Acharya Fleet Maull, Ph.D came of age in the late sixties and discovered Buddhism as part of the counter-cultural search for authenticity. After college he moved to Peru where he encountered the writings of his first teacher, Trungpa Rimpoche, and the opportunities of living outside the system by smuggling drugs. He moved to Colorado to study with Trungpa becoming one of his primary attendants but continued to live a dual life as a dharma practitioner and drug user and smuggler. This karma caught up to him in 1985 and he faced the choice of going on the run or turning himself in. He turned to Trungpa for advice and he recommended that Fleet face what he had created, which began the pain and chaos of long term incarceration.
Again faced with the choice of hunkering down and just trying to get through the time or finding a way to help others with their suffering, Fleet began to develop his practice along the ethical teachings of the precepts. Four years into his fourteen-year sentence, Fleet founded the Prison Mindfulness Institute, which has become a leading provider of mindfulness programming for both prisoners and criminal justice professionals. Today Fleet is a senior lineage teacher in the Shambhala community and is a dharma successor of Roshi Bernie Glassman. He is a senior priest in the Zen Peacemaker community assisting with Auschwitz Bearing Witness retreats and co-founded the Rwanda Bearing Witness retreats.
He also has a website for his new book Radical Responsibility:
And you can buy Fleet Maull's books at
Dharma in Hell: The Prison Writings of Fleet Maull
Fleet Maull is involved with a number of other organizations, many of which we talked about in the podcast. You can find information about there here: