Stepping Down As “Shastri,” Staying For The Shambhala Community

[Note before reading: I continue to be in a mode of listening and learning. Since making my initial statement on June 29 (read here) about the revelations in the Shambhala community and allegations against Sakyong Mipham, I have tried to listen to insights and experience regarding the current state of the community from survivors, friends, mentors, colleagues and students as much as possible. I have been heartened by many of the steps taken by some local Shambhala centers in addressing the structures and culture which allowed these harms to repeat themselves. If you’d like an update on what the Shambhala Center of New York has done to address these issues, please look here . As we all attempt to move forward as a community, I have been asked two personal questions again and again. What follows is my attempt to answer these two. Both answers require some in-depth context. If

Reflections on Shambhala

(Note Before Reading: I have no intention to take attention away from the voices of those who have been harmed. Their voices are the most important. I wrote this with some hesitation. I wrote this because many friends have asked me to make a public statement and share thoughts about recent revelations. What’s below is offered to those who have expressed a desire to hear my thoughts. It is posted on my own website. I speak for no one but myself. If you choose to read it, please also listen directly to the perspectives and the requests of those who have been harmed.) You may know by now that Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche sent a communication this past Monday in response to allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct with students, and that Project Sunshine released a report yesterday with three anonymous first-hand accounts of sexual harm caused by him. The first outwardly

Radically Loved Podcast with Rosie Acosta

On Episode 129 of the Radically Loved podcast, Rosie Acosta interviews Ethan: "@ethannichtern is a Shastri, a senior teacher in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition, and currently senior teacher-in-residence for the Shambhala NYC community. He is the author of the acclaimed book The Road Home: A Contemporary Exploration of the Buddhist Path and most recently, The Dharma of The Princess Bride: What The Coolest Fairy Tale of Our Time Can Teach Us About Buddhism and Relationships. I’m so excited to have Ethan on the show again to talk about all the ways this his book, The Dharma of The Princess Bride, relates to how we live our lives. Our conversation touches on transparency, the Trump era, and technology. Ethan is one of my favorite people and I’m so grateful he’s shared his thoughts with us. Radically Reflective Ethan Discovering the Buddhism and wisdom of The Princess Bride Bringing in modern personal

METTA HOUR PODCAST – Episode 62 – Real Love Series – Ethan Nichtern

For Episode 12 of the Real Love Podcast Series, Sharon speaks with friend and colleague Ethan Nichtern about his new book, “The Dharma of the Princess Bride”. Ethan and Sharon have co-taught together numerous times on the topic of love and relationship and here they continue the conversation! They discuss a variety of the complexities of relationship in family, friendship and romance as Ethan had explored them in his new book. They also speak about the role of love in community and politics, discussing Ethan’s work in transformational activism. This podcast is the 12th episode of a weekly REAL LOVE PODCAST SERIES. The Real Love Podcast Series is a special series on the Metta Hour featuring a variety of conversations with some of the world’s finest thinkers and teachers exploring Sharon’s new book “Real Love: The Art of Mindful Connection“. Real Love a field guide for anyone seeking awakened living

Podcast: Ethan on 10% Happier with Dan Harris to Discuss The Dharma of The Princess Bride

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[caption id="attachment_1695" align="alignleft" width="225"] Dan Harris, Ethan Nichtern and The Dharma of The Princess Bride[/caption] So awesome to be on Dan Harris' podcast to discuss the myths we make about relationship, pop culture, Buddhism and meditation in the modern world, and of course, The Dharma of The Princess Bride. Download at this link! And the meditation  skeptic in your should read Dan's book 10% Happier! Remember to pre-order the new book if you like the podcast! Thanks! It will be everywhere Sep 12. Release party in NYC September 19. Get tickets here!

The Dharma of Relationships on the Duncan Trussell Family Hour Podcast!

It was such an honor to be a guest on the amazing Duncan Trussell's podcast to discuss my new book, The Dharma of The Princess Bride: What The Coolest Fairytale of our Time Can Teach Us About Buddhism and Relationships. It was also great to discuss relationships, awakening, gurus, and whether or not you can really become enlightened without leaving the world behind. Listen here, and please remember to pre-order the new book which will be out on September 12 everywhere!

New Podcast: No Such Thing As A Relationship Expert

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Check out Ethan’s new lecture on the Shambhala Podcast, No Such Thing As A Relationship Expert” Here's A Quote from Ethan's new book, which you can pre-order now: That’s right, nobody is a relationship expert. Let me be clear: Of course, certain professionals have extensive psy- chological training to help others with their relationships. I am not claiming that this training is in any way invalid. Seeking relationship guidance from a third party with the skills to help can be one of the smartest and most humbling things we ever do. But the only way to progress with relationships is to connect with our longing to know ourselves more deeply, and to extend that longing to know- ing others as well. By de nition, no single person can be an expert at relationships. Every relationship is a collabora- tion between (at least) two people, and an expert is one lone person.

New Podcast: How Can Buddhists Deal With Wealth?

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  Check out Ethan’s new lecture on the Shambhala Podcast, How Can Buddhists Deal With Wealth?” How do value ourselves and others properly, while living in a world of such inequality, poverty? How do we come to see the whole world as gold? Remember to check out the award-winning book The Road Home: A Contemporary Exploration of the Buddhist Path if you haven’t already. Ethan's next book - The Dharma of The Princess Bride: What The Coolest Fairy Tale of Our Time Can Teach Us About Buddhism and Relationships is available for preorder, and in bookstores everywhere (hardcover, ebook and audiobook) September 12! This Shambhala podcast has lots of great teachers and lectures on it (Ethan is featured about once every three or four episodes), so you probably just subscribe via iTunes. Enjoy!

On Listening As A Practice in The Brave New World

(Man standing with sign in front of a Mosque in Texas.) So much recently about "listening," especially related to something called "bubbles." A few thoughts from my Buddhist practice (you can also check out Chapter 6 of The Road Home if you want more in-depth ideas):   1) Listening is always a great practice, but it can *only* be done with another person who also wants to listen to you in return.   2) Listening is a shared practice based on good intentions on both sides. You are not required to listen to anyone in the current moment, especially if it becomes clear that they are not speaking with good intentions, or are not willing to listen in return, or are deliberately presenting misinformation.   3) You get to decide who you want to practice with. You could try to listen to everyone (eventually), but it's probably asking too much to start with

7-Point Practice Plan for Engaged Mindfulness in 2017

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2016 saw the death of many special people. It also saw the death of many misguided ideas, including the obliteration of my own misguided view that my practice of meditation and Buddhism can happen without full and complete engagement with modern society. I came up with a 7-point practice plan for myself. If any of this is useful to you, please make use of it. If not, then at the very least, don’t fall into the trap of thinking your practice is an escape from the world. There is no escape from the world. Whatever happens to human society in the coming years, we are all in this together. The first three practices have to do with personal work. The final four have to do with participation in community and society. (friends meditating at Zuccotti Park in 2011, credit unknown) 1) Be Stubborn About Taking Care of Your Body: In times