Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Path of Freedom: Meet Fleet
Meet Fleet Maull, the co-creator of the Path of Freedom program I'm involved in. His story is a remarkable one. After years of illegal activities involving drugs, he found a Buddhist path that offered him a way out. With years of practice behind him and a new way of life being forged, his past caught up with him and he was arrested for his previous crimes.
When he had the opportunity to flee, he asked his teacher, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, the founder of Shambhala Buddhism, if he should accept his sentence or make a run for it. Rinpoche told him to pay of what he had done, and find a way to offer comfort to others in the process. He did just that.
Fleet founded Prison Dharma Network (now Prison Mindfulness Institute) in 1989 while serving a 14.5 year mandatory-minimum sentence for drug smuggling at a maximum security federal prison medical facility. He led a twice weekly meditation group in the prison chapel for 14 years (1985 – 1999). He also helped start the first inside prison hospice program and provided daily care to dying prisoners until his release. In 1991, he founded National Prison Hospice Association, launching a movement that now includes hospice programs in over 75 state and federal prisons.
This short video introduces Fleet and a handful of the many he's worked with over the years. Grateful for his journey, and for his choice to take the harder road along the charnel ground.