Expressions from

Buncombe County Detention Facility

From the 6th floor Housing Unit

Participants are helping with facilitation and note taking

Volunteers: Dave Buergey, Dennis Turner, Paul Feinman, David Hill

( 1 ) The first participant said, “ I Know I can think and then react, when I was on the out side I would react before thinking. I can see Inner peace lets you think clearly. ”


( 2 ) Another said, “ Time and money should come after you, make you your number one priority.


( 3 ) Another said, “ Happiness has nothing to do with what you have or don’t have.”


( 4 ) Another said, “ Your mind wants to control you by thinking what you don’t have rather than what you do have.”


( 5 ) Another said, “ I want to be like the penguin Happy Feet, he is happy by just being himself. 

Reflections (at the end of the videos):


Inmate #1 – He gives you a lot to think about….. it’s deep.

It’s about our life… my life…. What we make important.


Inmate #2 – Everybody’s wearing a mask, it reminds me of a bible verse……….?


Inmate #1 – I liked the story about the dog chasing its tail.

That’s been me….. living in yesterday, not today.

I need to know myself…. To know…. This stuff is good.


Inmate #3 – I talked to Sara and told her that we like these programs.


Inmate #4 – Know the value of the day, recognize it. You are….. I’m the master of the day.

It rings true in another bible verse….. let tomorrow worry about itself.


Inmate #5 – I need to recognize each day….. maybe there’s no tomorrow. I’ve always been quick to anger….. these classes have helped.

Rumors travel so fast here….. CJ (someone on their floor) started something….. that escalated…. and it was  based on nothing.

Being clear is important….. clear focus….. don’t let others interfere….. stay in the now, that’s important to me…… that’s the icing on the cake.


Inmate #6 – Who am I? Really, that’s the big question. I’m easily influenced by other people and wondering what they are going to think, not what I’m thinking…. I’m not what I do.



 ( ! )  First reflection. We are quick to know when we don’t know and forgetting to know.


( 2 )  Without peace everything is chaos.


( 3 )  I thank the Lord every morning, and this is a gift in itself.


( 4 )  35 years of being locked up , and I’m beginning to feel free.


( 5 )  When we concentrate on the past it robs us of peace.


( 6 )  We were taught things that don’t help us, we need to undue what we were taught.


( 7 )  The small things that we didn’t appreciate, like the air that we breathe, all the little things that lead to appreciation.


( 8 )  Watching my Grandmother die of lung cancer made me appreciate the importance of breath.


( 9 )  We don’t know how to live and appreciate simple things, we need to make the best of all the gifts given to us. 


“Light the candle”


Know what you have and recognize it


Finding my peace and knowing myself


Just dig, find your treasure


Knowing what will make you happy


Knowing yourself is knowing the true treasure of life as well as being thankful for every breath



Participants: 6

Larry A-Facilitator, Jim Clink-AV, Maggie S-Notes


“It’s kind of up to ourselves to find happiness”

“We’ve seen him and heard him talk before” (several participants stated)

Session 11

7 participants

David Hill, Sandi, Adrienne, Sheila and Larry


I got a lot out of this class and it has changed me. I was involved in substance abuse to cover my pain. Thank you guys for bringing this to us.


I don't know how I ended up in this program, but I wouldn't change it for a million bucks. Thank you guys for giving us this time.


I don't do much speaking. I got a lot out of this class and I appreciate all the volunteers. I'll be on a better path when I get out of here.


Like a lot of the guys said, I got a lot out of this class. This has helped bring me back to a solid center. Thank you guys for bringing this program.


This has helped me focus on me. The moments are important, and now I can help my family. Thank you for bringing this program. 


I signed up for whatever I could to get out of the unit. Gratitude for the moment has taught me the most and I appreciate you coming.


I appreciate you all. Where I am headed, this gives me principles for going down the road.


I feel beyond blessed and it has helped me. This is not just for those in here,  it's for all humans.

Going along in this, he makes us think how we have never thought before.


I need to re sow the seeds of my life since I have grown weeds. I have a child that I've lost connection with for 12 years. This will be good for him to grow from too. We need to start working our gardens a little harder.


We must not only plant the seeds, but nurture them also.


It's weird how things work out. They (BCDF) made a blunder and I was with someone that I wasn't supposed to be with. We were together for 2 hours, and I didn't nurture the seed of hate that I had been carrying around. But, I forgave him, and there was no feeling like it. It was a split second decision. If we nurture the seed of love, that's what will come out in those split seconds. I'm so grateful you guys are coming,  cause it's changed my life and I can control things like that. Control my little boat. All the seas can be rough, but I have to hold on to the good seeds. If you ever see him (Prem), thank him for me. I'll never be the same.


