But everyday I carry this sacred bundle in a pocket or pouch. On the outside is a small Avalokiteshvara, the Boddhisattva of Compassion, who has a thousand hands. (Actually he has only 12 here, but they represent one thousand.) In each of his hands he carries a tool to solve a different problem. (I have a friend who calls it a Swiss Army Buddha.) Inside the bundle is a small Thai Buddha that has been blessed with a prayer by a monk. Note the filled and stamped hole at the bottom inside of which is the hand-written prayer. This buddha is wrapped in a piece of cloth from a favorite pair of slacks I wore that finally fell apart.
I have always liked the notion that I have in my pocket a tool to solve anything. Each and every day there are countless difficulties to reconcile: issues of communication and miscommunication, issues of engagement and distraction, issues of connection and isolation, issues of health and disability, issues of power and vulnerability, issues of compassion and indifference.
Somehow knowing I have a tool for all problems in my pocket, even when I forget it is there, is just enough of an edge to support myself and others in this daily journey. I feel naked when I forget it at home, but I am not superstitious. It is simply a sacred reminder to be conscious of my intention and to be aware of my and others’ capacities and humanity. It is a tangible way I remember to open myself up to the constructive possibilities of the universe.
Armed with necklaces and buddhas, I engage and am engaged; I transform and am transformed.