Love with a Healthy Ego by David Richo

Are you hard on yourself when remembering past mistakes and hurts?

Do you have a strong inner critic who judges and doubts your thoughts, choices, and self-worth?

Do you compare yourself to others and feel disappointed with who you are versus who you “should” be?

Do you feel stuck repeating old, unhealthy patterns?

Do you experience feelings of shame and unworthiness, as if there is something fundamentally wrong with you?

Do you sometimes feel like you don’t even know who you are?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then this course is for you.

Course Summary

This course was designed with your needs in mind and contains all of the following:

10 video lessons, each 20-50 minutes in length

Downloadable Transcripts and MP3s

Selected readings from The Zen of You and Me by Diane Musho Hamilton

Practice Assignments 

Do you find that ego gets in the way of enjoying more satisfying and loving relationships?

Do you and your partner’s expectations, disappointments, and moods create distance?

Do you find yourself living in reaction to the desires and behaviors of others rather than in accord with your own deepest needs, values, and wishes?

Are you interested in learning to develop a healthy ego that is “just right” so you can stand up for yourself while remaining connected and loving? 

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then this course is for you.


Bonus #1

Recordings of Two Q&A Sessions with Pema Chödrön

Recordings of two Question & Answer sessions with Pema Chödrön from the interactive version of this online course.

Bonus #2

Shamatha Meditation Instructional Video with Hope Martin

A video instruction on the basic practice of shamatha, or calm abiding meditation. The instructor, Hope Martin, is an experienced meditation practitioner in the Shambhala tradition as well as a teacher of the Alexander Technique—a methodology for helping find greater ease in our bodies. 

Bonus #4

This Moment Is the Perfect Teacher

Ten Buddhist Teachings on Cultivating Inner Strength and Compassion  (Regular Price: $22.95)

Lojong is a powerful Tibetan Buddhist practice created especially for training the mind to work with the challenges of everyday living. It teaches our hearts to soften, reframes our attitude toward difficulty, and allows us to discover a wellspring of inner strength. In this four-hour recorded retreat, Pema Chödrön introduces the lojong teachings and explains how we can apply them to any situation in our life—because, as Pema says, “every moment is an opportunity for awakening.” In addition, Pema also leads a guided tonglen meditation, a practice aimed at developing courage and cultivating compassion for ourselves and others.

Lesson 1: Ego and Relationships

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6 Video Lessons

Six video lessons, around twenty minutes each, by David Richo—including audio-only versions 

Downloadable Transcripts and Selected Readings

Downloadable transcripts of all video sessions

Selected readings from You Are Not What You Think by David Richo

Making Love Last
How to Sustain Intimacy and Nurture Genuine Connection

An audiobook narrated by David Richo

Intimacy is one of the great powers and joys of life, yet all too often it gets clouded by miscommunication, a loss of affection, and a lack of mutual support. Here therapist David Richo shows us how to use mindfulness to better understand ourselves and our partners.

**An Additional $14.95 Value**

Unlimited Access

Unlimited access on your computer, mobile device, or tablet—learn at your own pace wherever and whenever works best for you


“Truly, this course was an embarrassment of riches. . . . I have taken other courses but this has truly been life-altering. The only way I could be more satisfied is if I knew there would be another course!  Thank you . . . thank you . . . thank you.”

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Sign up today and experience the profound effect of these teachings on your own life!

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If for any reason you are not completely satisfied with your purchase, please e-mail us within 30 days of registering for the course, and we will promptly refund your purchase price.

Ego is the culprit in just about every disruption or destruction of intimacy in relationships. Letting go of ego-centeredness is the solution—the path to successful relating. In fact, letting go of ego is the first step toward finding out how to love. Nothing less is required, if love is to happen, than the utter undoing of egotism. In this lesson, we’ll begin our exploration of ego and egotism with cultivating a better understanding of the ego itself.

Open Presence Instructional Video with Rebecca Eldridge

Bonus #3

A video instruction on open presence meditation, taught by Rebecca Eldridge. This practice helps you connect with reality as it is, without altering it. Rebecca is an experienced meditation practitioner in the Shambhala tradition.


David Richo


“How we relate to our ego—the sense of ‘I’—determines our suffering and our freedom. David Richo does a brilliant job unpacking the unhealthy versions of ego that confine us. Through psychological and Buddhist wisdom teachings and a range of powerful practices and meditations, we are guided beyond the identity of separate self to the loving awareness that is our deepest essence.”

