Skip to Main Content

Creativity, Spirituality, and Making a Buck

Published by Wisdom Publications
Distributed by Simon & Schuster



Buy from Other Retailers

About The Book

A friendly, funny, practical guide for creatives and entrepreneurs, written by a four-time Emmy award-winning and two-time Grammy-nominated composer-guitarist-producer who has worked with Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, Jerry Garcia, Lana Del Rey, and Krishna Das, among many others. Also a beloved and highly regarded Buddhist teacher, David teaches readers how to integrate their creative process with their spiritual practice and livelihood.

“How do I make a living doing what I love?”
“Am I a sellout as an artist if I want to be successful?”
“How do I integrate my spiritual principles with the art of running a business? And actually, um, how do I run a business?”

Wondering how to reconcile your calling with your need to make a living wage, or what to do once your art starts selling, or how to achieve success in your field, or what it even means to be successful? David Nichtern offers his lived, learned experience as an entrepreneur, musician, and Buddhist teacher to first help you figure out what “success” means to you and then show you how to get there. He offers advice on the creative process and principles of business and ethics—everything from “listen to the muse!” to “protect your intellectual property!”—and provides mindfulness exercises to help you integrate inspiration and aspiration, vocation and avocation—to go from surviving to thriving.

Whether you’re a baker trying to grow from the farmer’s market to a brick-and-mortar or a CEO exploring how taking care of your employees can be the same as taking care of your business—if you’re trying to align your spiritual, creative, and financial pursuits and discover what it means to truly live well, this book is for you.

About The Author

Product Details

  • Publisher: Wisdom Publications (October 8, 2019)
  • Length: 248 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781614294986

Browse Related Books

Raves and Reviews

"A great book about spirituality and success."—Judd Apatow, comedian and director of The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, and Funny People

“The big question has always been whether or not three aspects of our lives—creative expression, economic well-being, and spiritual growth—are separate and compartmentalized. In this excellent book, David Nichtern demonstrates that you can integrate all of them into one holistic life, guiding us through ikigai principles of do what you love, do what you are good at, do what the world wants, and do what the world is willing to pay for. I have always enjoyed David’s music. Now we get to enjoy his words of wisdom in this book.”—Gopi Kallayil, chief evangelist, brand marketing for Google, and author of The Internet to the Inner-net and The Happy Human

"In this profound, delightful work, Nichtern humorously explores balancing one’s spirituality with earning a living. Readers new to Buddhism will find a welcoming introduction to basic Buddhist tenets, and any general reader working in a creative field will relish Nichtern’s helpful tips on sustaining a long-term artistic practice."Publishers Weekly

“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, author, and entrepreneur

“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

“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

"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

“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, author of Comedy Sex God

“Could you use a nudge to boost your creativity, income or even your spiritual life? David Nichtern makes the perfect noodge. 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

“This is a wonderful book! If I were to create a workbook, this is what it would look like—it’s so simple yet so effective. I highly recommend it!”—Anita Morrjani, author of the New York Times bestseller Dying to Be Me

“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

“This is a wonderful book that David may be uniquely qualified to write. For those of us who always wanted to live a creative or entrepreneurial life while also pursuing a mindful or spiritual practice, we often end up feeling like sellouts whenever we have to try to make an honest living. In the voice of a savvy and caring mentor, using a lifetime of wisdom from his three areas of expertise, a Buddhist teacher/musician/entrepreneur offers a personal and totally practical guide toward bringing your practice and your creative vision to the real world, where they can actually do some good. I plan to use his detailed exercises myself, and I recommend this book to anyone who is trying to wake up without leaving the modern world behind.”—Ethan Nichtern, author of The Road Home: A Contemporary Exploration of the Buddhist Path

“‘Making a buck’ becomes a spiritual journey when we notice that our ordinary, daily life—job and all—is profoundly sacred. And there is no one more qualified to point this out than David Nichtern. With humor, wisdom, and creative grace, David helps us rediscover that livelihood can be a true, spiritual joy!”—Michael Carroll, author of Awake at Work and The Mindful Leader

“Buddhism and yoga recognize four aims of life: dharma (moral values, ethics), artha (economic values, money), kama (psychological values, enjoyment), and moksha (spiritual values, liberation). 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

“A wonderful, practical guide to the balance between the spiritual life and capitalism. Mr. Nichtern exemplifies this union magnificently as both a renowned musician (performing with Krishna Das and many others), music-producer, and composer of scores for film and TV, as well as leading master meditation teacher training programs in Japan and the USA. Go order ASAP.”—Master Sat Hon, founder of the New York Dan Tao Qigong School and author of Taoist Qigong for Health and Vitality

“Most people associate spirituality with an ethereal escape from everyday life, a way to separate from the world of work, bills, and money. David Nichtern, long-time Buddhist teacher, renowned musician, life coach, and one of my most esteemed go-to Buddhist advisors, teaches us that we can make money without giving up on our spiritual aspirations and live our spiritual aspirations without turning our backs on the material world.”—Susan Piver, author of The Four Noble Truths of Love

“David Nichtern has created a masterpiece for us to learn from and enjoy. Weaving together his life experiences as musician, composer, deep Dharma seeker, and entrepreneur, he offers profound guidance for living a life aligned with inner purpose while thriving along the twists and turns as they unfold. With great humor and self-deprecation, David, like a favorite uncle, gives spiritual guidance and practical wisdom.”—Stephan Rechtschaffen, founder of Omega Institute and Blue Spirit Retreat Center (Costa Rica)

“David has done it again! Creativity, Spirituality, and Making a Buck beautifully weaves together David's lifetime of accumulated knowledge as a world-renowned meditation teacher, successful entrepreneur, and celebrated musician. This book is both light and deep, a rare combination that makes reading a joy while prompting you to look inward. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to explore the balance of spirituality and living in today’s modern world.”—Stephen Sokoler, founder and CEO of Journey Meditation

Resources and Downloads

High Resolution Images

More books from this author: David Nichtern