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“There is something very profound about places of intense suffering; they are reminders of impermanence, places of provocation in which
our very identity might feel threatened. These are places of quiet honesty, of direct cutting away of our own elaboration, free of the way we have dressed ourselves up.
These places, while scary, can be liberating.”
– Repa Dorje Odzer (Justin von Bujdoss)

For Justin von Bujdoss, places of intense suffering are where we can find liberation. As a Buddhist teacher, volunteer, and chaplain, he has chosen to bring relief through meditationand a non-judgmental compassionate presence to sites where we confront violence, death, fear, sadness, and grief. Currently Staff Chaplain at Rikers Island, he serves the spiritual needs of correctional officers. Follow as he travels between the prison, where tension is constant; home, where his family awaits; and his Dharma classes, when he often takes students to practice in cemeteries, a longstanding Buddhist tradition that allows difficult emotions to be provoked.  

All proceeds from ticket sales will directly benefit Tzu Chi Foundation’s humanitarian aid work. Learn more here.

The Inspiration

The path of compassionate in action chosen by Repa Dorje Odzer (Justin von Bujdoss),ordained a Repa in the Tibetan Buddhism tradition, has led him to where anxiety and difficult emotions are a daily challenge. He began by working in hospice care and volunteering in prisons, helping the dying and inmatese. find relief through meditation and Buddhist insights. Today, he’s the Staff Chaplain and Executive Director of Chaplaincy & Staff Wellness within the New York City Department of Correction, providing spiritual support for its 13,000 employees. He is also a widely-respected Dharma teacher, balancing his commitment to social service with life as a devoted husband and father of three.

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