A Thousand Hands arose from an effort to provide Buddhist community leaders with tools and education to complement traditional Buddhist teachings and practice, and make us more effective caregivers and leaders. We may have read many sutras, practiced thousands of hours of meditation, or become well versed in Buddhist philosophy, but that does not prepare us for every situation we will face. When people come to us in times of trouble, we will want to do whatever we can to ease their suffering. The contributors to this volume provide us with strong places to start. We may want to expand our skill-sets and learn further ways to build a thriving, caring community.
Nathan Jishin Michon and Daniel Clarkson Fisher, editors of A Thousand Hands: A Guidebook to Caring for Your Buddhist Community (Sumeru, 2016), recently had the opportunity to chat with Ted Meissner about the book and the state of chaplaincy in Buddhist communities in North America. Here is their interview from the Secular Buddhist podcast.
Praise for A Thousand Hands…
“The voices contributing to this volume demonstrate that North American Buddhism is awakening from its predominantly inward and private focus and realizing that our strength for the future lies in healthy, whole, and peaceful communities. Yet the forms of suffering that manifest in communities boggle the imagination in their diversity. The essays collected here show that the necessary concern has been aroused and the helping hands of compassion are reaching out, each hand, like that of the bodhisattva Guan Yin, emblazoned with the eye of intelligence that looks into the underlying causes and the prospects for a solution.” Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi
“A Thousand Hands provides a remarkably broad set of resources aimed at helping people navigate suffering with greater clarity and ease. The editors have done a wonderful job gathering together many wise voices to share on a host of important topics.” Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness and Real Happiness
“Buddhist communities struggle with the reality that we bring the world with us—that walking into the doors of the sangha does not instantly liberate us from our mental illness, addictions, trauma, and emotional woundedness. Even more jarring is confronting the truth that our sanghas are organized to privilege the mental, physical, and financial elite. The Buddha taught a Dharma for all ages, and at its heart is the call for radical loving integrated with truth. This book helps us to hold love and truth together as we move into the profound, beautiful, and very uncomfortable space of meeting people where they are and asking: How can I care for you?” Lama Rod Owens, co-author of Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love, and Liberation