Now available on Amazon, Wisdom, Barnes & Noble, Powell’s or Indiebound.

THE WHEEL OF LIFE is a Buddhist allegorical painting dating back to ancient India. The painting describes how our sense of self and our life in this world take shape, portraying how we think, how we act, how we feel, and how we manifest our own personal reality. The Wheel of Life also illustrates how karma works in our lives—how we get trapped in confusing, painful, and repetitive patterns, and how we can liberate ourselves from those patterns.

The goal of this book is to present these ancient teachings in more contemporary language, with imagery more immediately recognizable to modern readers. The illustration of the Wheel used in the book depicts modern people in contemporary settings to convey the psychological tone of each of the six realms. This approach is very much in keeping with how David Nichtern learned about the six realms from his teacher, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche.

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What people are saying:

“Awakening from the Daydream repurposes for our times an ancient map to freedom, giving us a smart and sure way to break out of the habitual grooves that bind us. David Nichtern speaks to us with a voice witty and wise, and with a no-b.s. compassion: Deep wisdom in a spot-on package.”
– Daniel Goleman, Author of Emotional Intelligence and A Force for Good: The Dalai Lama’s Vision for Our World.

“A wonderful extension of the powerful dharma teachings of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. The transmission of these ancient lineages is intact in David’s hands as he continues to update the traditional Buddhist teachings and make them ever more accessible to the contemporary audience.” – Ram Dass, author of Be Here Now

“A guide book for anyone confused by the Gordian Knot of existence. It will put the wheel of life into sharp relief with a capital R. Masterful insight from a master.” – Jamie Lee Curtis, Actor

“David skillfully brings an ancient framework into a contemporary context and shows how working with these teachings can support our liberation right now. This is a wonderful book—pithy, relevant and fun to read. Plus the essay from Trungpa Rinpoche is a great bonus!” – Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness and Real Happiness

“As a long-time Buddhist practitioner, there are a few people I have turned to over and over to help me make sense of the dharma and David Nichtern is one of them. His insights comfort and shock in equal measure and this book is no exception. If you are looking for an introduction to the Buddhist path that is both gentle and fierce, this is the book for you. Using the iconic Wheel of Life as the gateway, it goes beyond the academic to offer real-life insights into how to transform your suffering into wisdom and joy. I’m so happy this book exists. PS, he is incredibly funny.” – Susan Piver, author of Start Here Now and founder of the Open Heart Project)

“David Nichtern is one of the most effortless and effective teachers I have ever met. He’s funny and smart, which I love, but even better he uses his humor and intelligence to transmit a deeper message that can truly change your life. Get into it!” – Pete Holmes, Comedian and host of You Made It Weird