Light from The County Jail

Notes from Students of David Paul Boaz


Dear Dr. Boaz,

“Your lecture The Good News About Suicidal Ideation literally saved my life. I know now that God has given me a precious gift. I pray that I will figure out how to use it.”

“Thank you for your book and the meditation practices and inspired teaching I have received from you…You have helped me to free myself of serious obstructions to my thinking that for many years have caused me and my family great emotional pain.”

“I wanted to let you know how your mindfulness of breathing meditation and the mantra prayer have helped me to get off psych meds and sleep better…(This) mantra of inner peace is in my mind day and night…I have learned to ‘Let it be as it is’…Thank you for the Jesus picture, and the prayer beads…Please come back soon.”

Thank you for giving us all the Buddhist Refuge. I am at your request leading our meditation meetings every morning. I read aloud from your books. There are 18 of us practicing here in F4. F6, D2, and E4 have about the same…We bow to one another and even to the CO’s in recognition of our Buddha Nature…We all have the Dalai Lama picture in our cells…We miss your good humor, and the guided meditations.”

“I am not into religion but using your (secular) mindfulness practice handout I have actually learned to cultivate a peaceful, sometimes happy mind…My panic attacks and anger problems are a thing of the past (almost)…I use your mala…I am sharing your course with my family.”

“Your humorous responses to my inane questions have allowed me to see that the drama of my life should not be taken so seriously. You said, ‘See it all as a divine comedy’…So ‘I’ am not the center of the universe after all. What a relief!”

“Thank you so much…You have taught me that Jesus and Buddha both came to earth to save us from the sin of ignorance, of ignoring our own inner Christ Nature…I know I am not an awful (person)…I am Presence of God!…This has forever changed my life.”

“The teaching you have given me is priceless, light and simple to apply in my life…My quiet mind presence is quickly found and the result is to me a very personal feeling of peace and gratitude for as you said the great gift of your life as it is now.”

“If God forbids killing that means it’s a sin to kill yourself…I tried it three times already…God gave me my life. So I can’t take it away…I pray to believe that.”

“The teaching of the Buddha that you have given us feels so familiar. It is a constant reminder of who I am…I am really Presence of Buddha if I choose to do it…It’s all so clear and obvious…Why does it take so long?…Thank you again.”

“Thank you for presenting your ‘Awareness Management’ strategy to our staff…We use your mindfulness handout with our patients in the PAC (Psychiatric Acute Care), as well as GP (General Population)…The mindfulness practice has proven to be of considerable benefit for those with anxiety and sleep disorder, which are all too prevalent here…Some of our staff are using it…We very much appreciate your effort.”

Your mind training meditation work with our PAC inmates has been exemplary…I appreciate your practical knowledge of General Psychiatry in a ‘spiritual’ context; not to mention your irreverent but not irrelevant humor…’Keep ’em laughing’…Thank you for your commitment to us…Thanks for the Jesus and Buddha photos, the beads, and for all the books you have donated to our library.”

“Joey—–in PAC-1 is having a very bad day. Please see him on your rounds.”


“I hope that your Tibetan is better than your Sanskrit! Let me help you with the latter… That said, your teaching has prepared me to Take Refuge with the Tibetan Lama who visits here…You have helped me to understand that my intellectual arrogance is a rather nasty form of ignorance…Thank you for your guidance on this prickly path to wisdom.”

“Your advice to see everyone as Buddha has helped me from being so insanely judgmental…Does that mean I am Buddha too?…Thank you for the awareness of all this…I am doing my mantra breath practice two times a day. I really helps.”

“After many years of (sleep disorder) I am sleeping normally thanks to the ‘practice of the night’ that you teach…I am willingly sharing it with others in the POD…Thank you.”

“After years of misery and hatred and mental breakdowns I have ‘surrendered’ as you call it, everything to my spiritual practice…It is the most valuable and important thing in my life…Your teaching has saved my life!…OM AH HUM…I want to meet your Lama…”

“Thank you for showing up for me…I feel my connection to mother earth and the whole cosmos…I don’t feel separate anymore…Strange inner peace…I practice bodhicitta for my fellow inmates, and those who I have harmed in the past…I am learning to forgive myself…Weird that I am given jail to meet you and change my life…In mantra prayer I feel my Diné roots…Everything is so bright…I feel your presence often, especially in inipi. I always will.”

“I am incredibly thankful for your introduction to me of the Buddha Presence that I am. It has changed everything for me…Who am I? That I Am! You taught me that.”

“My mantra prayer goes on almost by itself, without trying…Walking meditation has been my saving grace because I cannot sit for long without (anxiety)…I am peaceful for the first time in my life, even in the din of this hellish place…Someday I will teach this.”

Your book and guided meditations are a Godsend! Thank you my Kalyanamitta for mirroring to me the presence of my own happiness…So I stay present to it instead of suffering over something I can’t control, which is just about everything…When I forget I come back to my Buddha nature on my mantra breath…It’s everything I need.”

“The light of your selfless Buddha mind makes my own teaching, such as it is, real…I remain present to the luminous mindstream of His Holiness, and of Lord Buddha through your kind and subtle wisdom counsel…I very much miss our philosophical talks,

and your guided meditation…You are always with me. Lama Khyen, Lama Khyen.”

“These precious Fridays have shown me places in my mind that I never dreamed of. Through your meditation knowledge I have learned some most loving moments…full of peace and happiness… This is a true happiness for me. Thank you so much.”

“I am writing to tell you that my mindfulness meditations and my OM AH HUM mantra prayer have changed my whole life. I appreciate what you have taught me, and the books have been very helpful too!…You have shown me that I can have the life I want by being present to the life have…Life is asking us to use our clear Buddha mind to help other people to be happy. That is the true path to happiness…This will stay with me and my family for the rest of our lives.”

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