Because I am alive, I now realize I'm alive. I have the ability to create or destroy within myself. If we all as individuals could create, it would change the world.


Think of what you are going to choose. Lead by example.


When challenges are put before you, you'll realize what you've been nurturing.


When you play stupid games, you get stupid prizes.  If you're going to try, try for reality. I've not been talking to a lot of guys here that I used to and the stress is less not dealing with their negativity. I want to deal with myself.




Dave B-Facilitator, Paul F-AV, Maggie S-Notes

“I liked what he said…Why make a hell; make a heaven”

“Hell is our own desires, our problems”

“I am really thankful for this class…before I came in everything was so negative”  

“Trade the illusion for reality…I am alive today!”

“I see that…we are either going into the storm, in the middle of the storm or coming out of the storm…I want to see the beauty in that!”

“I agree…war is not the answer…there is peace!”  

“We can feel our own self-worth…there is good in each of us”

“Despite our current circumstances…there is light in every situation, even in the dark room…it just depends what you do with it”

“I agree…people who are incarcerated still have something to offer.”  

“They could do so many things… like a documentary to help others choose another way, besides substance abuse.”

“There are so many distractions in life that can rob you of your happiness.”  

“Happiness without dignity is no good.”


February 6, 2018, session 5, Clarity


David H facilitated, Paul did AV, Alister took notes.  

There were ten present inn the class


We have a choice in the company we keep. That’s what got me confused, when I kept the wrong company.


Try and keep company of clarity and accept things for what they are. Don’t surround yourself with bad influences.  You can tell when you’re around the wrong people, they don’t want a change.  Eliminate bad influences and confusion.  I’m starting to know where I want to go.


The last 3 weeks I’m applying what we’ve learned. I’m staying away from my influences. Some people talk about other people’s inadequacies.  We should be building each other up, not tearing others down.  Feel happy for other people and wish them the best. I’ve got to live this life with me. The company you keep rubs off on you.


Every day we have a choice, so choose wisely. We can be bitter about our circumstances, or be thankful for being alive.  Try to enjoy every day, find one small thing to enjoy. Lead with your heart, not your head.


Every day we must choose to embrace peace, then we’ll find contentment.  We must make conscious effort every day.  It takes work to choose peace.


It’s mind over matter. I can sit here and find joy in something  like that I’m going to move to a Federal prison. It’s amazing what a human can endure.  I hated being locked up at first, but now I’m used to it.  Now it’s tolerable and I can be at peace with myself.  The path is the goal, not the destination.


Clear choices with the mind taking counsel from the heart is wisdom.  Know that you’ve made the right choice when it comes from the right place.


Spend time with yourself, your truest friend.  At the same time we can be our own worst enemies.


Realm of the mind is instinct, shelter, food etc.  The heart needs to be trusted, that’s where all the answers are.  We need to listen to the inner voice we all have inside.  Don’t underestimate the simple smile or gesture. Laughter is contagious.  


January 30,2018 Session 3, Inner Strength

There were 11 participants in the class. David H facilitated, Dave B did AV and Alister took notes

We have inner strength but just don’t know it and how to channel it.

Consciousness makes us different, the awareness of time. Everybody knows this exists, that we have a limited amount of time.  I’ve wasted a lot of time, and I wonder  if my life was useless, pointless.  I want to make the most of what I have left.  It’s how you treat others that matters most. You have to give what you have to be filled up. When I got shot, something happened; I went somewhere real quiet and dark, thought God please forgive me my sins. I’m reminded every day of my life.


Don’t be afraid to share; sometimes you have to speak it to know it.


I’m enjoying getting to know my own strength inside myself. I want to get that strength, it’s hard, but if I give my all, I think I’ll make it. That’s your purpose, to try to do the best you can.

I need to find who I am, not basing my life on society or others if I want to find peace.  I’m changing the people I hang out with.  When I find myself going back to negative way of thinking, try to stop.


What am I going to do with my life? Don’t want to go back to the way I lived before.


You got to find your true nature and be true to yourself.  You need to be comfortable being yourself, then it’s easier to find joy and strength.


Know your story; it shouldn’t be about pain and anger.


I found it interesting the speed of light is 186000 mph.  Shows how big the universe is, how big life is.  But when you think about it, life is short.  It puts things on a scale you can’t compare to.


I like the comparison of dragon and sword.  We all have an inner battle, need to find what we truly want in life.  I started drinking and takings drugs early in life, when I was 13. I’ve fought with the inner part of myself to be happy with what I have.  I’ve always been blessed, had people that loved me. But I’ve always looked down on myself, and I’m trying to turn the page.  There’s a different side of me.  You can find a different way.


