An Intimate Conversation with Br. David Steindl-Rast in Argentina

Known for his teachings on grateful living and his lifelong work in promoting interfaith dialogue, Br. David shares his views on philosophical and spiritual themes when his friend, writer Nicos Hadjicostis, interviews him in his small cottage just outside of Buenos Aires.

On a Tuesday afternoon in March 2023, my partner Jane and I visited Br. David in his new home just outside of Buenos Aires. We had a wonderful time reconnecting in person and enjoying quality time together as we’ve done a few times in our almost 20-year long friendship. During that sunny afternoon, we took a walk on the beautiful grounds and discussed many ideas of mutual interest, mostly ones of a philosophical and abstract nature. As our visit came to an end, we agreed to have a second meeting to continue our conversation — where I would have the freedom to ask him, as he said, “whatever you want.” Bidding Br. David goodbye, I realized that this second visit was a golden opportunity to film our conversation and to share it with his wider community. With Br. David’s consent and his host’s Alberto Rizzo’s assistance, we organized a more formal interview with a local film crew. Since we were soon leaving the Buenos Aires area, we returned four days later.

On the day of this interview, an unseasonable heatwave descended upon us, prohibiting any outdoor filming — as we had originally planned. Therefore, we set up the cameras in Br. David’s small cottage and began, or better, continued our more-philosophically-inclined conversation. Of course, after about half an hour, I ended up asking him some more personal questions, as well as his views on some aspects of the future. While this conversation did not directly address Br. David’s gratefulness teachings (these have been the subject of many of his speeches and interviews over many decades), I do believe that what we covered will be of interest to all of you.

Note: For the best viewing experience, I recommend that you watch this video with English subtitles to which I’ve added some explanatory notes for clarity, and also because Br. David and I speak with an accent that may not always be understandable.

© 2024 Nicos Hadjicostis