Ethan Nichtern – The Road Home – Ep. 14 – The Four Noble Truths of Love with Susan Piver

The Four Noble Truths of Love

Ethan is joined by author and meditation teacher Susan Piver for a conversation about bringing the wisdom of Buddhist practice into our relationships.

Susan Piver is the New York Times bestselling author of nine books, including her latest book The Four Noble Truths of Love: Buddhist Wisdom for Modern Relationships. Piver has been a practicing Buddhist since 1995 and graduated from a Buddhist seminary in 2004. She is an internationally acclaimed meditation teacher, known for her ability to translate ancient practices into modern life. Her work has been featured on the Oprah show, TODAY, CNN, and in the New York TimesWall Street JournalMONEY, and others. Learn more at and check out The Open Heart Project Online Meditation Community
The Four Noble Truths of Love

Susan shares how Buddhist teachings have helped her navigate her relationships with others. She and Ethan discuss Susan’s book, The Four Noble Truths of Love. The two explore ways that we can apply The Buddha’s core teachings to our most intimate relationships.

“I found myself relying on Buddhist teachings to help me understand how my heart worked and how my connection to other people worked, especially to my partner. I found teaching after teaching that supported me to love more. To care more and feel more empowered in a relationship.” – Susan Piver 

Quest For Stability (12:15)

We look at the kind of expectations we have about our relationships. How do these expectations and grasping for stability contribute to our own unhappiness? Ethan and Susan talk about the different ways that our spiritual practice factors into our relationships.

“Instability is not the problem. It is refusing to go on the ride that is the problem. A great partner is one who will sort of turn to face the ride with you. To sit shoulder to shoulder, instead of squaring off.” –  Susan Piver 

The Bad News Is The Good News (25:35)

For a lot of us, waking up through the path of Buddhist practice involves crushing our expectations and fantasy about reality. Susan offers the silver lining that comes when we take a more realistic approach to our lives and relationships. She and Ethan talk about taking a balanced approach to our relationships as they evolve.

“Sometimes you meet someone and it is like waking up on a different planet. Like, what the hell just happened? I feel so much for this person and I am so excited to be around this person. Suddenly it is like the whole world is different. That was not fake, the issue is that does not last. It changes, but that doesn’t invalidate the joy of falling in love.” –  Susan Piver 

Moving Forward In Shambala (39:15)

Susan and Ethan talk about the challenges that the Shambala community continues to face in the fallout of allegations against senior leadership. They talk about addressing abuse, the evolution of traditional structures and staying true to themselves.

Explore the future of Shambala further with Aarti Tejuja, Dr. Shanté Paradigm Smalls and David Perrin on Ep. 7 of The Road Home Podcast

The Four Noble Truths of Love

To love ourselves, we must know ourselves. To love one another, we must know one another. But our assumptions, distractions, fears, expectations, and personal sense of unworthiness obscure these kernels of truth. As William James wisely explained, “Our view of the world is truly shaped by what we decide to hear.”
Join Sharon Salzberg at 1440 Multiversity, April 12 – 14, and explore a gentle but thorough method to know yourself, connect with others, and stop your mind from getting in the way of the connection you yearn for. Find this and other transformative retreats here at 


Images via Susan Piver