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Lions Roar : January 2010
SHAMBHALA SUN jANUAry 2010 85 neither safety nor sta- bility and he took a downward course, culminating in in- carceration at the age of nineteen. He struggled to establish himself within the prison gladiator culture and, four years later, this led to his being convicted of participating in a con- spiracy to murder a prison guard and be- ing sent to death row. at that moment, an important teacher stepped into masters’ life. melody was a private investigator working on his legal appeal. rather than a distant, well-heeled expert, she possessed the perfect alchemy to help masters pick up the pen filler. She sent him books on how to meditate and how to deal with pain and suffering. “Like me,” writes masters, “she was confronting a lot of things in her past.” She was a fellow human being with whom he could estab- lish a sense of empathic connectedness. as a result of the initial contact through melody, masters gradually became estab- lished within a community of tibetan Bud- dhists. through tibetan teacher Chagdud tulku rinpoche and many others, he found at last a place in which he belonged. “rinpoche and I had something in com- mon,” explains masters. “He had been a rebellious kid who wasn’t born with a sil- ver spoon in his mouth. I thought, here’s a tough guy who can take me out of prison, even as I remain here.” the reinforcement and loving guidance offered by rinpoche and the Buddhist The duality between prison warrior and prison monk is particularly true on death row, where time endlessly stretches ahead with a crushing sameness, yet is also running out. neither safety nor sta- bility and he took a downward course, culminating in in- carceration at the within the prison gladiator