Session 2, Appreciation, 

January 27, 2018 - 10 attendees


Sometimes peace feels like the carrot in front of the horse. It's right there, but you can't quite reach it every day.


Like he said, our bodies like to enjoy life.


We have to find the best way out of every situation. Some people feel more free inside prison than outside if they can find peace within. Last week I have the example of Paul in prison, he was grateful for everything.


We have to reclassify what peace is. You're taught one thing, but there are many little basic things to enjoy, birds in the sky, babies, squirrels. We are taught bigger is better, but really smaller and simpler is more attainable.  Thankful for breath, food, things you don't think about.


Society tells is we want those shoes, cars. I find more peace inside myself.


Nobody wins the rat race. Everyone chasing the bull****. I'm in jail and going to prison for a very long time. I'm okay with it. I could sit and worry about it, but that would be self destruction.


The universe will work itself out. I just have to find peace for the day. If I think about next week, I'll start to worry, my mind will start to worry. I've been here 17 months, and they told me 15 years. I cried and freaked out, but I let it go and accepted it. I don't have to be bitter about the situation, because the government doesn't play fair. I appreciate my wife and kids. I had a great mother. I'm not hungry today, I don't want to focus on the negative.


Just to have gratitude in the smallest things gets me through. I have to put it in action. That's where the effort and real leg work comes in.


Appreciation depends on how you look at it. Things happen in all sorts of ways. If something happens and you just turn it around, you decide how are you going to aaccept it. Either I can roll with a bad attitude all day, or I can recognize it and change it. You have feel it inside before you can help anyone else. At the end of the day, it's you.


I think he sums it up with looking within yourself.


Life's a lesson, a dance.


Try to find joy in everything, every day.


Peace is being content with change. You have to find that bubble of peace in that change. Season's change, everything changes, find contentment in the sea of change.


I'm there, I'm feeling it....beautiful.....



Buncombe Co Detention Facility PEP Session #1, January 23, 2018 

Shela - Facilitator, Larry AV, Adrienne - Notes

Good message and we all feel the same. I think inner peace can be found.


Think you personally have to want it and you can find it within yourself first before you can share it with anyone else.


Know yourself first. People judge each other, especially in schools and prisons and it effects people.


Too much anger. Have to look at yourself in the mirror. You know it takes a lot of looking inside.


You have to forgive yourself. I was an alcoholic for 25 years.


He's smooth.


We're all students of peace. We keep searching and can't give up. There's no rest. We're all in it together to make the world more understandable. The good seems to get smothered by the bad.


We need to learn how to be content in any situation. Give joy in hardships or trials. Thinking of Paul in the bible  and he was incarcerated like me, but he could be at peace with himself.


Like what he (Prem) said, we all have dreams. I had a business and lost sight of all the small things, which brought me here.


Someone always tries to make bad of things. We have to know our heart of hearts and hold on to it. People try to take over that space.


Only me can make me happy. Not your wife or kids can make you happy.


PEP Session #11, June 22, 2016, Buncombe Co Detention Facility


I’ve never heard of him before, on the news or anything.  I would want to show this to the world.  I can think of so many places to use this.


I didn’t know this program was this big until I saw this video (Peace on the Inside)


I have a huge idea.  I’d like to write these guys’ stories and interweave the words. I find similarities.  We’re all so much alike.  His story matches mine.  We’re all connected.  The stories intertwine.


This program motivates me a lot.  Sometimes I give up, I lose hope.  All I need is to find peace to help me succeed.  I need to move forward, don’t look back, know yourself, look within. Go from the heart.  Don’t try to be somebody you’re not.


You can’t change your surroundings until you change yourself.  It gives me hope, lots of hope.


I’ve done this a long time.  It’s time to do something different.  I have something in me that is bursting to get out.  I know it’s there, something needs to come out, maybe the person who has always been there I want to do something positive. I need to get back up and stay there.  The only thing I have to change is everything.  I don’t know if I can do it.  No matter where you go, there you are.


It’s all there already, just slow down and take the time to listen.  I like to listen to him.  Me and Prem are on a first name basis, just about best friends.  Last week he was Mr. Prem, this week he’s Prem.


We have a great opportunity, didn’t have this in the real world.


PEP Session 10 of Course 8,  Contentment  6-18-16 at Buncombe County Detention Facility


Six participants were welcomed by facilitator Shela and volunteers David H, Larry and Alister.




