Buddhist minister and author Long (Dharma and the Metta Map, 2012, etc.) shares steps for achieving connections with other living things.
Humankind, the author posits, has drifted away from a paradigm of connectivity to one of separation, so in this book, he advocates for finding ways to be more connected in one’s work, life, and home. His theory of “connectivity” says that every living being is linked by a common energy, and that honoring that connection is important to the future of the planet. Long quotes philosopher Ervin Laszlo: “We live in a crucial epoch—an epoch of instability and change….We could go down in chaos and catastrophe, or pull ourselves up by our bootstraps to a peaceful and sustainable world.” The text is divided into three parts: “A View of Two Worlds,” “A Bridge,” and “A Sea of Rules.” The first provides the intellectual underpinnings of Long’s beliefs. The second offers techniques for bridging the gap between separation and connection with others; primary among these is meditation, a cornerstone of Buddhism, but he also includes chapters on self-inquiry, service, and love and gratitude. “A Sea of Rules,” the final part, focuses on family, community, and business relationships, and well as one’s relationship with technology—a very important aspect of living in the 21st century. The text is quite dense and requires sustained concentration; it’s enriched with charts and diagrams, although some are difficult to read, due to their small size. Interspersed throughout the book are quotes from prominent thinkers, such as the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Mohandas Gandhi, which add value to the work; particularly notable are Gandhi’s “seven social sins” at the beginning of the chapter on business relationships, with which many readers will be unfamiliar. Long initially wrote the book in 2015, but revised it after the 2016 presidential election; although he avoids overt politicizing, some well-aimed barbs are unmistakable: “To build a wall or open our borders...to View the world as ‘Us’ vs. ‘Them’ or see it as home to everyone...these are the choices we face every day, both individually and collectively.”
Absorbing advice for revising one’s life and integrating it with others’.