With more than a million followers worldwide and at least 50,000 in the United States, the 17th Karmapa is one of Tibetan Buddhism’s most senior lamas. His dramatic escape from Tibet and his spiritual presence have made him an instant celebrity, and Elle magazine recently named him one of its “25 people to watch.”
The Future is Now, which pairs contemporary photography with 108 sayings on how to live more compassionately and consciously, is the Karmapa’s first mainstream work. In it, he offers advice on such universal and personal themes as social values, the environment, freedom, responsibility, loneliness, and contentment. Fresh, bold, timely photos and straightforward text make the ancient teachings of Buddhism accessible to everyone.
Earlier this year, the Karmapa made his first trip to the West speaking to large crowds in New York, Boulder, and Seattle. It’s been reported that the venues sold out based almost solely on the strength of e-mail chains. His visit generated an enormous amount of publicity including two New York Times items, a piece in Time magazine, an interview on the PBS program “Religion & Ethics News Weekly,” and coverage in major Buddhist magazines.