Sharon Salzberg – Metta Hour – Ep. 62 – Real Love Series: Ethan Nichtern

Sharon Salzberg - Metta Hour - Ep. 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.

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 in the 21st century – regardless of age, race, gender, ethnicity or status. The book explores love is three different arena in life: love of oneself, love of an other, and love for all of life. Real Love is now available to order in hardcover, ebook and audiobook format.

Show Notes

The Dharma of the Princess Bride (Opening) – In his newest book, The Dharma of the Princess Bride: What the Coolest Fairy Tale of Our Time Can Teach Us About Buddhism and Relationships, Ethan draws from pop culture to explore Buddhism, meditation and relationships in the modern era. Ethan and Sharon discuss the book Ethan’s inspirations for writing it.

“I wanted to find a way that I could write about relationships with more transparency and personal stories. I also really wanted to honor popular cultures role in a modern spiritual practitioner’s life.” – Ethan Nichtern

Mythic Relationships (14:15) – There are quite a few myths around relationships and the spiritual life. Ethan talks about the real intersection of Buddhists teaching and our relationships.

Real Love (22:00) – Ethan and Sharon discuss the concept of true love found in the Princess Bride and how it differs from the kind of real love we need in life.

The Practice of Living (27:45) – The two talk about the ways in which we can integrate our mindfulness practice into every aspect of our lives. In doing so our lives become our practice, instead of something that is put on hold while we sit.

“I think a lot of times when we study, a lot of times out of context, Buddhist and mindfulness teachings seem very idealistic about what we are supposed to be able to handle or accommodate. So viewing relationships as a difficult practice, with some of the same parameters of what does it mean to just show up and practice in a way that is reasonable for you, is incredibly important. The great masters, I think, are the ones who are practicing and have committed to keep practicing.” – Ethan Nichtern

Balance in Relationships (36:30) – Ethan and Sharon discuss the gender imbalances that can arise in relationships. They explore how to bring generosity and devotion to our relationships in a way that equalize the self and others.

“The true Bodhisattva equalizes self and other; cares about both. There is a kind of balance of the mind’s awareness of self and others.” – Ethan Nichtern

Transformational Activism (43:40) – What is the relationship between our personal mindfulness practice and political activism? Ethan explores the role of nonduality in our current political climate.

For more with Ethan Nichtern, check out this conversation about intention by clicking here.

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