Cheri Maples

Meditation teacher and police officer Cheri Maples speaks with us today about The Center for Mindfulness and Justice.

Ever been pulled over by a cop? Even off duty police officers who get pulled over have said they experience the same tension as everyone else when that happens. We’re nervous, even if we’ve done nothing wrong, and we all have preconceived notions, often about people — like police. Our minds expect the world to match these templates we have, and they often do. But our practice is also about closer examination, about sincerely and openly investigating our mental formations and gaining insight about them. There are, for example, top cops who are also top meditation teachers and advocates.

Cheri Maples is a dharma teacher, keynote speaker, and organizational consultant and trainer. In 2008 she was ordained a dharma teacher by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, her long-time spiritual teacher. For 25 years Cheri worked in the criminal justice system, as an Assistant Attorney General in the Wisconsin Department of Justice, head of Probation and Parole for the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, and as a police officer with the City of Madison Police Department, earning the rank of Captain of Personnel and Training. Cheri has been an active community organizer, working in neighborhood centers, deferred prosecution programs, and as the first Director of the Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence. As Past President of the Dane County Timebank, Cheri was instrumental in creating its justice projects – the Youth Court, which is based on a prevention and restorative justice model; and the Prison Project, a prison education and reintegration initiative supported by multiple community groups. Cheri holds a J.D. and an M.S.S.W. from University of Wisconsin-Madison and is currently a licensed attorney and licensed clinical social worker in the state of Wisconsin. Special thanks to Maureen Brady for all her work in making the arrangements for today’s interview. Maureen, your dedication is deeply appreciated.

So, sit back, relax, and have a nice Jasmine Silver Needles tea.

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Music for This Episode

Hon Shirabe

Rodrigo Rodriguez

The music heard in the middle of the podcast is from Rodrigo Rodriguez. The tracks used in this episode are:

  • Shikantaza

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  1. […] Click here and listen in. […]

  2. Mark Knickelbine on April 29, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    Hmmmm. Another mindfulness pioneer in Madison. Hey, Ted, do you suppose Mount Sumeru is in Wisconsin somewhere?

  3. Ted Meissner on April 29, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    My maps show it just north of Racine 🙂

  4. Mark Knickelbine on May 2, 2012 at 7:16 am

    Nah, too flat that close to Illinois. More likely it’s north of La Crosse somewhere.

    But seriously, this was one of my favorite episodes. My job isn’t nearly as dangerous as a cop’s, but I could relate to the stress, conflict and adrenaline addiction part, and to consciously bringing mindfulness and metta to the details of doing your job. I also like the connectionCheri makes between personal transformation and the political process — we can’t make wise political choices if we’re blinded by our reactivity and delusion.

  5. Candol on May 4, 2012 at 7:55 am

    It was late and i was sleepy when i was listening to this podcast but before i fell asleep (not from boredome i assure you), i remember thinking, we need more buddhist like this woman. More people like her as well. She sounds like a great person. Someone who is actually doing something and not just studying or preaching to the converted.

    Now, If it was just easier to get to the end of the tape without having to listen to all of it again. (this happens to me a lot).

  6. Dana Nourie on May 13, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    Candol, when I click the Play arrow on the player above, I can just drag the little square wherever I want, halfway through or 3/4 of the way. I don’t have to listen all the way through again. Just drag the square forward.

  7. Candol on May 13, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    yeah true but if i have to shut down my computer or if as often happens i accidentally unplug it, then i have to start again. Or at least wait until its all downloaded and start again.

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