Ethan Nichtern – The Road Home – Ep. 3 – No Such Thing As A Relationship Expert

Ethan Nichtern - The Road Home - Ep. 3 - No Such Thing As A Relationship Expert

Ethan celebrates the release of The Dharma of The Princess Bride in paperback with a reflection on bringing our own culture into our spiritual practice and honoring our role in a relationship.

Show Notes

Our Narrative (Opening) – Ethen talks about why he wrote The Dharma of The Princess Bride and reflects on how the book relates to a world that has seen some dramatic changes since its original publication. He looks at how cultural narrative fits into spiritual practice and how we can connect with practices more deeply by incorporating them with our own cultural narrative.

“If you study any ancient spiritual tradition there is often not a huge sense of a cultural narrative or a script going on, but all of the stories we tell about the Buddha they are like a film, a kind of narrative that happens in a cultural moment. So, if you want to understand spirituality you have to understand the cultural narratives of your own time and place. For me, The Princess Bride was always a symbolic and emblematic movie for my culture because it is a fairy tale for people who are cynical about fairytales.” – Ethan Nichtern

 No Such Thing As A Relationship Expert (7:45) – One of the topics addressed by The Dharma of The Princess Bride that have become especially relevant lately is our approach to our relationships. Ethan looks at the lessons that we can learn from our relationships, the cycle of trauma and the role of intimacy along the path Buddhist practice.

“We hurt ourselves and we hurt each other in personal relationships – whether that’s the relationship of an elected official with their constituency or the relationship of a spiritual teacher with their disciples or the relationship between parents or children – there is a lot of interpersonal hurt and pain coming to the surface.” – Ethan Nichtern

Coming Home (19:50) – Can we find dharma in pop culture? Ethan talks about finding the same dharmic value in our own cultural traditions as we would in the traditions of The Buddha’s culture.

Chris Grosso explores the intersection of personal traditions and dharmic practice with punk rocker and yogi Raghunath Cappo on Ep. 57 of the Indie Spiritualist Podcast
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Discover methods for turning connection with others into a way of life with Alanis Morissette, Justin Hilton and Ann Randolph at 1440 Multiversity – October 4 – 7, 2018. Visit to find this and other great retreats!


Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash