Welcome to our second video interview in our new Interfaith Series, each designed to promote greater dialogue, understanding and true appreciation between the world’s faith traditions.

Buddhism is one of the world’s oldest, and largest religions. It’s based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, who lived about 2600 years ago in what is now Nepal and northeastern India. He came to be called “the Buddha,” which actually means the “awakened one,” after he experienced a profound revelation or realization of the transient nature of life, death and existence. From this experience he achieved a state of consciousness called “Nirvana” (the cessation of suffering, enlightenment, liberation).

In this short video we interviewed Walt Opie, Executive Director of the Buddhist Pathways Prison Project, Inc., headquartered in Sacramento. Walt briefly explains what his group of volunteers is doing in California prisons and jails and explains how their mission is helping to bring an end to “suffering” using Buddhist meditation and mindfulness practices.

Buddhists follow a path called the “Four Noble Truths”; and Walt gives us a succinct overview of each one. As you’ll see, Buddhism as a practice has much wisdom and encouragement to offer those in our prisons as well as others in the world. We gratefully acknowledge the unselfish work being done by Walt’s group and we feel honored to share this “introduction” to Buddhist thought and practice.

As always, we encourage you to learn more about this rich faith tradition and perhaps even visit a Buddhist temple, retreat or program. Visit: http://www.insightmeditationcenter.org/books-articles/dhamma-lists/