“Some people look to find everything on surfaces, if you dig a little deeper you'll find everything you ever wanted or needed.”


After some back and forth conversation one man said he had written a poem called “Growth”.  We encouraged him to come forward  to read it and he did. The poem will be posted at a later date. Then another man revealed he had also written a poem “Behind the Mask”.  He also read his poem to the group and it will also be posted later.  Quite a session!


“Two things he said really touched me. Only today comes but we all believe in tomorrow.  Also, how are you going to search for what you never lost?”


“People didn't know they had it so it starts with the search outside, then leads to the search inside.”


“It's possible some of us don't even know we have it.”


“We always focus on the future and we're not worried about the present, we need to focus on today.”  


“You don't have to see it to believe it, we believe in tomorrow, the idea exists in your mind.”


“Live in today.”


“You're your own GPS so where do you want to go in life?”


Buncombe County Detention Facility PEP- Session 9 of Course 8  – Hope


David H (facilitator), Alister (lights), Dave B (AV), and MG (notes)


As the men signed in, facilitator reminded them of the opportunity to write Prem a letter if they wanted to, to be collected on final Wednesday.


From first participant:  “Realizing that you are the source of peace gives you hope in every situation.”


And another: “I was listening, but didn’t quite grab what he was trying to say. Certain pieces stuck and some blew by me. But what I got was: If you lose hope of what you’re looking for, you’ll never find it, because you’re looking in the wrong place and need to turn yourself around. But if you get turned in the right direction again, you’ll find that hope.”


And another: “I liked what he said about the statues… if you stand at one statue it seems so large, and the others look small, even though they’re all the same size. And if you stand from peace’s point of view, everything is equal, so you won’t be overwhelmed.”


And another: “Inside lies the source. My clarity is knowing it’s close at hand. Even if I don’t feel it, it’s just good to know that it’s still there. It’s not out of reach if I know where it is and how to find it.”


And another: “If your face is pressed against a mirror, you can’t see yourself. You’re so close to it. You need to step back and see what you look like.”


And another: “The common thing is in plain sight. It’s always been there, but you don’t look cause it’s inside of you. Or maybe you don’t look cause you think it’s not there. You just need to see with a different eye.”


And another: “Within each of us is a beacon. Our inner self is covered by light that will shine in the darkness.”


And another: “We all have this key of hope, but we need to find a way to use it and show others they can use it too.


And another: “No one can give you hope. You have to decide to have it. The beacon is within you and hope is that beacon. Then everyone sees it and it gives other people hope.”


And another: “It’s like in the movie The Matrix. The key-maker is inside of us, and inside of us we have the key to every door. If there is a lock, we already have the key to open it. We know what the right key is, but we don’t always take the time. The key is the breath.”


And another: “Every day is a blessing. You are a blessing. You go from baby to man through life, and then start to go back losing your abilities. If you don’t realize this, then your life passes by.”


And another: “It’s like a hungry man sitting outside a soup kitchen who doesn’t realize there was food in there. The door was already open, but you just didn’t try it.”


And another: “if you can’t pull someone out of the darkness, at least don’t get in their way and make it worse. That’s where hope comes in. If you’re just sitting there badgering them, that’s just turning out the light for someone else. You just took away their hope.”


And another: “Peace isn’t possible when you got everyone trying to force their ways onto you. Peace is possible from within, one person at a time. You got to get inside to find it out. And you have to find your own peace. It’s not the same for everybody.”


And another: “”Yeah, you might not find it the same way as everyone else.”


And another: “The difficulty comes from the fact that it is so simple. Our lives have become so incredibly complex. It’s hard to simplify. The idea of having peace within ourselves is so simple, that it’s hard to be that simple and step away from everything. It’s like in the story The Little Engine That Could, you have to just keep saying: I think I can, I think I can, I think I can. Your perception will be your reality. So don’t be so blinded by everything else.”


And another: “It’s hard to believe in peace with people out there fighting wars to bring peace.”


And another: “Yeah, they’re really fighting for money or for power or other reasons, but they tell us it’s for peace.”


And another: “If there are a million soldiers, each one has their own reasons, but you can look past all that and just make sure you have peace yourself.”


And another: “There isn’t a light bulb that you can turn on and off. It’s not easy. This is something that takes time and has to be honed and worked at. You got to work at peace. It takes a whole life. We need someone to tell us how to get from point A to point B. I’m still stuck on point A.”


And another: “It’s human nature to make things difficult. It seems we always have to try to break it down first, but this is so simple. We look to make it complicated so that we can feel smart.”


