Yes you read that correctly and if you are older than 40 and living in Memphis during that time you probably remember it very well. Mrs. CBT and I attended a talk with Damien Echols and Sensei T. Kenjitsu Nakagaki of the New York Buddhist Church at the Rubin Museum of Art on the Lower West Side. I will be honest, I didn’t know what to expect and freely admit that I was one of those who immediately crucified the West Memphis 3 because they ‘looked’ guilty. Now some 20 years later, I am in the same room with a man who spent half of his life incarcerated unjustly. Let me type that again, Damien Echols spent half of his fucking life in jail and was let go with not so much as a “my bad” from the State of Arkansas. One would expect that there would be a little bit of hatred or resentment but that is not the case.
The Talk was a back and forth on the topic of Karma, Damien explained how middle pillar meditation saved his life while in prison and how he was able to meet his wife Lori. Damien gave the example of Karma as “The exhaust fumes from Angels” in that one night on death row he was in unbelievable pain and during meditation the angles were able to break through all of his pain and his hate and saved his life. Sensei Nakagaki was equally impressive and was able to give insight on how he viewed Karma from an Eastern Religion prospective. I have to tell you, I was very impressed by Damien. When asked if he would do it all over again he said yes in that he was able to meet his wife, learn Buddhist meditation and become a better person. He admitted that he had a crappy family life, a 9th grade education and when he left prison was broken man and everything frightened him. Again, he spent half of his life in jail but to listen to him speak, had the calmness of a person who lives a normal life. I really learned a lot that night and confirmed my belief in Karma.
I look forward to reading his books. Like I said I was very impressed.
His books are “Life after Death” and “Yours for Eternity”
He spoke with a calmness and was very thankful for us attending
Not to shabby by the Trumpets in our first 90 days, The Pope, SNL, and now Damien Echols. Thank you Damien for the nice words and for the picture.