2021 Yearlong Buddhist Studies with Ethan Nichtern, faculty, and guest teachers

January–December 2021

Ethan’s highly acclaimed buddhist studies course is back by popular demand for another full-year term in 2021.

This 40-week program will be broken down into five 8-week courses that can either be taken online in live Zoom sessions for certification (includes participation in study groups)* or audited independently (with class recordings only; no live attendance). Enroll for the entire year for the comprehensive experience or choose to participate course by course.

Classes will occur Tuesdays 7–9pm ET online starting January 26th.

View a recorded info session and Q/A with Ethan on his website here.

Designed to be deeply practical as well as occasionally geeky, this course is good for students of all experience levels. Expect a deep overview of a complete Buddhist path with an emphasis on the psychological, metaphysical, and socially engaged elements.

Online Program:
$1,095.00 for full year [registration closed]
$250 for any individual 8-week course [LIVE on Zoom]

$450 for yearlong basic audit (recordings ONLY)
$650 for yearlong full participation audit (recordings + sangha)* [registration closed]
$110 for any individual 8-week course

*If you can’t ever attend live classes but would like to participate in quads, the slack discussion board, completion of review questions after each course, and receipt of certificate of completion. 

Tuition is nonrefundable. 

Enrollment for the full participation yearlong course is now closed.
Registration for the basic audit remains open.

yearlong audit

about the training

upcoming courses

Course 3: Emptiness and Compassion—Overcoming Spiritual Bypassing on the Mahayana Path
June 15–Aug 3, 2021

This course focuses on the Bodhisattva Path. We will cover the meditation practice of Tonglen, The Four Great Vows of Zen, Four Styles of Idiot Compassion, Spiritual Bypassing, The Six Paramitas, and The Heart Sutra.

Course readings include: The Road Home by Ethan Nichtern, The Other Shore by Thich Nhat Hanh, Radical Dharma by Rev. angel Kyodo Williams, Lama Rod Owens, Jasmine Syedullah Ph.D.,Becoming Bodhisattvas (No Time to Lose, former title) by Pema Chodron

Click below to enroll in Course Three.

course three


Course 4: Introduction To Tantric Buddhism
Aug 24—Oct 12, 2021

This course will begin a theoretical introduction to Vajrayana (Tantric) Buddhism, along with an experiential exploration of some of the basic practices associated with Buddhist Tantra. Founded on the strongly established aspirations of self-liberation and compassion for all beings (Courses 1-3), this fourth course begins an exploration of the Tantric, or Vajrayana teachings as understood in the Indo-Tibetan and other schools of Buddhism. Topics will include The Three Yanas, Nature of Mind meditation (Mahamudra and Dzogchen), Visualization as Meditation Practice, The Five Wisdom Energies, and an exploration of the often difficult topic of what it means to work with a “Guru” as opposed to other models of the student-teacher relationship.

Course readings include: The Road Homeby Ethan Nichtern (required), Wisdom Rising by Lama Tsultrim Allione (required), Gradual Awakening by Dr. Miles Neale (suggested), Wild Awakening by Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche (suggested)

Click below to enroll in Course Four.

course four


Course 5: Warrior in the World—The Path of Engaged Buddhism
Oct 26–December 14, 2021

This course will survey modern topics applying Buddhist thought to a wide variety of issues. Topics include: The Mandala Principle in Everyday Life, Dharma Art, Buddhism and Western Psychology, Buddhism and Economics, Buddhism and Politics, Buddhism and Environmentalism, and more.

Course readings include: The Road Home by Ethan Nichtern (required), Plus additional PDF readings

There are recommended books for purchase for each course. Reading material is not included in the cost of the program. Additional suggested readings and PDFs will be provided.

Click below to enroll in Course Five.

course five



past courses

Course 1: Entering the Path—Karma, Suffering, Mindfulness, and Liberation
Jan 26–March 16, 2021

This course focuses on The Buddhist Path, The Four Noble Truths, The Eightfold Path, Karma and The Twelve Nidanas, Buddhist Teachings on the Self, and the Path of Conduct and Ethics.