And another: “It’s like if you had a light bulb that didn’t work, so you got an electrician to fix it, but then you found that it was just that the switch wasn’t turned on… it was there the whole time.”


And another: “Sometimes the simplest thing seems the hardest, and the simplest scratch seems to burn the most, cause you’re focusing on it being difficult.”


And another: “Like when I was looking for my hat all over the place, and then I found it was right there on my head.”


And another: “These things may be in us, but we have to learn them. Even something like sight, we have to learn it, it’s not innate. And then gradually we are able to identify things. All these things like hope, peace- we had them all along but now have to be trained how to use them.”


Workshop #8 -Peace Education Program - "Choice"

10 Attendees


Reflections # 1 -


"Prem talked about planting seeds in your life--everyone being given seeds. Some are good seeds, some are bad seeds, like anger, fear, and hate. What I know, having worked in a nursery, is that a strong soil is needed to grow seeds. And what I know from grafting plants, the plants that grow in the vicinity of other plants affect each other. Like us, if we are around fear and doubt, it will affect us for good or for bad."


"I have a question--Prem seems to dance around this, he didn't make it clear about the foundation, the soil. So it doesn't matter what seed you sow or transplant; if the foundation, the soil, is not strong, the seeds won't grow."


"It's all about what you give more attention to, the tree of doubt, or the tree of love and kindness. If you have a tree of hate in your garden, and we learn not to water it, we will get rid of it."


"Each of us has two handfuls of seeds--whatever you nourish will grow if you water it. That's where the choice comes in." 


"The choice is yours."

"If you garden the tree of hate, that tree will get bigger."


"Life is full of choices. Life is determined by choices. I need to have strong, good dirt to have a good foundation to grow good trees of love and kindness."


"It all keeps going back to the choices we make. I read a story about a man raised in South Africa during apartheid. He had all kinds of bad choices he could have made, but he made choices to be a good man and he made it. He got success. We are the dirt, the rock, that Prem is talking about. We can plant good seeds in our garden in ourselves."


"We may not know what trees are even growing in our garden. We may never even know we have a tree. And then, "Boom!" it blossoms. Then it shows up and you really see what kind of tree it is. Well, then you see what your grew."


Reflections #2 - 


"We are the dirt, the soil, and we are good. We just need to plant the seeds that are good."


"We're the rock. We can make choices that are for our best."


"I'm trying to understand what Prem was trying to say. I'm confused around what's real and what isn't." 


Another attendee immediately spoke up and said to him:


"Do you remember the story of the lion and the sheep? It's like that--knowing who you really are."


"When someone says they love their iphone, that's virtual, and that is not love. That's what Prem's talking about."


Jeff, the facilitator, quotes Prem's recent story in Palermo, Italy about the Good wolf and the Bad wolf.


"Yes, it's seems like everything you think you can get out here in the world, you think you can push a button to try to get it, that's technology. And that doesn't work. We just want love and to feel good."


"We feel love in ourselves, and we try to grab onto it out there in the world."


"I agree with everything that's been said."


"Really, there's a choice every minute, all day long."


"I really like what Prem said about choice. So let's really get it on."


Buncombe County Detention Facility PEP- Session 7 of Course 8 



1.      It’s interesting how he talks about what we have right now when most of us in here are thinking about what we’ve lost.  Now I see that even if it’s only a ten by ten cell with running water, after being here eight months, it’s taken me that long to just appreciate what I do have. It could be worse than this. And society teaches to want this or that, what we don’t have. 

2.      Nobody’s ever content. It’s like that song goes: “You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.” But how can you be complete if you aren’t content? You’ll always be going for what you don’t have.

3.      People get mixed up between what you need and what you want. Just be content. Accept what you have now.

4.       Some people are just not satisfied with what they have. Live with less and enjoy it more.

5.       People think they’re thirsty. There’s a sink right there, but they’re too good to drink from a sink.

6.      I love to wear Jordan shoes, and I think, “I need those shoes. I need those shoes.” My mind was so set on that. We need to focus on what we already have.


After video of Prem speaking at the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2012

7.      That was wonderful!

8.      Yeah, that was a good one! Especially that thing he said about when you reach the end of your road, just turn around and there’s a whole new road.

9.      As long as we fight for life there will be life. Don’t give up, you will eventually succeed.

10.   He said, “Just don’t ever forget yourself.” That’s the main person you ever want to know. It all comes from within.

11.    I remember when I was little, sometimes I’d be driving around with my mom, and she’d say we’re lost.  And I’d say, “Mom, we’re not lost, just somewhere else.”

