Whether you’re a student of mindfulness meditation wondering if you could share those beneficial practices with others for a living someday, an artist trying to sell your work without feeling like a “sellout,” or an aspiring CEO who wants to build a company in integrity with your ethics, the age-old question of how to align your spiritual, creative, and financial pursuits is one that pops up time and time again in the journey of life. While there is no universal formula, there are real practical tips that anyone can follow to unlock their own version of an abundant, prosperous, and well-balanced life.

The Creativity, Spirituality & Making a Buck Online Course is a friendly and hands-on guide for artists, professionals, and practitioners who find themselves at the intersection of these three meaningful pillars of success. The series consists of six comprehensive lectures by David Nichtern, incorporating and exploring the core principles of his book, Creativity, Spirituality & Making a Buck (Wisdom Publications).


“As much as David loves helping people connect to their Buddha nature, he loves helping young creatives turn their passions into their careers just as much. In this wonderful book, he gives away secrets most of us professional-artist types keep to ourselves. Lucky for you, his heart is big enough to share with everyone.”

Pete Holmes, comedian, actor, and author of Comedy Sex God


As one of the first fully online, self-paced video lecture series offered by Dharma Moon, this series is designed for you to be able to absorb as rapidly or as gradually as suits your needs, and revisit on-demand as the themes emerge and develop in your lived experience. From humorous anecdotes to profound insights, this course aims to equip you with invaluable advice on how to harmonize your creative ambitions with your spiritual needs — and pay the bills too!

As a student and senior teacher of Buddhism, award-winning musician, and successful entrepeneur, David Nichtern combines his extensive knowledge from these diverse fields to provide valuable guidance for individuals at any stage of their journey to help them reach their next level. In his unique style of applying ancient wisdom to modern contexts, he shares readily applicable insights about nurturing your creative gifts, the principles of running an ethical business, and mindfulness exercises — all designed to help you achieve growth in each of those fields without compromising any of the others.


“So many books about spirituality lack an acknowledgment of the day-to-day world, while most books about success lack an ethical and spiritual compass. David Nichtern figured out how to harmonize two essential modern human agendas. With humor and compassion for people who are uncomfortable with spiritual language, with impeccable logic and an open heart, David Nichtern explains how to intertwine spiritual and ethical principles with the pragmatic issues of day-to-day life. I first knew David Nichtern as a great guitar player and record producer. Then it turned out he was a big-deal teacher of Buddhism and now he has written this irresistible book. I’ll have whatever he’s having.”

Danny Goldberg, former president of Atlantic Records, manager of Nirvana, and author of In Search of the Lost Chord





Lecture 1 – Joining Heaven and Earth 

David starts the series explaining the right mindset with which we should enter our exploration of spirituality, creativity, and livelihood. He explains the idea of “joining heaven and earth”: joining body and mind, inspiration and practicality, vision and manifestation. You’ll also learn:

  • How to clarify your creative and professional vision for your life
  • How to use meditative practices to align body and mind as you pursue your creative and professional dreams
  • How a spacious state of mind supports creative and professional work
  • What the leader’s role is in joining heaven and earth


Lecture 2 - Clarifying Your Offering & Taking It to the Marketplace 

How do you clarify your offering? It starts with knowing yourself. It’s normal to start in a state of confusion about what exactly your offering is going to be. Reflecting on what has influenced and nurtured you creatively, spiritually, and professionally can also help you move toward clarity. In this lecture you’ll also learn:

  • How to celebrate yourself and your life as both interconnected and individual
  • How to clarify your hobbies versus your professional passions
  • How to take the first steps toward testing out whether your passion can become your profession
  • About the three levels of manifestation: vision, strategy, and business plan
  • About the metaphor of the “business body”: research and development, product development, marketing, sales, passion, and administration


Lecture 3 - Being Fluid, Understanding Impermanence

It is vital for spiritual awakening, creative productivity, and professional success to understand the impermanent and fluid nature of reality. This includes understanding the fluid nature of your own self. In this lecture you’ll learn:

  • How to balance having a plan and sticking to it with being fluid and adaptable
  • How to know when to let go of a professional or creative idea that you’ve been pursuing for a while
  • Refining the rhythm of activity and rest


Lecture 4 - Overcoming Poverty Mentality

As a creator, professional, and spiritual practitioner, it’s key to understand what poverty mentality is and how it’s affecting you consciously and subconsciously. In this lecture you’ll learn what it is, how it may be holding you back, and how to combat it:

  • Developing awareness of poverty mentality
  • Honing your professional, creative, and spiritual intentions
  • How not to negotiate against yourself
  • How to spot self-deception
  • Respecting your mind and body


Lecture 5 - Practicing Patience, Exertion, and Discipline 

In the fifth lecture you’ll learn about balancing your effort, including:

  • The idea of “not too tight and not too loose”
  • How to access genuine motivation
  • How to skillfully incorporate patience into your life
  • How to recognize synchronicity in your life and career


Lecture 6 - Mindfulness and Meditation

In the final lecture, David discusses the “sidecar” attached to this lecture series—mindfulness meditation. Through developing the three virtues of clarity, intention, and effort, cultivating a daily meditation practice is a crucial accompaniment to manifesting your creative energies. The lecture concludes with a short guided meditation.



