Ethan Nichtern – The Road Home – Ep. 6 – Sharon Salzberg

Ethan Nichtern - The Road Home - Ep. 6 - Sharon Salzberg

This time on the Road Home Podcast, Ethan catches up with longtime friend Sharon Salzberg.

Their chat touches on the energy of our current political and social climate, bringing joy into our daily lives and practice, and what is necessary for making real change in the world. Listen to Sharon’s bi-weekly Metta Hour Podcast on the Be Here Now Network and keep up with her at

Come visit Ethan and Sharon for a deep conversation affecting positive change in our own lives and in the world, December 14, 2018—December 16, 2018, at the Garrison Institute: Real Change

Show Notes

Zeitgeist 2018 (Opening) – Ethan and Sharon reflect on the energy of recent political and social issues that America has experienced. Sharon looks at the quality of love that is needed to meet the fear, hate and anger that so many have been affected by in recent years.

“I don’t see love as a weakness. If ever there was a time we had to understand love as a power, it is now.” – Sharon Salzberg

Bringing the Joy (7:45) – In order to cultivate an inner world capable of fully meeting the outside, it is necessary to establish a daily practice. How does one work with the feelings of weariness and exhaustion that often become a barrier to developing a daily spiritual practice? Sharon and Ethan look at the aspect of joy that is missing in so many aspects of life and how that affects our ability to find and maintain balance.

Integrity and the Line (12:30) –  How do we come to terms when we realize that one of our heroes or our teachers might not be who we thought; who might, in fact, be deeply flawed? Ethan and Sharon look at the responsibilities that a teacher or leader holds to those who depend on their wisdom and integrity, and discuss the fine line walked in a student-teacher relationship.

Finding a Context in Practice (24:00) – Where does Sharon see the movement of dharmic practice today and what direction does she see it taking in the future? Ethan and Sharon talk about the growing trend of contemplative practice being taught in secular arenas and the role that traditional Buddhism plays there.

“I am very influenced by Goenka, my first teacher, who on the first night of my first retreat he said that The Buddha did not teach Buddhism, the Buddha taught a way of life – this is in no way about becoming Buddhist. Not everyone agrees with me, but I think it is true that the methodologies need contextualization and that could be secular ethics.” – Sharon Salzberg

Making Real Change (31:05) – Sharon explores the potent combination of personal practice and social change. She and Ethan talk about the role that self-worth plays in our engagement with our community, which extends all the way to our participation in the electoral process. They look at the strength and resilience that comes when we see our self-worth and rise up to our own potential.

“If we do not engage, it is just a story that we tell others about how much we care –  but we are not doing the thing that is going to make the difference.” –  Sharon Salzberg

Listen to insight on finding the will and courage to make change in our lives with Krishna Das on Ep. 65 of The Pilgrim Heart Podcast

This podcast is brought to you by the generosity of 1440 Multiversity – California’s newest retreat destination which hosts a faculty of thought leaders in fields including mindfulness, neuroscience, relationships, the creative arts, and more.
Learn to embody radical insight into everyday life with Krishna Das and Sharon Salzberg at 1440 Multiversity. Visit to register!
Photo via Ethan Nichtern and WildBindi