An engagingly contemporary approach to Buddhismthrough 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 twenty-first-century Buddhist perspective.
Friendship. Romance. Family. These are the three areas Ethan Nichtern delves into, taking as departure points the indelible charactersWestley, Fezzik, Vizzini, Count Rugen, Princess Buttercup, and others from Rob Reiners perennially popular filmas 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 films character the Grandson to explore the dynamics of the last frontier of awakening, a reference to his teacher Chogyam Trungpas claim that its 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.
Table of Contents:
Introduction: Fairy Tales, the Real World, and True Love
Part I THE DHARMA OF FRIENDSHIP
1. Mercenaries or Besties: What Are Friends For?
2. The Bad Guys: Out There vs. In Here
3. Find Your Inner Fezzik: The Practice of Friendship
Part II THE DHARMA OF ROMANCE
4. There Is No Buttercup
5. Lost on the High Seas: Emptiness and Dating
6. Basic Goodness: How the Farmboy Was Finally Reborn
7. As You Wish, Part I: The Practice of Partnership
Part III THE DHARMA OF FAMILY
8. All Sentient Beings Have Been Grandpa
9. Fred Savage Is a Jerk, and I Am Fred Savage: Gratitude for Your Lineage
10. As You Wish, Part II: The Practice of Family
Conclusion: Have Fun Storming the Castle
Appendix: Seven-Step Loving-Kindness
(Metta or Maitri) Practice in 20-25 Minutes