Practicing Presence: Insights from the Streets


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An uncommon invitation to deepen your practice of presence, or mindfulness.

In 1999 I lived by choice for 47 days on the streets of Columbus, Ohio. Together with James Murray, I practiced being present among chronically homeless people, offering them sustained attention and compassionate acceptance. James and I eventually recounted our story in The Emptiness of Our Hands, an “eye-opening” and “life-changing” read.

Ten years later I wrote this series of 47 reflections to commemorate our streets experience, elaborate further on practicing presence, and continue to bear witness to those who are homeless. Each reflection is based on an excerpt from The Emptiness of Our Hands. Originally published on my blog, the series has been compiled and lightly edited in this volume. My insights remain as relevant as ever.

Also included in Practicing Presence are street photographs of me that have never been published.

Read this book on its own or in the company of The Emptiness of Our Hands. Take it slow, perhaps one chapter per day, so you can absorb and reflect.