Bo Lozoff and his wife Sita have been involved with the Prison-Ashram Project for 27 years providing books, tapes, and other resources to those behind bars. They live in an intentional community in North Carolina with ten to twelve other people. The group is dedicated to three principles: simple living, service of the common good, and commitment to a daily spiritual practice.

Lozoff is very critical of the mainstream cultural standard of looking out for number one. Instead, he notes that the saints and sages of all religions have emphasized following a calling dedicated to the welfare of all. He presents his interpretation of Joseph Campbell's advice: "Follow your bliss." A 30-year meditation practice has enabled him to live one day at a time without worrying about wealth or poverty, praise or blame, success or failure.

Lozoff is saddened by the extensive use of mood-altering drugs to control children in America today. He worries that youth are apathetic and numbed — totally devoid of any zest for life. And worst of all, few adults model a radiant joyful life to them.

Lozoff points out that Americans have forgotten what all the religions have pointed out for centuries — one can move through obstacles, depression, adversity, and loss, and come out the other side with a wealth of spiritual insights. Problem is most people don't want to deal with pain. They'll do anything to avoid it.

Lozoff is the author of It's a Meaningful Life: It Just Takes Practice. He can be reached about his work and the Prison-Ashram Project through his web site

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