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The Future Is Now
James Gritz, Karmapa Foundation

Photo Credit: James Gritz / © Karmapa Foundation

Timely Advice for Creating a Better World

by His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa

The Future Is Now contains 108 pithy sayings by this remarkable Buddhist teacher, combined with striking contemporary photographs. This is His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa’s first book for a popular audience. Each pairing of text and image offers timely advice, densely packed with layers of meaning.

In The Future Is Now, the 17th Karmapa addresses the pressing issues of our day: religious tolerance, environmental protection, and world peace. His practical advice is infused with a uniquely Buddhist perspective, as when he calls on us to check our motivation, to trust our own intelligence, or to realize everyday fallacies. Throughout, the 17th Karmapa provides fresh insights in everyday language—as in his parting words:


Fame and fortune are but rainbows in the sky.
Loved ones—friends and family—are mere etchings on water.
The business of living life is simply last night’s dream.
All creation is just a flash of lightning in the dark.

The Shambhala Times is delighted to present these excerpted pages from The Future Is Now. The book, published by Hay House on May 15, 2009, is available at Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, or a bookstore near you.

Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

Photo Credit: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times


We are capable of having a huge impact on the world. The only way for us to protect our species—and the planet—from our own destructive power is to do everything possible to maintain peace and stability among ourselves. Therefore, it is worthwhile for all of us to study and lovingly preserve all the religions, traditions, and systems that promote peace and unity for humankind.

The Future Is Now is for anyone concerned with the state of the planet and human society—meditator or not. It is the perfect gift for friends and family yet to be exposed to the dharma and a treasury of practical advice for both new and old-time practitioners.

JFB / Getty Images

Photo Credit: JFB / Getty Images


Investigate the situation properly before taking action, whether in public or in private matters. Consider the long-term implications of your deeds. What is the best way to achieve your aims? What problems might arise and how can you avoid or overcome them? In the face of an insurmountable obstacle, what alternatives exist? The more you tap into your own and other people’s experience, the deeper into these questions you can go.

His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa is the head of the Karma Kagyu branch of Tibetan Buddhism and the seventeenth in the Karmapa line of reincarnate lamas dating to the eleventh century. His Holiness dazzled audiences during his first tour of America in 2008 and promises to be a dynamic and compelling teacher as were his predecessors before him.

Other publications by His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa can be found at the website for Karma Triyana Dharmachakra.

Editor’s Note: We are currently on hiatus from publishing new articles; in the meantime, please enjoy this classic item reprinted from our back issues.


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4 responses to “ The Future Is Now ”
  1. Who do we contact to review a copy? This book looks great! Love that it’s not solely aimed at “the choir”—us—but seeks to be accessible, without dumbing down, to the masses.

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