Ethan Nichtern – The Road Home – Ep. 83 – Communication and Community with David Nichtern

Ethan Nichtern welcomes David Nichtern back to the show for an extremely moist conversation around communication, community, interdependence, aging, and much more. 

David Nichtern is the Founder of Dharma Moon and the host of the Creativity, Spirituality & Making a Buck podcast on Be Here Now Network.

Register now for Dharma Moon’s Yearlong Buddhist Studies Info Session with Ethan Nichtern on December 20th from 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm ET 
Communication and Community

Ethan welcomes his father, David, back to The Road Home podcast and inquires as to the state of his mind, which David feels is a fair question. They talk about how humans are the only species who seem to narrate their own lives, the strange backlash against compassion in parts of Western culture, the Buddhist notion of debate, and the connection between communication and community. Ethan dives into how conversations take place in the modern world.

“When there’s good communication, you build community. It’s no accident those two words have the same root. You’re communing.” – David Nichtern

Ram Dass talks about the community of the spirit in Here and Now Ep. 188
Staying Moist (17:40)

After a brief foray into pharmaceutical ads and Saturday Night Live parodies, Ethan and David talk about the difference between the brain and the mind. With David’s birthday around the corner, the topic turns to aging and how meditation practice helps David stay moist instead of drying up as he gets older. Ethan eventually gets the conversation back to community and gives his thoughts on the notion of Sangha these days. David shares how the Dharma Moon community came about.

“At the same time, if I’m helpful, useful, if I’m being creative and I sort of continue to contribute, then you go, ‘Well, it makes good sense to stay moist for as long as you can.’” – David Nichtern

Support your meditation practice with 1:1 Mentoring from a qualified teacher at Dharma Moon
Nudge the Future (38:20)

David brings up Ethan’s manifesto on interdependence and they discuss how Thich Nhat Hanh was really the first modern teacher to emphasize that concept. David talks about playing kirtan with Krishna Das at the Open Your Heart in Paradise retreats in Maui and how he hopes to infuse some of that spirit into the Buddhist Maha-sangha. They close the show by touching on individualism in Western society, the connection between Buddhism and democracy, and how David would like to nudge the future.

“I do think there’s an inherent connection between Buddhism and democracy, which is the belief that all beings possess the same potential and basic goodness, and therefore that leads to some sense of wanting to include everybody.” – Ethan Nichtern

David Nichtern and Krishna Das talk about the connection between Hinduism and Buddhism in Creativity, Spirituality & Making a Buck Ep. 13