Buddhist Wisdom from the 17th Karmapa (Ogyen Trinley Dorje)

The Karmapa, one of Tibetan Buddhism’s most important leaders, launches his new book in London on May 23 during his first visit to Britain. Born in a nomadic family in eastern Tibet, the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, made headline news in 2000 with his dramatic escape to India, where he now lives near the Dalai Lama. As a 31-year old holder of a 900-year old lineage and spiritual leader for the 21st century, the Karmapa has emerged as one of the most influential figures of his generation. The Karmapa is known for his commitment to environmental issues, women´s empowerment and the arts. In his new book, ‘Interconnected’, the Karmapa makes a substantial contribution to understanding the current trend towards isolationism, offering a path towards a more compassionate society in a dangerous era of ‘post-truth’ and polarizing conflict. ‘Interconnected: Embracing Life in our Global Society’ covers:

*Why political leaders should take a neurological test for empathy before being allowed to run for office.

*How electronic connectivity and social media are transforming the way we relate
Why loneliness is a product of consumer culture.

*How global integration has centred on economic and technological connectivity, failing to move sufficiently beyond an atomistic vision of who we are as human beings and as a result has led to greater competition, conflict and isolationism.

*How the crucial next step is to move beyond a theoretical understanding of our interconnectedness to begin to actually feel connected.

Our inherent capacity for empathy can be strengthened in order to develop the values consistent with living as interdependent individuals: compassion, responsibility, equality and appreciation for diversity. This compelling and wise book serves as a roadmap for creating a more compassionate global society – starting with oneself. His Holiness the Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, head of the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism, is currently on his first visit to London. The Karmapa has a deep commitment to environmental protection as well as to social justice, and frequently engages with youth groups to encourage them to work for positive change. He founded Khoryug, an eco-monastic movement that has mobilized 55 Buddhist monasteries and nunneries across the Himalayan region. His current initiative to grant full ordination to nuns in his lineage is a ground-breaking first step toward creating equal spiritual opportunities for women in Tibetan Buddhism. The Karmapa is an accomplished artist, poet and composer. In 2010, he oversaw the production of a full-length play that he had authored on the life of Milarepa, Tibet´s most widely revered yogi, innovating a new theatrical form that combined Tibetan opera with modern theatre. Many of his poems have been set to music, and he has worked to revive the performance of the sacred “doha” songs associated with the Buddhist lineage he heads.

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