Finding Freedom: How Death Row Broke and Opened My Heart

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A remarkable story of personal transformation and spiritual awakening from a Buddhist man on death row.

There are many forms of liberation—some that exist at the mercy of circumstance and others that can never be taken away. In this collection of stories, essays, poems, and letters from death-row inmate Jarvis Jay Masters, he explores the meaning of true freedom on his road to inner peace through Buddhist practice. He reveals the life of a young man surrounded by violence, his entanglement in the criminal justice system, and—following an encounter with Tibetan Buddhist teacher Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche — an unfolding commitment to nonviolence and peacemaking. At turns joyful, heartbreaking, frightening, and soaring with profound insight, Masters’s story offers a vision of hope and the possibility of freedom in even the darkest of times.