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Publisher's Summary

An engagingly contemporary approach to Buddhism - through the lens of an iconic film and its memorable characters
Humorous yet spiritually rigorous, drawing from pop culture and from personal experience, The Dharma of "The Princess Bride" teaches us how to understand and navigate our most important personal relationships from a 21st-century Buddhist perspective.
Friendship. Romance. Family. These are the three areas Ethan Nichtern delves into, taking as departure points the indelible characters - Westley, Fezzik, Vizzini, Count Rugen, Princess Buttercup, and others from Rob Reiner's perennially popular film - as he also draws lessons from his own life and his work as a meditation teacher. Nicthern 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. 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.
©2017 Ethan Nichtern (P)2017 Audible, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By doctordonallen on 02-03-18


This was a fantastic entry for me into a committed mindfulness practice and study of Buddhism. I’ve dabbled a bit but Ethan’s interpretation of the Dharma has made me feel at home and supported and like I’ve found a path I can travel for the rest of my life (or lives). I’m So grateful. ~ Leanne

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4 out of 5 stars
By C O'Neal on 12-06-17

A fun and refreshing take on Buddhism

If you are looking to explore concepts from both The Princess Bride and American Buddhist practices, this is exactly the right book for you! The author's personal connection to the book was interesting and provides fun insights that we wouldn't otherwise know about.
Nichtern uses this much beloved movie to anchor his discussions of key Buddhist principles in a manner that is as skillful as it is playful. His personal anecdotes provide examples of how one can apply the Dharma to common situations in an American life. Each analogy from the movie/book is purposeful and well thought out as one might expect from an experienced Dharma teacher.
If you are like me, new-ish to Buddhist practice, then I think you will find his explanations accessible without being over simplified. If you are an experienced Buddhist, then I imagine you will enjoy a new perspective on your practice by viewing it through the lens of a pop-culture phenomenon. If you are looking for a book expounding a LOT on the Princess Bride and you're not that interested in should know there's more Dharma than Dread Pirate Roberts to the content...though it's not inconceivable that you'd enjoy it anyway.

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