In the early 1970s, Ram Dass’s book Be Here Now, a “cookbook for a sacred life,” became popular in prisons, and he began receiving letter after letter from prisoners responding to the book. The letters revealed that the prisoners were serious about finding a way of life that felt meaningful. They spoke of forgiveness, shame, love, kindness, compassion, fear, pain, struggle, loneliness and spirituality. Bo and Sita Lozoff helped Ram Dass answer the letters. After reading the letters for many years and visiting countless prisons, Bo felt called to write a book about living a spiritual life while incarcerated. This book, We’re All Doing Time, now in its 19th printing, continues to be widely read in prisons around the world. And The Human Kindness Foundation, founded by the Lozoffs, receives and responds to about 400 letters each week from incarcerated people and sends Bo’s four books for free to any incarcerated person who requests them.
Bo’s books cover spirituality from an inter-faith perspective. His words are down to earth. He uses “real talk” and leaves aside elegance, yet is deeply compassionate and sensitive to the real pain and suffering of all people.
One thing that becomes clear after reading hundreds of these truly touching letters is that we’re all so very much alike. Whether we find ourselves in an actual prison or a metaphorical one, we each face circumstances that make us feel trapped —not free. And we all seek freedom in its many forms. Bo’s books are about finding freedom —spiritual, mental and emotional freedom.