Plucked from a humble nomad family to become the leader of one of Tibet’s oldest Buddhist lineages, the young Seventeenth Karmapa draws on timeless values to create an urgent ethic for today’s global community.
We have always been, and will always be, interconnected—through family, community, and shared humanity. As our planet changes and our world grows smaller, it is vital we not only recognize our connections to one another and to the earth but also begin actively working together as interdependent individuals to create a truly global society.
The Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, is uniquely positioned to guide us in this process. Drawing on years of intensive Buddhist training and a passionate commitment to social issues, he teaches how we can move from a merely intellectual understanding to a fully lived experience of connection. By first seeing, then feeling, and finally living these connections, we can become more effective agents of social and ethical change.
The Karmapa shows us how gaining emotional awareness of our connectedness can fundamentally reshape the human race. He then guides us to action, showing step by step how we can change the way we use the earth’s resources and can continue to better our society. In clear language, the Karmapa draws connections between such seemingly far-flung issues as consumer culture, loneliness, animal protection, and self-reliance. In the process, he helps us move beyond theory to practical and positive social and ethical change.
“We are now so interdependent that it is in our own interest to take the whole of humanity into account. Hope lies with the generation who belong to the twenty-first century. If they can learn from the past and shape a different future, later this century the world could be a happier, more peaceful, and more environmentally stable place. I am very happy to see in this book the Karmapa Rinpoche taking a lead and advising practical ways to reach this goal.”
– His Holiness the Dalai Lama
“For two hundred years the dominant paradigm of reductionism and fragmentation has created the illusion that we are separate from nature. We have violated the very processes that maintain life. The Karmapa invites us to be aware of our connections with the natural and social worlds that are the condition of our being as he gently walks us through a journey to courageous compassion. This book should be read by everyone—young and old, Buddhist and non-Buddhist. It is a survival guide for humanity.”
– Dr. Vandana Shiva, environmental activist and author of Earth Democracy: Justice, Sustainability, and Peace
“The Karmapa illuminates a major paradigm shift that is already underway—from independent and unconnected to interdependent and interconnected. As a visionary thinker, he shows us how this shift can lead us to a healthier planet and happier lives. As a heart-centered spiritual leader, the Karmapa shows us what we need to do to get there."
– Chade-Meng Tan, author of Search Inside Yourself
“Written by one of the great Tibetan lamas of the twenty-first century, Interconnected provides practical wisdom derived from ancient Buddhist philosophy for modern problems. The solutions that are proposed are accessible and feasible and have the potential to transform many different sectors of our culture. This is a book for everyone!”
– Richard J. Davidson, author The Emotional Life of Your Brain and founder of the Center for Healthy Minds, University of Wisconsin-Madison
“This important new book will convince you that a commitment to social and environmental justice flows naturally from mindfulness of interdependence. The Karmapa’s vision of a heart-centered spiritual practice fills one with hope, even as it addresses the most serious challenges facing us today. One of the most influential Tibetan Buddhist teachers of our times, the Karmapa has written a courageous book that will change how you see your place in the world—and inspire you to act to make it a happier and kinder one.”
– Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness and Real Happiness
“During this time of what our people know as the crossroads—it is an honor to walk through this time with a Peace Keeper who understands the significance of sacred sites and that Mother Earth is the source of life, not a resource. In a circle of life where there is no ending and no beginning. Onipikte—We shall live.”
– Nac'a (Chief) Arvol Looking Horse
“The book records with unassuming clarity the Karmapa’s meditations on interbeing—individual and collective. It seems to me that any reader who approaches it with an open heart will be richly rewarded.”
– John Stanley, director of Ecological Buddhism
“Now more than ever, His Holiness the Karmapa’s teachings provide tools for all of us—beyond background, nationality, and culture—to work together in our interdependent, interconnected worldwide community. Everyone, and the world itself, will benefit from the profound teachings in this book.”
– Pema Chodron, author of When Things Fall Apart
“A fervent case for humankind’s greater attention to personal interconnectivity and our environmental crisis, made by one of the most brilliant and interesting young Buddhist leaders in our world today. Highly intelligent and filled with honesty, personal reflection, and striking insights on every page, this book urges us not only to understand our interdependence intellectually but also to cultivate an embodied awareness of it, both for our own evolution and as a path to living our lives as helpful and responsible world citizens.”
– Janet Gyatso, Hershey Professor of Buddhist Studies, Harvard Divinity School
“The outcomes of the complex economic, social, environmental and political issues of the 21st century will all depend on whether we view the world as a deeply interdependent system (or systems of systems) or whether we view our actions and the outcomes as independent. The Karmapa’s lucid insight into the relationship between the inner nature of our understanding of the world and its outer consequences is a compassionate and essential guide to the way forward to greater equality, resilience and wellbeing for all.”
– Jonathan F. P. Rose, co-founder of the Garrison Institute and author of The Well Tempered City
“As the waves of overwhelmedness and fear rise up, we need the teachings in this marvelous book. Interconnected provides the Buddha’s prescription of care, responsibility and engaged practice. Anyone who loves the world will benefit and be nourished by this book.”
– Koshin Paley Ellison, editor of Awake at the Bedside
“As a spiritual leader with a deep commitment to action, the Karmapa does not merely call for real change; in this book he offers the essential guidance we need to bring it about.”