Eco-philosopher Joanna Macy is a scholar of Buddhism, general systems theory, and deep ecology. She is a leading voice in movements for peace, justice, and a safer environment. Macy serves as an adjunct professor to three graduate schools in the San Francisco Bay area: the California Institute of Integral Studies, the Starr King School for the Ministry, and the Universe of Creation Spirituality.

Matthew Fox has written of her: "Though descending from an impressive line of Calvinist preachers, Macy's deepest spiritual gift is her application of Buddhism's principles that acknowledge the deep suffering of the world and resolve to assist a great turning beyond that suffering. Like the great mystics of old, she invites us into the despair and darkness and fear that grips all of us, and dispels the notion that denial, numbing, or escape are valid options."

In this inspiring memoir, Joanna Macy reveals how her unique synthesis of spirituality and social activism was forged over the years as a Fulbright scholar in France; a two and one half year stint with the CIA; a part-time job with the Urban League, a civil rights organization; and ten years overseas with her husband in Germany, India, Tunisia, and Nigeria. This overview of her life reveals the author's passion for intellectual matters, Buddhist practice, social action, and eco justice. Macy is convinced that compassion blooms naturally when we open our hearts to the deep interconnections at the core of the universe.

For the past 20 years, the author has conducted workshops all over the world designed to empower people to take responsibility for the care of the earth. This thought-piece quotation by Buddhist Jack Kornfeld beautifully sums up Macy's work: "Strength of heart comes from knowing that the pain we each must bear is part of the greater pain shared by all that lives. It is not just 'our' pain but 'the' pain, and realizing this awakens our universal compassion."