Ethan Nichtern – The Road Home – Ep. 10 – Direct Action is the New Kundalini

Ethan Nichtern – The Road Home – Ep.10 - Direct Action is the New Kundalini

Ethan is joined by Kerri Kelly, Michael Kink and Charles Khan for a conversation about bringing our personal practice into the realm of direct social action.

Links from this episode: Strong Economy For All Coalition The Privilege of Well-Being

Show Notes

Building Community with Direct Action (Opening)

The group shares their individual backgrounds, what activism means to them and how they engage with their community. They reflect on the importance of community building. In both their practice and social work.

“The effort to build collective action is important. It is not about individual activists. it’s not about something called activism. it is about getting big numbers of people to do important things together in a way that changes our society.” – Michael Kink

Navigating Chaos with Balance (16:30)

Our panel of guests shares their struggles of navigating the chaos of the past few years. And how that relates to Buddhist precepts of morality. Moreover, their personal practices. They look at the positive opportunities presented by the difficult times that much of the world is experiencing. The lifting of the many veils that have been hiding systematic injustices.

“In doing this work my understanding of personal practice has evolved. To not just be what we do on the mat or the cushion. When we sort when we remove ourselves from the world. It’s really what we do on the street. And with each other, and what we do in the face of these extremes we are naming” – Kerri Kelly

On the Spot with Direct Action (39:25)

Ethan and the group talk about the rewards of social action. And ways that they work with discomforts that can arise when we reach outside of our comfort zone to engage in social action. They close with a discussion about different opportunities available to each of us to engage with our community.

“I don’t ever feel more alive than when I am showing up for an action or I am knocking on doors. For me, it is the most intense sense of community that I get in the work I do.” –  Charles Khan 

Charles Khan is the Organizing Director at the Strong Economy For All Coalition. A Coalition of Labor Unions and Community groups focusing on legislative driven campaigns. To fight for economic equality, equal funding of public schools, and corporate accountability in New York State. He specializes in campaign logistics, popular education, coalition building, direct action, and grasstops organizing. He is a leader with the Hedge Clippers. A national organization dedicated to shining a light on the damage that private equity. And hedge funds have on our communities and making sure they are held accountable.  He is also an activist with BYP100. He has worked to advance a range of issues from Healthcare, to racial justice, to the Fight For $15 and The Tax March. Keep up with Charles on Twitter.

Kerri Kelly is the founder of CTZNWELL, an emerging movement to mobilize people into a powerful political force for the well-being for all. She spent seven years as Executive Director of the non-profit Off the Mat, Into the World and is a faculty member. She is relentless in her commitment to elevating community consciousness and engagement around the programs and policies that democratize well-being for everyone.
Kerri is recognized across communities for her inspired work to bridge transformational practice with social justice. She’s been instrumental in translating the tools of mindfulness into practical application and social action in the public and private sector, working in collaboration with community organizers, spiritual leaders, and policy-makers, to transform our systems from the inside out. She’s a commitment to radical truth, healthy disruption and re-imagining a well-being that works for everyone. Learn more at

Ethan Nichtern – The Road Home – Ep.10 - Direct Action is the New Kundalini

Michael Kink is the Executive Director of the Strong Economy For All Coalition, a labor-community coalition that works in New York and around the country on economic, racial and social justice and income inequality and is affiliated with the Center for Popular Democracy.
He’s led campaigns for New York’s Millionaires Tax, the Fight for $15, reforms to reduce the impact of big money on government and funding to strengthen our public schools, healthcare system, affordable housing, and the social services safety net. For the last two years, he’s helped lead the Hedge Clippers campaign, which focuses on the destructive power of hedge fund and private equity billionaires and innovative policies that fight back on behalf of regular people. Keep up with Michael on Twitter


Feature image via Buddhist Global Relief