—Tara Brach, PhD, author of Radical Acceptance and True Refuge

“A wealth of practical advice on how to unhook and disentangle yourself from the myriad unhelpful thoughts, beliefs, self-judgments, and self-concepts that we often refer to as ‘ego.’ If you want a healthier, happier, more compassionate relationship with yourself, this is for you.”

Russ Harris, author of The Happiness Trap: How to Stop Struggling and Start Living 

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Lesson 1: Unity Consciousness and Awareness of Diversity

Our true home is our spiritual nature, a place of safety and ultimate equality. From this original source, we have so much in common. At the same time, our capacity to acknowledge our differences, to be willing to explore them, and to include diversity of opinions and styles within our relationships and communities is a sign of health and vitality. In this lesson, we’ll explore our own embodied experiences of sameness and difference.

Lesson 2: Sameness and Difference

Studies in human development reveal that our focus on our similarities or differences changes throughout the course of our lives. In other words, we are caught in the tension between the comfort of the status quo and the exciting encounter with difference. In this lesson, we’ll explore this contrast, which is a constant on the path toward greater awareness and growth.

Lesson 3: Mindfulness Practice: Engaging Safety and Excitement

The practice of mindfulness improves our concentration and enables us to be more open and mentally flexible. We learn to stay present to difficult emotions and feeling states, and over time, having cultivated nonjudgmental awareness, we can simply observe our interior landscape without incessant self-criticism. In this lesson, we’ll explore ways in which we can begin to develop this ability to approach situations in our life with openness and clarity.

Lesson 4: How the Ego Divides Us

We are groomed by evolution to focus on protecting ourselves whenever we sense a threat to our well-being. In our modern context, we may not be physically threatened. But in our highly social and emotionally complex world, threats to our ego or self-concept can feel every bit as perilous. Our strategies for self-protection range from avoidance to fighting to sarcastic humor to drug addiction. In this lesson, we’ll explore how we can cultivate greater openness and flexibility in the face of intense feelings of threat.

Lesson 5: Listening as a Unity Skill

Listening is the powerful, soothing agent of all communication. Listening is the best tool there is to lower anxiety, diminish division, and open into sameness, into togetherness. Listening will help almost anyone who is triggered to calm down. In this lesson, we’ll learn how to improve our listening skills.

Lesson 6: Expressing Our Uniqueness

If listening opens up the wide territory of sameness, expressing difference catalyzes conversations. Self-expression stimulates and energizes. Our differences distinguish us from everything else, giving shape to our uniqueness and setting us apart. In this lesson, we’ll learn ways we can become more skilled at honest, open verbal expression and sharing our unique perspective.

Lesson 7: Feelings as a Form of Diversity

Every emotion is a state of consciousness, an experience composed of thought, mood, and bodily sensations. We refer to them as “states” because they come and go. They are not permanent, but rather pass through the body and awareness like a blustery storm in winter or a light breeze on a spring day. The problem with our emotions is that we often don’t relate to them as states. We hold onto them if they feel good, or we chase them away if they feel painful. In this lesson, we’ll learn some tools for both harnessing the intelligence of our emotions and releasing them when they no longer serve us.

Lesson 8: Becoming Wholehearted

Compassion is a natural outcome of waking up. As our awareness opens to include more, our heart naturally expands. We feel deeply for the challenges and suffering of others—those who are like us and those who are different than we are. In this lesson, we’ll learn how we can be present to the suffering of others without undue stress or anxiety coursing through our system.

Lesson 9: You and Me, Us and Them

Our desire to understand different perspectives, to listen, to question, and to doubt ourselves varies at different levels of adult development. As our ability to take perspectives changes, our view of the world changes, and so does our way of communicating about it. Using an adult developmental framework to look at differences can show us real possibilities, and also limits, in relationships. In this lesson, we’ll learn about this framework and consider how it affects the way we interact with others.

Lesson 10: Endless Practice

Meditation takes practice. Relationships take practice. Whenever we are consciously aware of whatever we are doing right now, we are practicing. When we lose here-and-now awareness, we are practicing getting lost and then regrouping. But as the old adages say, you cannot get off the path. In this final lesson, we’ll contemplate what our path of practice is as we conclude the course.

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“Life Happens Now”


Try as we might, we very often find our own or others’ ego getting in the way of finding satisfying and loving relationships. Sometimes ego is too big, keeping others at a distance and alienating them with its sense of entitlement and need to control. Sometimes ego is too weak, living in reaction to others’ attitudes and behaviors rather than in accord with one’s own deepest needs, values, and wishes. We can find ourselves searching for “just right”—the healthy ego that allows for and offers generous love to others and the world.

