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Even though Chao Kung believed that violence was the way to go, he always felt like something was missing..that he wasn't himself. Watch this beautiful performance on how he searched for his center in prison.

Chung Kao has been incarcerated for 23 years for second-degree murder. He has a BA in Economics and was a business school grad student when he committed his crime. Suddenly caught in the brutal reality of prison life, with no hope for the future, Kao quickly learned to reciprocate violence and aggression. This would lead to his getting swept up in the malevolence of prison life.

Grieving for the loss of his father in 2001 would give Kao time to reflect. He realized that his preoccupation with being perceived as masculine had stunted his inner growth and caused him to regress. He then began to meditate and taught himself tai chi, which he practices along with zazen and yoga. Through meditation he is able to ground himself and find inner peace, realizing that the solutions to personal and inter personal issues are always within, not outside, himself.

Today Chung is a student and proponent of mindfulness in prison.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

Appears on these pages

  • Chung Kao

    Chung Kao is incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison. He is a student and proponent of...

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current19:08, April 23, 2017Thumbnail for version as of 19:08, April 23, 201705:23480 × 269 (11 KB)Deliacohen (wall | contribs)created video


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