Jonathan Crowell's profile

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[black and white photo crop of a man standing in in a field. It appears to be high noon.]
Jonathan W. Crowell
"Always leave the campground in better condition than you found it."
Hometown: Salt Lake City, UT
Current hometown: Columbia, Missouri
Alumnus: University of Utah (finance/philosophy/Spanish)
Birthday: August 10
"Zen in the Art of Incarceration" → Zencarceration!

One morning, not too long ago, I woke up in what seemed to be some sort of proverbial prison of my own making. Ever felt that way? Well, sadly, this time, the prison was an actual prison made by the Massachusetts Department of Corrections.

I am currently incarcerated in Massachusetts. It is the first (and last) time I've ever been incarcerated, so I truly write about my experiences and insights in here with what is known as a "beginner's mind". It is somewhat a fluke that I find myself in this situation, but, long story short, I made choices that—directly or indirectly—brought me here. So who's complaining, right? Why not buy the ticket and take the ride?

Kudos and thanks to the team at MIT that made this possible! My plan for this online blog is to post about my adventures while incarcerated in the hopes that any readers may find something of value and perhaps gains some perspective and leverage of their own as they cope and work through problems of their own. After all, we're all in this together, right?

I don't claim to be any kind of teacher or guru or anything, but I know that we live in a benign universe, and that life and history are full of amazing lesson and teachers—there is ALWAYS more to learn. Remember that. It's what you learn after you think you know everything that matters most, after all.

I'd love to hear your thoughts and feedback! I get your comments printed out and mailed to me every couple of weeks, so keep the love coming! Also, my snail mail address is included below if you'd like to get in touch.

Again, always remember: you're not alone. Maybe something you read here can help you with something you're going through, help you feel gratitude or compassion for something or someone, or at least help you see something in a new light. And maybe, absolutely nothing I say will make any sense to you at all. If that is the case, so be it. Maybe someday it will.

Jonathan W. Crowell, W97641
Old Colony Correctional Center
One Administration Road
Bridgewater, MA 02324

[colored hand drawing of a monk sitting in a grass meadow. A yellow sun is peaking from behind a snow-capped mountain and tori gates are silhouetted in the background. The monk has his eyes closed and is giving the peace sign.]

Read more from Jonathan Crowell's blog: Zencarceration »