“How can I not read this book!”
~ Mandy Patinkin, a.k.a. Inigo Montoya
“A glorious book: a wise, pragmatic toolkit for creating meaningful relationships with friends, in romance, and with family. Reading it is like a warmhearted friend taking your hand and helping you figure out how to live.”
~ Sharon Salzberg
We recommend this book to spiritual seekers and fans of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, and The Tao of Pooh…and of course all aficionados of “The Princess Bride”! For every ounce of pop-culture, Ethan Nichtern brings an equally rigorous spiritual perspective to the table.
What is so interesting (and entertaining!) about Nichtern’s work is the delightful eclecticism and wonderful mixing of elements… The Dharma of “The Princess Bride” is a nostalgic romp through a modern classic movie, which transforms into a seriously helpful discussion of how to understand and navigate our most important personal relationships from a twenty-first-century Buddhist perspective.
“Nichtern teases out well-defined lessons—his ruminations on friendship through the relationship of Fezzik and Inigo Montoya are a highlight . . . For those who seek meaning, love, and values, even in unorthodox places, this unusual work will come as a pleasant surprise.”
~ Publishers Weekly
Friendship. Romance. Family. These are the three areas Ethan Nichtern delves into, taking as departure points the indelible characters from Rob Reiner’s perennially popular film—Westley, Fezzik, Vizzini, Count Rugen, Princess Buttercup, and others—as he also draws lessons from his own life and his work as a meditation teacher.
Nichtern devotes the first section of the book to exploring the dynamics of friendship. Why do people become friends? What can we learn from the sufferings of Inigo Montoya and Fezzik?
Next, he leads us through all the phases of illusion and disillusion we encounter in our romantic pursuits, providing a healthy dose of lightheartedness along the way by sharing his own Princess Buttercup List and the vicissitudes of his dating life as he ponders how we idealize and objectify romantic love.
“Ethan Nichtern brings Buddhist wisdom to bear on the topics of love, friendship, and relationships through a pop culture lens that is simple irresistible.”
~ Lodro Rinzler, author of Love Hurts and The Buddha Walks into a Bar
Finally, Nichtern draws upon the demands of his own family history and the film’s character the Grandson to explore the dynamics of “the last frontier of awakening,” a reference to his teacher Chogyam Trungpa’s claim that it’s possible to be enlightened everywhere except around your family.
With The Dharma of “The Princess Bride” in hand, we can set out on the path to contemporary Buddhist enlightenment with the most important relationships in our lives.”
About the Author
Ethan Nichtern is a Buddhist teacher, and the author of The Road Home: A Contemporary Exploration of the Buddhist Path. Nichtern is also the author of One City: A Declaration of Interdependence (Wisdom Publications 2007) as well as various poetry and fiction.
He is also the founder of the Interdependence Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to secular Buddhist study as it applies to activism, arts and media projects, and Western psychology. Nichtern has taught meditation and Buddhist psychology classes and retreats across North America since 2002. He is based in New York City.