Program Details

Who Am I? The Basic Goodness of Being Human


with Ethan Nichtern
February 1 / 7:00 PM - February 3 / 3:00 PM

The Friday night talk is open to anyone and is the first night of the class for those continuing on for the weekend program.


The Basic Goodness Series


Who Am I? The Basic Goodness of Being Human is the first of three new courses called the Basic Goodness Series. These three courses are taken in sequence. The second course is called How Can I Help? The Basic Goodness of Society, and the third course is entitled What is Real? The Basic Goodness of Reality. These courses are interactive and aspire to create a learning environment where the teachings are intimate, and also relevant to the times in which we live.


The new Basic Goodness Series is open to everyone, without prerequisites. We strongly recommended that participants first receive basic meditation instruction during an open house, a Shambhala Training program, or a Learn to Meditate Day. It would also be good if a student could attend a Meditation in Everyday Life course before entering the Basic Goodness Series. However, these are not firm prerequisites. 


In general the Basic Goodness Series presents Shambhala and Buddhist teachings in an experiencial way, with an emphasis on understanding the view and meaning of these teachings. This series is a powerful journey through the complete view and experience of basic goodness–our personal experience, our experience with others, and our relationship with the reality of life itself.


Required Readings-


The Sanity We Are Born With by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche
Chapter 9: The Development of Ego
Chapter 10: The Basic Ground and the Eight Consciousnesses

Natural Wakefulness by Gaylon Ferguson
Chapter 10: Opening the Doors of Perception
Chapter 11: Awakening from the Nightmare


Teacher: Shastri Ethan Nichtern


Ethan Nichtern is a Shastri, a senior teacher in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition. At 33, he is currently the youngest empowered Senior Teacher in the global Shambhala community. He is is the author of the novel,  Your Emoticons Won’t Save You and the acclaimed dharma book One City: A Declaration of Interdependence (Wisdom Pubs). He is also the founder  of the Interdependence Project a nonprofit organization dedicated to Buddhist-inspired meditation and psychology, integral activism, mindful arts, and meaningful media. In 2011 he stepped down as the founding director of IDP to pursue teaching and writing full-time.


For the past 10 years, Ethan has taught meditation and Buddhist psychology classes and workshops around New York City and the United States. He primarily studies in the Shambhala tradition under Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, but has also studied Theravadan and Soto Zen Buddhism. He is also an avid yoga practitioner.


He is on the part-time faculty at Eugene Lang College at New School University and has lectured at Brown, Wesleyan, Yale and New York Universities, as well as at Shambhala and other meditation/yoga centers and conferences around the country and world.


Ethan has been featured on CNN and NPR to discuss Buddhism and meditation in the 21st Century. His writing has been featured on The Huffington Post, Beliefnet, Tricycle Magazine, BuddhaDharma Magazine, Reality Sandwich, as well as other online publications.  He has written two books, One City and Emoticons Won't Save Your Emotions.


The program starts on Friday night for an open to the public talk from 7:00pm-9:00pm then resumes at 9:00am both Saturday and Sunday with a light breakfast at 8:30 a.m.

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