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The Emptiness of Our Hands: 47 Days on the Streets - cover

The Emptiness of Our Hands: 47 Days on the Streets

James Murray, Phyllis Cole-Dai

Publisher: Bell Sound Books

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Summary

Who would you be without a home? 
In 1999 Phyllis Cole-Dai and James Murray lived by choice on the streets of Columbus, Ohio, the fifteenth-largest city in the United States. They went to the streets with a single intention: to be as present as possible to everyone they met, offering them sustained and nonjudgmental attention. Such attention is the heart of compassion. 
 
This book chronicles their streets experiences. It will thrust you out the door of your comfortable life, straight into the unknown. It will force you to confront what might happen to you, and who you might become, if suddenly you had no home. The meditative narrative is accompanied by pinhole photographs shot by James using cameras he constructed from trash. 
 
This is the third edition of the book, lightly edited. Though recounting events that occurred in 1999, The Emptiness of Our Hands remains as relevant today as ever. 
An "eye-opening" and "life-changing" read! 
Read this book on its own or in the company of Practicing Presence: Insights from the Streets, which Phyllis wrote on the tenth anniversary of her time on the streets. Take your reading slow, perhaps one chapter per day, so you can absorb and reflect. 
 
If you happen to be Christian, you might consider using this book and Practicing Presence as companion resources during Lent and Holy Week, which served as a backdrop for Phyllis and James's experience. But you don't need to be a Christian to take this stumbling journey into practicing mindfulness on the streets. Just allow these forty-seven days to be for you what they were for Phyllis and James: a deep embrace of core values that human beings around the world have held in common for millennia. 
[308 pp., including front and back matter]

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