Course readings include: The Road Home: A Contemporary Exploration of the Buddhist Path by Ethan Nichtern, Real Happiness by Sharon Salzberg, The Truth of Suffering and The Path of Liberation by Chogyam Trungpa, Why Buddhism is True by Robert Wright, Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love and Liberation by angel Kyodo Williams, Lama Rod Owens, and Jasmine Syedullah, AccessToInsight.org—website with collection of early Buddhist suttas (discourses), Additional online articles from Tara Brach Zenju Earthlyn Manuel, Gina Sharpem, and others.

Live classes for Course One have concluded. Click below to audit Course One.

course one audit


Course 2: The Personal Becomes Interpersonal—Finding the Bodhisattva Within
April 6–May 25, 2021

This course covers the all-important transition from a view of awakening that is internal and personal to one that is shared and interpersonal. We will focus on three major bodies of teachings from classic and contemporary Buddhism for making this transition. On the practice  level, we focus on the brahmaviharas (the divine immeasurables) and take our understanding and experience of lovingkindness and other related meditations deeper. On the philosophical/psychological level, we dive into the teachings of the Yogacara (Mind-Only) system, which describes how consciousness functions and projects. And on the level of social imagination, we deeply explore the 6 realms of confused existence, which describe how the mind creates realms of experience in relation to other minds.

Course readings include: The Road Home by Ethan Nichtern, Living Yogacara by Tagawa Shun’ei, Lovingkindness by Sharon Salzberg, Awakening from the Daydream by David Nichtern, Plus additional PDFs

Live classes for Course Two have concluded. Click below to audit Course Two.

course two audit


about the teacher

Ethan Nichtern is a Buddhist teacher and the author of the acclaimed book The Road Home: A Contemporary Exploration of the Buddhist Path (Farrar Straus and Giroux, North Point Press), which was selected as one of Library Journal’s Best Books of 2015, and one of Tech Insider’s “9 Books That Define 2015.” His most recent book, The Dharma of The Princess Bride: What The Coolest Fairy Tale of Our Time Can Teach Us About Buddhism and Relationships was released by North Point Press in 2017.

His podcast, The Road Home, launched in 2018 available on iTunes and Stitcher.

He is also the author of One City: A Declaration of Interdependence (Wisdom Pubs, 2007), and the Novella/poetry collection, Your Emoticons Won’t Save You (Nieto Books, 2012). He founded the Interdependence Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to secular Buddhist practice and transformational activism and arts, and served as executive Director from 2007–2011.

For the past two decades, Ethan has taught meditation and Buddhist psychology classes and workshops around New York City and North America and Europe, along with working with students privately. He has primarily studied in the Shambhala and other Tibetan traditions, but has also studied Theravadan and Soto Zen Buddhism. He is also an avid yoga practitioner. He served as Shastri, or Senior Teacher-in-Residence, for the Shambhala Meditation Center of New York, from 2010–2018.

He was formerly on the part-time faculty at Eugene Lang College at New School University and has lectured at Brown, Wesleyan, Yale, NYU, FIT, Antioch, and other universities, and as well at many other meditation/yoga centers and conferences around the country and world.

Ethan has been featured on CNN, NPR, ABC/Yahoo News, the New York Times, Vogue.com, Business Insider, Nautilus, and Vice to discuss Buddhism and meditation in the 21st Century. His articles have been featured on the Huffington Post, Beliefnet, Shambhala Sun, Tricycle, BuddhaDharma, Reality Sandwich, as well as other online publications.

He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and daughter.


alumni testimonials

“I could not speak more highly of this course and Ethan as a teacher! I came in as a complete beginner without a formal practice, so if anybody in the same boat now has doubts, don’t fret!”—Student from 2019 Online Buddhist Studies “The online course and accessibility to the materials and teachers allow this full time working mom of a two year old have access to the dharma and a sangha that in the past, would have been impossible. When the stars align and I can attend the live class the lectures from Ethan and guests are engaging and interactive. The break out sessions are also insightful. Definitely worth investing the time and money.”—Student from 2019 Online Buddhist Studies