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Meditation + Talk: Confidence, Hope, and Fear with Ethan Nichtern
June 28, 2024

Confidence is a trait that many of us strive for, but it can be difficult to maintain in the face of life’s challenges. In this talk and meditation, guest teacher Ethan Nichtern explores how the eight worldly winds in Buddhism offer a profound insight into the forces that shape our self-perception and emotional well-being. 

You can find a list of the topics covered below the videos.

I hope you find it helpful. You are welcome to join my free Wednesday Meditations – which are open to everyone!

Meditation:

Download the Audio of this Meditation

Talk:

Download the Audio of this Talk

After offering a meditation on Hope and Fear, Ethan Nichtern covered these topics in his talk:

  • How the eight worldly winds—consisting of four pairs of opposing experiences—represent the constant ebb and flow of life’s challenges and rewards. The pairs are pleasure and pain, praise and criticism, fame or influence and insignificance, and success and failure. Each pair reflects a fundamental aspect of human experience, from our physical sensations to our social standing and personal achievements.
  • Confidence involves showing up fully despite life’s challenges. By recognizing and understanding these eight worldly winds, we can better navigate the vicissitudes of life, maintaining a balanced perspective on our self-worth and facing challenges with mindfulness and compassion.
  • The ways in which mindfulness and compassion are essential tools for navigating these worldly winds. By practicing mindfulness, we can remain present and aware of our thoughts and feelings, while compassion fosters kindness towards oneself and others. These practices help maintain balance and equanimity in the face of life’s ups and downs.
  • The surprising parallels between the eight worldly winds with modern psychological theories, such as Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, highlighting their timeless relevance to the human experience. They provide a framework for understanding the factors that influence our self-worth and confidence, applicable in both group and individual settings.
  • How the human desire for recognition—amplified by social media—is a universal experience reflected in the third pair of worldly winds (fame or influence and insignificance). How this desire can be likened to inflatable tube men (often used outside car dealerships), and how sensitive humans are to feedback from the world, which can quickly inflate or deflate our self-worth.
  • The significant role that media plays in shaping our perception of fame and infamy, often distorting reality and creating unrealistic expectations. This can lead to a culture where individuals seek recognition at any cost, sometimes engaging in negative behaviors or sacrificing personal values.

About Ethan Nichtern

Ethan Nichtern is the author of Confidence: Holding Your Seat through Life’s Eight Worldly Winds and several other titles, including the widely acclaimed The Road Home. A renowned contemporary Buddhist teacher and the host of The Road Home Podcast, Ethan teaches meditation and Buddhist psychology classes and retreats online via Dharma Moon and around the US. He lives in Brooklyn with his daughter. Visit him online at http://www.EthanNichtern.com.

These teachings are offered freely, at no charge. 

And if you like, you may wish to participate in the age-old tradition of generosity through making an offering yourself – called “dāna” – to support Rick and the Wednesday Meditations. Generosity itself is a beautiful practice that opens and gladdens the heart, relaxes the contraction of “self,” and ripples out into the world to touch many people – and perhaps, eventually, even oneself. 

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These teachings are offered freely.

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