In addition to the lectures, this course will also give you access to David's Creativity, Spirituality & Making a Buck workbook, a companion to the lecture series designed to help you integrate the information and actualize your aspirations. In sync with the chapters of the book, each section of the workbook takes you step-by-step through your own personal journey to explore firsthand the principles being presented, with individualized exercises geared to help you gain the clarity and direction you need to move forward with your aspirations, whatever they may be.


Recommended Reading

To get the most out of this series, it is recommended that you purchase your own copy of the Creativity, Spirituality & Making a Buck book, available from Wisdom Publications. Recommended chapters from this book correlating to each lecture will be shared on the course page so you can take a deeper dive into the material being presented.




David Nichtern

David Nichtern is a senior Buddhist teacher who has been practicing and teaching meditation for over 40 years. He was one of the initial American students of renowned meditation master Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and studied closely with him soon after his arrival in the United States in 1970.

David is also a business consultant with companies creating a variety of offerings integrating meditation in a larger health and well-being context; including Goldman Sachs, Journey Meditation, Creative Live, True Nature Meditation (Tokyo), Balanced Athlete, The Center for Health & Healing, Om Births, and Kobre & Kim law firm among others.

He has featured in The New York Times, FOX News, Netflix's animated series The Midnight GospelThe Huffington PostThe Buddhist Geeks podcast, Duncan Trussell Family Hour podcast, You Made it Weird podcast with Pete Holmes, and many others. David also hosts his own Podcast based on his book Creativity, Spirituality & Making a Buck.

David is the author of the critically acclaimed books Awakening From the Daydream: Reimagining The Buddha's Wheel of Life and Creativity, Spirituality & Making a Buck. He mentors individual students both in person and online, and leads meditation teacher training programs around the world.

He is also a four-time Emmy Award winning and two-time Grammy nominated composer, producer and musician. David has recorded and played with Stevie Wonder, Jerry Garcia, Lana Del Rey, Maria Muldaur, Paul Simon and many others. Among his many credits in records, film and TV, he wrote the classic hit song "Midnight at the Oasis" and composed the score for Christopher Guest's film "The Big Picture". In recent years he has produced multiple records for and periodically tours with Grammy nominated kirtan performer Krishna Das.

About the Creativity, Spirituality & Making a Buck Book

“David Nichtern wonderfully shares the fruit of a long career and a wide variety of life experiences, along with his devoted meditation practice and exploration. Sound, tested, business planning and advice would seem to be an odd pairing with Buddhist teaching and guidance on how to establish a meditation practice. But Creativity, Spirituality, and Making a Buck proves this not to be the case. Tools like Tibetan lojong slogans, pithy bits of Buddhist wisdom teachings, can totally change your day.”

Sharon Salzberg, author of Real Happiness and Real Love 


“Growing up, I always worried that in order to be spiritual one needed the rules to live a simple, quiet life. As I gained a self and success I realized that none of us live simple lives. We ALL need help to understand that a modern life demands flexibility and freedom. David’s new book gives us guidance and the tools to do so but mostly permission to be ambitious and still.”

Jamie Lee Curtis, actor


 “Could you use a nudge to boost your creativity, income, or even your spiritual life? David Nichtern makes the perfect nudge. In Creativity, Spirituality, and Making a Buck he offers, as promised, solid steps to boost your creative spirit, your spiritual impulses, and your income. And in a day when there are zero public funds for creativity, creatives can use this as a handbook for funding themselves. Best: Nichtern waxes engaging and clever, wise, and funny—making this a book anyone can not only benefit from but also enjoy reading.”

Daniel Goleman, author of Altered Traits: How Meditation Transforms Your Mind, Brain, and Body 


“David is a master at helping us untangle the neurotic knots that often can get in the way of the creative process. This book will help you shake off some of the weird, superstitious bullshit you might be attaching to your dreams and give you some down-to-earth practices that can help ground your art and spirituality in a stable framework based on Buddhist principles. If, like me, you’ve attached a menagerie of irrational ideas and inefficient methods to your creative process, then this book could help you find a more stable, efficient, and powerful way to bring your ideas into the world.”

Duncan Trussell, comedian and host of the Duncan Trussell Family Hour podcast


"Moksha means release from the cycle of rebirth, and it is the final aim. But what do we do in the meantime? How do we live by ethical principles, create prosperity, enjoy creative fulfillment, and not jeopardize our chances for enlightenment? “David Nichtern, a successful musician, businessman, and spiritual practitioner has devoted his life to the study of how the mind works and how the world works, and he hasn’t neglected having a good time along the way. In his new book he shares his vast experience and wisdom in a practical, down-to-earth approach that will lift you out of humdrum reality into the wonderment of infinite possibilities.”

Sharon Gannon, cofounder of the Jivamukti Yoga method 


“Everybody has a hungry heart. We are hungry for so many different kinds of food. The table is set and the meal is laid out for us . . . but how do we put that food into our mouths and TASTE IT? In this book, David Nichtern guides us with wisdom, joy, and humor to make our whole lives a tasty meal to be enjoyed and shared with others.”

Krishna Das, Grammy-nominated kirtan artist and author of Chants of a Lifetime



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