12.   Facilitator: “I heard about a rap song you wrote.” They replied, “We’re working on it.”

13.   The last class on understanding was good, but this class was cool. It was wonderful!

14.    To find yourself is not hard; it’s simple. We are just looking in the wrong place. It’s just a skill that needs to be honed.

15.   Someone asked about buying the PEP DVDs, because he wanted to show them to his mom and dad. The Facilitator said, “The PEP DVDs aren’t for sale or view on the internet, but there are many other videos of Prem that can be live streamed free of charge.”

16.   I can’t wait to get out so I can pursue this.

17.   I liked that he said when you hear your favorite song on the radio, you just turn up the volume so everybody else can hear the music you like. So he turned up the volume on peace. [this was in response to a question Prem was asked how he got so  involved in spreading his message of peace.]

18.   This class after today makes me feel like this life is really worth something.

19.    When the eyes are open life is full of treasures.

20.   Last session I liked when he said how time is moving forward not backward and to just appreciate what you have now.

21.   Then they started reading all their notes they had taken from last week that had meant so much to them.

22.   Thanks for coming. We love seeing you guys!


Buncombe County Detention Facility PEP- Session 6 of Course 8  – Understanding


Sandi (facilitator), Adrienne (lights), Joyce (AV), and MG (notes)


Attendees appeared to be glad to be there as they filed in. Their eagerness came through in their expressions:


From first participant:  “That DVD was pretty cool. Understanding is really just the key to life. You can’t always be right in this life, because sometimes you’re wrong. And it’s OK that you’re not always right, because then you can try to understand the difference.”


And another: “Understanding is just when we realize this is about what I know and this is about what I don’t know, and coming to terms with the situation. You have to accept some stuff you don’t know and being OK with it. Because even when there are things you don’t know, you can still find comfort in that.”


And another: “Looking from the heart brings light to the darkness.”


And another: “A lot of people don’t give two thoughts about coming from the heart. They think it’s weakness to be kind. But it takes a lot more strength to live with a soft heart.”


And another: “Yes, it takes a lot of humility, which is not a popular characteristic in 2016, at least not in America.”


And another: “When I hear Prem I realize you got to humble yourself to be OK with someone barking orders at you, without thinking you got to hurt someone back.  Just calm down. You don’t need to smash someone in the face.”


And another: “Just understanding, not hitting someone. We all have a sword to wield, but to have the power not to use it… The road to life starts with a journey, then goes in to compassion and understanding. It’s not an easy journey. You just have to take the first step.”


And another: “A big part is patience. Take your time. Slow down. Then you will understand.”


And another: “Every topic in this book ties in to each other topic. Each one is dependent on the other ones. Each action has an equal reaction, like peace brings clarity. Clarity brings peace. It works both ways. Clarity brings appreciation. Appreciation brings understanding. Each topic builds upon the others.”


And another: “People focus on the things they don’t have instead of what they do have, too blind to see that you have everything inside. One of my favorite songs is: You are the one you are looking for.”


And another: “Time is everything, and time only goes forward. So don’t waste it being unconscious. You have good, bad, and ugly in you, so that’s why you have to come from the heart and have understanding.”


And another: “The human being is full of treasure, but how can we access its value if we don’t take the time to see it? Appreciate the time cause you won’t be here forever, so appreciate the now.”


And another: “This came to me as a lyric:

Never say forever cause forever doesn’t last. All is temporary and fleeting. Taste it, savor it, and let it go.”


And another: “Wow! That’s deep!”


And another: “Yeah, I brought a shovel with me today.”


And another: “Prem is the man!”


And another: “I’ve traveled thirty-four years gathering sorrow, hate, pain, and carried it around with me in search for myself, only to find what I was searching for was in me all along in the first step at the beginning. Clarity can sometimes come as a BANG. I already had it. I can find myself with each new experience. Each moment is me. It got me to the point I am at now.  Everything changes every day. I’m researching and developing me. I’m forever changing and going forward.”


And another: “But there’s a bitter sweetness to it all. You don’t know what you got till it’s gone. Sometimes you aren’t able to savor something until it’s a memory. And in that video about the ants… I thought about when the ants were eating sugar, how did he know his sugar was so sweet, if he never tasted the other ant’s salt?”


And another: “Every day you can learn something new from everybody and everything. It’s not about knowing everything, like the parrots. Just know the basics of life. Patience! Take your time- don’t look back.”


And another: “Yeah, appreciate what you do know, like Einstein said. He said it’s not about telling everybody what you know, it’s about asking questions.”


And another: “That was Socrates, not Einstein.”


And another: “Never give up! Keep trying. You’ll never know everything. Just be patient and keep trying and you’ll succeed a little bit every day, as long as you don’t give up.”


