Gangaji Community
A Beautiful Story to Share
by Barbara Denempont

The most recent Freedom Inside newsletter featured a powerful quote from Gangaji. It was shared with the 670 prisoners enrolled in the Prison Program course, Freedom Inside: A Course in Self-Inquiry with Gangaji. I want to share it with you…

"It is possible to recognize that grace is not limited by prison walls and support is not limited by proximity. Support is here. I guarantee it with my life."

Yes, support is here. You are that support. Let me share a story with you that brings this essential truth home in a concrete way, a story that indeed is proof that grace is not limited by proximity or prison walls.

In late December, Shanti, who manages the Prison Program, walked into the office living room with tears in her eyes and a letter in her hand. Harriet and I sat down with her on the sofa to read it together. The letter came from Jeffrey, a prisoner in an Oregon state prison. After seeing his own words printed in the Freedom Inside newsletter, he wrote to share his transformational report that stopped us in our tracks. His words pointed to our deepest purpose as a community—to support the realization of who one is as love and truth itself. Here is his letter in part….

“My truest intention is to use my life’s hurts to heal and hopefully spare young men and fatherless children. I want to be a light in this dark place. I will be. I learned that my words hold value and my “Self” worth is not just mine—in fact “mine” does not exist…

…I feel a pure sense of purpose. I feel connected to you, Gangaji and the Foundation. I pray sincere prayers that I will cross paths [with you] someday and give thanks. Until then I will practice, I will write, I will be a light and smile at our beautiful existence. Thank you so very much for your diligent efforts spreading truth and love. I am proof of its effects for your loving letter changed the steps of my feet. I am in Awe! —Love,  Jeffrey"

Jeffrey also included with his letter a $30 check donation taken from his small commissary fund. He wanted to help support the cost of the books he has received. He wanted to give back.

This is, as Papaji described, “candles lighting candles that light candles.” There is a beautiful simplicity to our work together, but it is a profound, transformative offering. I don’t think I really need to tell you that, but it is important to me that I can find a way to bring you into the office living room, sit with you on the couch, and together, revel in the love flowing from just one letter.

And you should know, the donor community did reach our annual donation goal set for 2022 to fund the programs. So much to celebrate in the new year!

May all being awaken to Itself.

With love and thanks,

P.S. NEW!  A donor collaborative has been created by donors, for donors. It is an opportunity for donors large and small, old and new, to connect and engage with each other. Send an email to Hillary Larson or Kat Millerto learn more. It is a beautiful bunch!  

“This is your resting place, your watering hole. Find what supports you, what includes you, and drink it in. Be nourished. Be enlivened. And when you feel thirsty again, drink some more.” —Gangaji

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Regardless of my parole date, I am free
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From a Prison program volunteer

"I have found writing these letters to a prisoner to be a most intimate and deepening act of love towards myself, as well as a way of appreciating and acknowledging our shared human beingness."

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