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Vroman's Live - David Sheff discusses The Buddhist on Death Row: How One Man Found Light in the Darkest Place


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Vroman's Live presents David Sheff on Friday August 7th at 6pm

This virtual event will take place on Crowdcast. Register ahead of time to save your spot.

EVENT LINK: https://www.crowdcast.io/e/zss91klk

Jarvis Jay Masters's early life was a horror story whose outline we know too well. Born in Long Beach, California, his house was filled with crack, alcohol, physical abuse, and men who paid his mother for sex. He and his siblings were split up and sent to foster care when he was five, and he progressed quickly to juvenile detention, car theft, armed robbery, and ultimately San Quentin. While in prison, he was set up for the murder of a guard--a conviction which landed him on death row, where he's been since 1990.

At the time of his murder trial, he was held in solitary confinement, torn by rage and anxiety, felled by headaches, seizures, and panic attacks. A criminal investigator repeatedly offered to teach him breathing exercises which he repeatedly refused. Until desperation moved him to ask her how to do "that meditation shit." With uncanny clarity, David Sheff describes Masters's gradual but profound transformation from a man dedicated to hurting others to one who has prevented violence on the prison yard, counseled high school kids by mail, and helped prisoners--and even guards--find meaning in their lives.

Along the way, Masters becomes drawn to the principles that Buddhism espouses--compassion, sacrifice, and living in the moment--and he gains the admiration of Buddhists worldwide, including many of the faith's most renowned practitioners. And while he is still in San Quentin and still on death row, he is a renowned Buddhist thinker who shows us how to ease our everyday suffering, relish the light that surrounds us, and endure the tragedies that befall us all. (Simon & Schuster)

David Sheff is the author of Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s AddictionClean, Game Over, All We Are Saying, and other books. David is on the advisory boards of the Jed and Clinton Health Matters Campus Program, designed to help colleges and universities promote emotional wellbeing and mental health programming, reduce substance abuse and prevent suicide among their students, and the International Bipolar Foundation. He recently launched the Beautiful Boy Fund, devoted to making quality, evidence-based treatment available to people who need it and identifying and supporting research to further the field of addiction medicine. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley. David lives with his family in Northern California.

Event date: 
Friday, August 7, 2020 - 6:00pm
Event address: 
The Buddhist on Death Row: How One Man Found Light in the Darkest Place Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982128456
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - August 4th, 2020

Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Addiction Cover Image
ISBN: 9780547203881
Availability: We Can Order This For You
Published: Mariner Books - January 6th, 2009

High: Everything You Want to Know About Drugs, Alcohol, and Addiction Cover Image
ISBN: 9780358244332
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HMH Books for Young Readers - March 10th, 2020

Clean: Overcoming Addiction and Ending America’s Greatest Tragedy Cover Image
ISBN: 9780544112322
Availability: We Can Order This For You
Published: Eamon Dolan/Mariner Books - January 7th, 2014