About Mind Without Borders

MWB is Nalandabodhi’s prison dharma program founded in 2006. We provide Buddhist study through correspondence courses, dharma pen pals and practice instructors.

Since program start, we have touched the life of 520 inmates from over 120 correctional institutions across the US and have provided them with the NB study materials.

We currently have 280 active members in the Mind Without Borders program.

60+ student inmates have graduated from the Nalandabodhi study program.

How Can I Help?

  • Become a long term volunteer (NYC area only);
  • Become a Pen pal;
  • Send Books and magazines;
  • Make a donation to support the program’s needs (printing course books, mailing costs, visiting inmates, etc.) Donate here

Reach out to mindwithoutbordersnyc@gmail.com if you would like to volunteer.

Take a few minutes to watch this 16-minute video interview with MWB graduate inmate, Nhut Vo.

“Prisoners should have the same opportunity as any one of us.” – Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche

“Modern dharma students, especially in the West, have access to an unlimited source of dharma: books, videos, dharma centers, teachers; yet many of us struggle to find the resolve to effect genuine and meaningful change in our lives. Nhut Vo showed us the way with simplicity, determination, and a firm recognition of the preciousness of the opportunity for awakening. Nhut Vo’s insights were offered without a trace of arrogance, no high or low, no inside or outside. I felt inspired and humbled by his genuine example.” Mitra Mark Power

“Mind Without Borders does incredible work to make the dharma available to sincere practitioners whose hearts are eager for transformation and who are in a vulnerable space of keen need for spiritual support. The timely connections facilitated by MWB helps people to make big changes to the arc of their journey through our crazy and often unforgiving world. May the work of MWB flourish and may we support it and rejoice in it!” Mitra Dean Tyler Dewar

“I’m very happy to see that Mr. Vo’s story will be shared. I was moved to tears and bodhicitta-full heart.” Mitra Lee Worley

“I am grateful and honored to have taken on the work Julia Grace started and continue to bring dharma to prisons, assist inmates in any way we are able to and learn about their everyday reality. And I am looking forward to continuing to grow the program with Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche’s blessings and the support of the sangha.” Isabel Kirsch, co-director of MWB

“It’s very important that we support MWB in whatever way we can. This is a clear way for benefiting beings. It’s right there, you can see it working.” Acharya Tashi Wangchuk

“I’m sure I’m not the only one among us who has or who has had a fixed idea or image of the sort of person who might end up in prison. There’s no better way of blowing that image away than to take the leap and engage with the men and women who are inmates. We say inmates, not prisoners. The word “prisoners” seems rude but it’s their reality: imprisonment. I’ve been learning about that reality—their realities–over the past 8 years and I’ve been astonished and deeply moved at how open these men have been—no holding back, it seems, and even with flashes of humor. The sutra tells us that “generosity is the stairway to the higher realms.” It’s true; it lifts you up. There are many women and men ready to receive the generosity of your time, your interest, your ear, your care.” Allan Novick 

“The experiences I’ve shared with my MWB pen pal have enriched my life, my practice, and my perspective.  In particular the preciousness of each chance for human connection and the preciousness of access to the dharma have come shining through for me in new ways. May all barriers dissolve and all minds be liberated.” Ellen Balzé

“As a printer, postmaster and secretary for Nalandabodhi’s “study path,” mailed to our MWB, corresponding inmate students, it is rewarding to read student letters, some quite revealing, about how the program has been a sustaining contribution.
Julia Grace, our founder, began a holiday greeting card tradition and it has generated a particularly positive response this season, again with the Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche contributing beautiful graphic art. 
Isabel Kirsch has committed to making this a permanent offering of MWB. As curriculum answers to study path questions arrive, it is evident  that Julia’s intention found its mark, with many students expressing appreciation for the gesture.” – Jonathan Swann, Co-director of MWB
“Even when we have all the worldly possessions we could wish for, we stay in the prison of our habitual mindset. We forget that we ourselves hold the keys to open our mind and claim our freedom” – Acharya Lhakpa Tshering