And another: “Prem says it’s all inside and you have to take it with a grain of salt (ha-ha pun on the ant story…) We’re looking every where but within. The characteristic of arrogance is thinking that you know everything. Take the time to realize that you don’t know everything.”


And another: “I love peace education!”


And another: “I love peace! Let’s write a song when we go back to the block!”


Then one participant sang a rap about peace education:

Peace, peace, peace.

I dream about peace in my sleep.

Peace Education!


And another: “This is awesome!”


And another: “Thank you for coming again!”


PEP Session 5, Clarity  6-1-16 at Buncombe County Detention Facility


Eleven participants were welcomed by facilitator Kala, Alister, Dave H and Dave B. 




“This one was a little confusing and hard to understand. Basic thing is go with your heart and not your mind.”


“We focus on what our mind is telling us and it's often negative.:


“Think about possibility in relation to what really exists, not what is in your mind. What ifs are in your head, they are what stress you out.  Learn to be more present in the now, what ifs don't exist. Go Prem! Go Prem!”


“Don't think too much about what will happen tomorrow.  Follow your heart.”


“Do what you feel you should do, not what you think you should do.  A thought can mislead you .”


“Live your life for today, then when you start to understand peace is inside you, you're really living.  Tomorrow is never promised.”


“It's about giving up control; I'm a control freak.  The what ifs come up from the world outside that I created.  If I give up control, then comes understanding.  It's not easy. What he says is really simple; he doesn't say do A, then B, etc.  It kind of annoys me.  The choice is mine, but I can't do it until I give up control.”


“You need to go with your feeling.  Sometimes I let my mind tell me the wrong thing.  I understood the story he told about the archer.  I've got to practice letting go.  I've got a problem with drugs, and when I start feeling depressed I think that's going to fix the problem.”


“It's interesting to see it come full circle, if you practice it,  it will happen, that's what you will become good at, what you use throughout your life.  Need to practice clarity.”


“In AA we call it baggage.  We carry it around for years, don't know when to put it down. In my nights I play the tapes in my mind about all the things I did wrong, need to put it down.”


“That video was like a roller coaster.  I'm still wrapping my mind around it.  The difference between knowledge and your beliefs.  Sometimes you don't  know what you believe, and sometimes you don't believe what you know.”


“The outside world doesn't exist without heart and mind.  You have to have both.”


“I know that going to this program is going to help me, but it does nothing to sit in cell and think about it.  I have to come here to experience it.”


“Did my belief come from my knowing , or did my knowing come from my belief?”


“Prior to now my knowledge has been in my head and I want to know from my heart.”


“You know you have this gift.  How do you get to it?”


“We're born with a clean slate.  Our dream is not our own dream or reality.  We get it all from the people around us.”


Buncombe County Detention Facility PEP- Session 4 of Course 8  – Self Awareness 5-28-16


Sandi (facilitator), Adrienne (lights), Jim (AV), and MG (notes)


Attendees looked very relaxed today and seemed to be really enjoying the interactions with each other about what they had just watched.


From first participant:  “How we live today is all based on what makes us feel good by flesh: all the things we like or we see a pretty girl… But we forget we’re alive and how much power that is.”


And another: “You have to understand who you are to succeed in life. Everyone says searching is important, and that’s a good thing. But you still have to find out who you are, and once you figure out who you are, life is not hard anymore.”


And another: “It’s hard to find out who you are when the world is always trying to show you who you should be, instead of who you really are.”


And another: “You are the person you need the most, but we keep looking for it in others. We constantly look up to a figure, but the person you need most is you.”


And another: “My conclusion is: our perception is our reality. In the cartoon the poor little lion living with the sheep… and that’s how he saw himself. He was a sheep. The big lion showed him he wasn’t and that changed his reality. We’re looking for things outside of us, hoping to fill ourselves. As soon as we can realize it’s inside, and that that’s what we’re looking for, we can become our reality.”


And another: “In all these trials we go through, we keep hiding with the sheep. Know thyself.”


And another: “We’re just so impressionable as humans.  If we look at a shadow and see a rabbit, that becomes our realty. But it could be only a hand shaped like a rabbit. They always say “seeing is believing,” and maybe it is. Then people say, “No, seeing is not believing.” But then there are optical illusions. It’s a matter of seeing that you are impressionable, and the way you see things will be how you experience things.”


And another: “People believe what they see. But when you feel it with your heart, that’s your reality.”


And another: “I liked the part with the baby. The baby didn’t even know him, but still smiled at him. The baby just wants to enjoy life. It’s soaking in your heart.” 


