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I went to the old chapel to facilitate the Buddhist group. I have been the leader since 2015 and continue to enjoy facilitating it. It was around 6:30pm, and I began to set up for the service. I took out the TV, put in meditation music, lit incense, and draped a tapestry of the Buddha over the TV. I waited and was wondering where everyone was. A person came down and said he heard that starting today, there would not be any religious or other activities after five pm because the prison is so short-staffed.

Five minutes later, four other people showed up. They said they came directly from the chow hall because everything was running late. I got some Dhammapada books out, and we began to read and discuss the wisdom of the Buddha. At about that time, a white shirt Officer-In-Charge opened the door and told us there were no religious activities after all. So now we only have one Buddhist group service instead of two. The other religious groups have also reduced their services because of the staff shortages. I hope the prison can hire more prison staff to get our regular religious services back. As my teacher, the Buddha, once said, “One may conquer a million men in a single battle; however, the greatest and best warrior conquers himself.”

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