Phayul[Wednesday, June 19, 2013 09:30]
The book was released in the presence of Gyalwang Karmapa by Aruna Roy, renowned social activist, with Rajiv Mehrotra of the Foundation for Universal Responsibility, Pavan K Varma, distinguished author and diplomat, and Vandana Shiva, a noted philosopher and environmental activist, as discussants.
Published by Shambala Publications, the book, which is a result of a monthlong dialogue between the Karmapa and a group of American university students who traveled to Dharamshala in May of 2011 to learn from him, has a foreword by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
In the book, Gyalwang Karmapa reveals his vision for a compassionate global society and tackles the major issues facing the world in the 21st century, ranging from food justice to gender issues to conflict resolution.
In The Heart Is Noble, Gyalwang Karmapa explores a social vision based on the universal principle of interdependence and argues that everyone bears an ethical responsiblity to care for the society and planet.
“I may have certain responsibilities because I received the name and position of ‘Karmapa,’ but we all have responsibilities based on what we receive from the world. An awareness of our interdependence on others and on the planet should be a cause for our love and compassion for them to increase,” the 27-year-old Tibetan spiritual leader writes. “It can keep us aware of the impact our actions have on others and on the planet. If we connect to others and to the planet with love and affection, our responsibility to bring about change does not have to weigh heavily on us at all. We will carry it gladly.”
Made up of 12 chapters, Karmapa Rinpoche in the book explains that awareness of equality should be a guiding principle in building a compassionate society and notes that economic success should not be confised with personal happiness.
“Just because we have a market economy does not mean we need to have a market society,” the young leader writes.
“Inside each of us there is a noble heart ... Our nobility may be obscured at times, covered over with small thoughts or blocked by confused and confusing emotions. But a noble heart lies intact within each of us nonetheless, ready to open and be offered to the world. Our task—the task of this book—is to recognise this noble heart within us and learn to connect with it, to make it the basis of all that we do and feel. When we clear away all that blocks it, this heart can change the world,” Gyalwang Karmapa notes.
In his foreword, the Dalai Lama illustrates that the book is “not so much a presentation of a Buddhist point of view, but an example of the contribution Buddhist ideas can make to contemporary conversation.”
“Rinpoche repeatedly explains how we can tap into our basic good human qualities, the noble heart of the title, as a source of good motivation and positive action. The important thing is to go beyond mere good wishes to actually taking action, whether it concerns dealing with emotions and transforming the mind or steps to protect the natural environment,” the Dalai Lama writes.
“I am sure that readers who pay attention to what is discussed here and try it out in their own lives will not only feel happier within themselves, but will also contribute to making a happier, more peaceful world for the twenty-first century.”