PEP Session #8, Theme #3 Inner Strength – May 25th, 2016


“Prior to now, I looked for satisfaction rather than contentment.  Listening to him (Prem), it opened my mind to look at contentment in another way. Satisfaction can’t do a thing to make things better nor be at peace with it.  Submit to it not in a weak way took negativity off of it for me.”


“Through contentment not satisfaction I can change circumstances for the better.  I’m big on contentment, Happiness is fleeting, bliss is fleeting.  Contentment is more permanent in my opinion.”


“Your heart is looking for peace inside.  Stop looking around, look within.”


“Amazing what humans can survive when pushed.  They can take more than they think and have strength.  Something won’t stop trying.  It’s pretty impressive.”


“Your strength, on that you build not the other.  You are only as strong as you make yourself.”


“    I like the story of the dragon.  If it controls us, it devours us.  Clarity is in your hand.  We need to control us to make the best of us.”


“I want to be happy with myself before the next step.”


PEP Session 8, Theme #2  Peace  May 21, 2016  at Buncombe County Detention Center


Eleven participants were welcomed by facilitator Jeff, Alister, David H, Jan


Comments - Reflections #1


"I really related to Prem talking about having Inner Peace and enjoying life.  I liked hearing about that, and it feels real good to hear about Inner Peace."


"Prem's belief says this is an internal experience he is talking about, and I liked that."


" That is a powerful image of Prem's that we take care of the human body so much, and we need to take care of the Inside part of us too.  That is pretty strong..the idea of Inner Peace and the importance of taking care of the Inside."



Reflections   #2


" People cannot face themselves and then use drugs to try to find happiness.  They dull the pain like a lot of guys in here have done that.  This blocks true happiness.  And then people live in hate. "


"People in society now just try to enjoy everything for pleasure.  They try to find happiness in drugs and other outside sources."


"They say you can't find what you can't see.  We need to see that we need to accept our self and our situation and that there could be happiness."


"I liked it when he (Prem) said you can't search for truth when it is already on the inside.  We can just let go and accept that.  I also, liked it when he (Prem) explained that ignorance is really to ignore."


"The battle within is go on the inside....that fight / flight thing   going on won't get us anywhere.  I like what Prem says. "


"Going outside rather than inside, that is the pain."


"I was in Iraq....our tank was in trouble getting shot at....I was so familiar with chaos and pain over there that while this was going on, I just fell asleep inside the tank.  That was comfortable in that tank in that chaos. Can you believe that?  When I came home, I was very uncomfortable  because my familiarity was chaos...that is where I am most comfortable in chaos... a tough life.  Prem spoke of the nail in the shoe and just acting comfortable with it, and how we get used to pain and sorrow.  I don't like it, but I have been trained to learn to live with it like this in chaos.  To survive, adapt, and overcome.  William  Wordsworth is my favorite poet. (He quoted a poem.)  Prem speaks in the same realm as Wordsworth.  In here in this situation I am in, all I see is a black wall here in front of me.  Behind every smile i have are tears.  I am waiting to get sentenced and it will be a relief when that's the waiting that is hard.  When i got in here, I kept thinking is there anyone out there who will bail me out;  is there anyone who cares;  is there anyone on my side; and I had to give up hope     of being rescued by anyone.  I finally had to go within and center myself.  So then I had hope as a tool to find understanding.  I listen to NPR and am reading The Hitch Hiker' s Guide to the Galaxy.  I need to find Peace within."




PEP Session 8, Theme #1  Peace  May 18, 2016  at Buncombe County Detention Center


Twelve participants were welcomed by facilitator Larry, Dave B, MG, Alister, David H, Jan, Shela, Addrienne




“I've been studying Buddhism; reading and thinking this past year and it hit me to hear it spoken out loud.  It is one of the commonalities we have; everything really comes back to peace.  I'm glad I signed up for this course.”


“Peace is not tangible, it's not an object, it's a way of life.  You have to get to know yourself.”


“I'm wondering if there would be chaos if everybody was living in peace and happiness.”


“Babies know how to cry and be happy; it's not learned behavior.  The real things can't be taught.”


“When you listen to someone like Prem it makes you philosophical.  Before we can know our differences, we must first acknowledge that we are the same.”


“Peace is individualistic, will be different for everybody.  We'll be different, but better at being ourselves.”


“We can't come together as one until we're together inside ourselves.”


“I love listening to this guy!  The way he speaks and pauses  to let the words sink in.  I really enjoy him.”


“He's so at home in himself.  There's a lot of repetition in what he's saying, it's all self evident basic things, but he really brings it home.”


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