In this online course, best-selling author David Richo guides you on the path of generous love and shows how to build a healthy ego that is “just right,” supporting you in being fully yourself, interacting with others in loving and effective ways, and contributing to the world around you. Giving and receiving generous love is the heart of our true nature, always within reach and always inviting us to move toward it.



David Richo, PhD, is a psychotherapist, teacher, writer, and workshop leader whose work emphasizes the benefits of mindfulness and loving-kindness in personal growth and emotional well-being. He is the author of numerous books, including How to Be an Adult in Relationships and The Five Things We Cannot Change. He lives in Santa Barbara and San Francisco, California.


Talk One: Ego and Relationships


You are Not What You Think, Introduction

You are Not What You Think,  Chapter 1

Practice & Explore

Lesson One: Homework Assignment

Lesson One: Reflection Question

Lesson 2: Too-Big Ego

Almost everyone has met someone who displays a too-big ego. And most of us have had at least moments of displaying such an ego ourselves. But fewer people understand where this kind of inflated ego comes from. In this lesson, we’ll examine the characteristics of a too-big ego and explore the role that fear plays in supporting an inflated ego.


You Are Not What You Think, Chapter 2

Practice & Explore

Lesson Two: Homework Assignment

Lesson Two: Reflection Question


Talk Two: Two-Big Ego

Lesson 3: Too-Weak Ego

The criteria for a spiritually and psychologically healthy relationship can be determined by asking this question: does it honor who I am, match my life goals, and lead me to more connection with others and with the earth? This is, after all, how we thrive as individuals and survive as a species. Each of us can ask ourselves: what in our life has helped us toward establishing our full self and staying connected to others too? What has weakened our connection to our truest self? In this lesson, we'll explore these questions, and more, as we learn how to resolve the unfinished emotional business of our past and strengthen our resilience in the present.


You Are Not What You Think, Chapter 4

Practice & Explore

Lesson Three: Homework Assignment

Lesson Three: Reflection Question

Midpoint Feedback


Talk Three: Too-Weak Ego

Lesson 4: Just-Right Ego

We can distinguish between a healthy ego and egotism: The healthy ego sees how people operate and responds in a way that speaks up for itself but then accepts how things play out. The unhealthy, grandiose ego becomes affronted and has to compete, prove its superiority, jockey for position, or retaliate to reset any imbalance it cannot tolerate. In this lesson, we'll look at the full spectrum of ego and how it manifests in intimate relationships. We'll also discover ways of calling on the support of our own healthy ego to make decisions.


You Are Not What You Think, Chapter 3

You Are Not What You Think, Chapter 5

Practice & Explore

Lesson Four: Homework Assignment

Lesson Four: Reflection Question


Talk Four: Just-Right Ego

Lesson 5: Grace and Bodhicitta

Can we let go of our preoccupation with ourselves as central and sole? For this to happen in any of us, we have to sacrifice ego supremacy, abdicate the throne on high, and be who we wholly are: beings who are inherently worthy and capable of lovingkindness. In this lesson, we’ll explore how real freedom is in commitment to the bigness that beckons us beyond what ego can achieve or even imagine.


You Are Not What You Think, Chapter 7

Practice & Explore

Lesson Five: Homework Assignment

Lesson Five: Reflection Question


Talk Five: Grace and Bodhicitta

Lesson 6: Practices for Letting Go of Ego

How do we advance on the ego’s stronghold of self-centeredness, self-importance, and entitlement? To tame an animal is not to subdue or break his spirit. It is to work with his energy so that his power can be displayed in appropriate and cooperative ways. In this lesson, we’ll discuss how to defuse our ego-energy so it can be transformed into self-esteem and compassion—the true purpose of having an ego.


You Are Not What You Think, Chapter 6

Practice & Explore

Lesson Six: Homework Assignments

Lesson Six: Reflection Question


Talk Six: Practices for Letting Go of Ego

REGULAR PRICE:            $199

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Special Price:                       $97

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“How Unhealthy Habits Develop”

Understand Your Patterns

Understand the effect that your childhood can have on adult choices and patterns in relationships.

Gain Perspective

Distinguish healthy conflict from stressful drama and shift from resentment to forgiveness.

Navigate Conflict

Apply practices for successfully navigating conflict and showing love in a relationship.

Process Fear

Describe fears of abandonment and engulfment and identify practices for dealing with them.

Assert Yourself

Derive strength from inner & outer resources in healthy ways.

Course Summary

This course was designed with your needs in mind and contains all of the following:

6 Video Teachings

Downloadable Transcripts and MP3s

Selected readings

 Practice Assignments and Contemplations

Self-Assessment Quizzes


Making Love Last  Audiobook narrated by David Richo