homeboy posted the above photo on their Facebook page yesterday, with the caption:
Father Gregory Boyle visited with Pema Chödrön last week. She is a beloved Buddhist teacher, author, nun and mother. Millions of people from around the world have been inspired and touched by her example and message of practicing peace in turbulent times.
Pema Chödrön is the resident teacher at Gampo Abbey in Cape Brenton, Nova Scotia, Canada, and a student of Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche. Her many popular books include such spiritual classics as The Wisdom of No Escape: And the Path of Loving-Kindness, Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times, The Places that Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times,Comfortable with Uncertainty: 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion, and No Time to Lose: A Timely Guide to the Way of the Bodhisattva.
Homeboy Industries is the largest and most successful gang intervention, rehabilitation and re-entry program in the country. At their website, they say:
Homeboy provides job training positions and free social services for formerly gang involved and previously incarcerated men and women. Each client is assigned a Case Manager on day one who helps them set a goal plan that may include: obtaining a high school diploma or GED, a course of action for release from parole or probation, and a general game plan for needed services, classes, and skills in order to find outside employment.
Homeboy has also launched several social enterprises as part of this work, including Homeboy Bakery, Homegirl Cafe & Catering, Homeboy Silkscreen & Embroidery, Homeboy/girl Merchandise, Homeboy Diner at Los Angeles City Hall, and Homeboy Farmers Markets.
(Dr. Jane Naomi Iwamura and I took our “Buddhist Ministry and the Prison-Industrial Complex” class from University of the West to Homeboy Industries and participated in a demonstration with them at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in Los Angeles.)
Their founder, Fr. Gregory Boyle, often quoted from Pema Chödrön’s work in his bestselling Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion. I recommend that book, as well as Fr. Greg’s extraordinarily powerful TED talk (which, in my humble opinion, is maybe the best one ever), to find out more about him.