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About The Road Home (FSG – North Point Press)
“Grounded in compassion, Nichtern’s teaching offers a profound, lucid, and complex education in self-awareness, interdependence, and enlightenment.” – Publishers Weekly
Do you feel at home right now? Or do you sense a hovering anxiety or uncertainty, an underlying unease that makes you feel just a bit uncomfortable, a bit distracted and disconnected from those around you?
In The Road Home, Ethan Nichtern investigates the journey each of us takes to find where we belong. Drawing from contemporary research on meditation and mindfulness and his experience as a Buddhist teacher and practitioner, Nichtern describes in fresh and deeply resonant terms the basic existential experience that gives rise to spiritual seeking—and also to its potentially dangerous counterpart, spiritual materialism. He reveals how our individual quests for self-awareness ripple forward into relationships, communities, and society at large. And he explains exactly how, by turning our awareness to what’s happening around us and inside us, we become able to enhance our sense of connection with others and, at the same time, change for the better our individual and collective patterns of greed, apathy, and inattention.
Praise for The Road Home
“Ethan is the future of Buddhism.” –Sharon Salzberg (from the book’s foreword)
“A beautiful guide and invitation to a sane life. Refreshingly straightforward, accessible, skillful and kind.” – Jack Kornfield, author of the Wise Heart
“[Ethan is] a supercool, deeply kind brainiac—imagine a very chilled-out blend of Pauls Auster and Rudd—who is also to-the-cushion born.” –Sally Singer, Vogue.com
Nichtern lays out a relatable account of the contemporary “commuter,” who struggles to find a sense of home and moves through life with her eyes fixated on an ambiguous “elsewhere.” [This] book offers compassionate, practical, and largely secular guidance rooted in his Buddhist practice. In an age of increasing fragmentation and restlessness, Nichtern offers accessible antidotes to everyday feelings of disorientation, distraction, and dissatisfaction. –Vice
“…Makes ancient Buddhist teachings and texts approachable, contemporary, and relevant….Valuable for readers looking for an introduction to Buddhist teachings as they relate to meditation practice or for those searching for ways to live their lives in the here and now.” –Library Journal (Starred Review, Best Books of 2015)
“Nichtern offers a wise, humane, and deeply sympathetic introduction to the practice of Buddhism…Not to be confused with Jim Harrison’s book of the same name, the product of another bodhisattva, though both are steeped in the same spirit. Thoughtful and helpful alike.” – Kirkus Reviews
The Road Home is a guidebook, a compass, a map, and a trusted companion, and as a wanderer I am forever grateful.
– Ruth Ozeki, author of A Tale for the Time Being
“Ethan Nichtern is as gifted and compassionate a teacher in writing as he is in person. In The Road Home, he proposes that we move past our destructive repetitive patterns not by shellacking over sadness or anger or fear with some sort of enlightened-guru positivity but by accepting them, in all their contours, as an inevitable part of what makes us human. I’ve dog-eared my copy so thoroughly, it’s swollen to twice its normal size.” –Maud Newton
“The Road Home potently takes traditional Buddhism and makes it beautifully accessible and relevant for today’s spiritual seeker and skeptic alike. This book has the power to cure apathy in today’s society, and I think the world of it.” –Lodro Rinzler, author of The Buddha Walks into a Bar…
“This book is not Eastern Thought à la mode. Nichtern’s understanding of the tradition he’s presenting comes through as he elegantly jumps from Ghostbusters references to Heidegger quotes in order to demystify the philosophy and practices he’d like you to know aren’t just for monks in robes…We often think of intellect and heart as opposing aspects of human experience, but they meet and dwell in Nichtern’s generous and compassionate analysis of the Buddhist path.” –Reality Sandwich