Center for Mindfulness and Justice

The Center for Mindfulness & Justice facilitates personal transformation and professional development that fosters mindfulness, compassion, peace and equal access to justice for all. We provide mindfulness instruction, keynote speaking, and organizational consulting and training. We offer the inspiration and skills that create personal and collective change in our interdependent world.


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Cheri Maples Dharma Teacher

Cheri's spirit lives on! Join Maureen Brady, David Haskin, Jan Cittasubha Sheppard & Steven Spiro for the 8th Annual "Thaypassana" retreat (blend of Thich Nhat Hanh & Insight traditions) at Madison's Holy Wisdom Monastery.
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Cheri Maples Dharma Teacher

Zen & The Art of Law Enforcement

“If it had been just a few weeks earlier, Capt. Cheri Maples would have arrested the man. But on this day, shortly after returning home from a (mindfulness) retreat, the policewoman tried another tack. 'I just talked to him about what was going on, and he started sobbing. I decided not to arrest him.' Three days later, Captain Maples ran into him again. 'He recognized me, picked me up and gave me this big bear hug and said, 'You saved my life that night.' "

— excerpt from the Christian Science Monitor interview with Cheri Maples

Home Thay

“I started to understand on a very, very deep level that it's possible to bring mindfulness into your work as a cop, because as my energy started to change, the energy I got back from other people started to change, even including the people I had to arrest. It's about starting to soften your heart.”

— Excerpt from interview of Thich Nhat Hanh and Cheri Maples from American Public Media's Speaking of Faith with Krista Tippett

You can also listen to the follow up interview with Cheri Maples on the Speaking of Faith Blog

Cheri Maples, co-founder of the Center for Mindfulness & Justice, was ordained a dharma teacher by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh in Plum Village, France in 2008. The “dharma” encompasses teachings on love and understanding as a path of transformation. “What it means,” says Maples, “is I can lead my own retreats in Hanh's tradition or in a non-sectarian manner. I intend to do both.”
Learn more about Cheri

Home Sharon Salzburg

Cheri has co-led mindfulness programs & retreats with Sharon Salzberg around the country — please check out the calendar page for scheduled retreats/workshops. One of America’s leading spiritual teachers and authors, Sharon Salzberg is co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) in Barre, Massachusetts. She has played a major role in bringing Eastern meditation practices to the West. The focus of their recent events has been resiliency in challenging times, moving participants toward deeper care for themselves and others through the cultivation of mindfulness, concentration and compassion.

“The first and most important thing I have found in changing an organizational culture from within is understanding that it doesn't have to come from the top down. What you stand for personally is important, because inner integrity is infinite. And you can do it!”

— Panel excerpt re: applying mindfulness to organizational change

View more talks by Cheri.

The Latest

Rest in Peace, Cheri.   11/1/1952 - 7/27/2017

"I had an accident, but in some ways I am the most fortunate and grateful person on earth because of the love I have received. That, and my dharma practice, have saved me."  ~ Cheri Maples


“Cheri, we were very happy when you came to us with the idea to bring the mindfulness practice to law enforcement. We encourage you to bring all you have learned about the practice of mindfulness and peace into the field of criminal justice. We all must have a spiritual practice so as not to burn out in our service to others. This Lamp is a token of the love and trust we have in you. Through your practice and efforts, this Lamp will shine for a long time.”
— Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh, Zen Master, author, poet, human-rights activist

"I recruited Cheri to serve as Assistant Attorney General to help communities improve public safety. The projects she designed inspired confidence and generated results beneficial to communities and the state. She is extraordinarily innovative and visionary in her thinking. She is an exceptionally skilled speaker, networker and trainer.”
— Peg Lautenschlager, former Attorney General, State of Wisconsin

“Cheri Maples is a significant pioneer in bringing the practice of mindfulness into the realm of action. She is remarkably skilled at blending her considerable "real world" experience and mindfulness practice into lessons that serve each of us as ways to bring greater awareness, compassion, balance and resiliency into our everyday lives.”
— Sharon Salzberg, Insight Meditation Society (IMS) co-founder, one of America's leading spiritual teachers and authors

"Cheri was instrumental in partnering with me to implement my vision for the Madison Police Department, improving employee morale and the department's accountability and effectiveness. She was a positive, driving force, and without her, this vision would never have become a reality."
— David C. Couper, former Chief, Madison Police Department

"In one visit, Cheri Maples consulted diligently on organizational issues with our Board of Directors, delivered an inspiring dharma talk as a guest teacher, and provided a powerful and insightful mindfulness workshop on privilege and oppression for the leadership and diversity sanghas. In each, one could feel the strength of her practice, the depth of her wisdom, and her embodiment of the dharma.”
— Tara Brach, author, Radical Acceptance; founder, Insight Meditation Community of Washington

"As a result of her rich blend of experience, Cheri has a multi-faceted understanding of the criminal justice system. Cheri has very successfully used her deep understanding of problem-oriented policing in building the capacity of neighborhoods to improve their safety and the quality of its residents' lives. She is an incredible leader, speaker and trainer.”
— Herman Goldstein, one of the foremost authorities on policing in America