Book Review: The Dude and the Zen Master

The Dude and the Zen Master - Jeff Bridges and Bernie Glassman

Sometimes rambling, sometimes pithy, The Dude and the Zen Master was a fun read.  It was interesting to shed more light into the inner workings of Jeff's life, while at the same time, getting Zen lessons in a conversational and western manner from Bernie.  Not a terrible lot else to say on my end, but I'll leave some quotes from a few of my favorite sections.
Bernie: But you know what your story reminds me of?  Those dolls that are full of sand at the bottom.  You push them and they oscillate quickly from side to side, and then come back to center.  So as you practice, you're filling up with sand.  At first, even a weak force hits you and almost knocks you over, but you oscillate in big arcs till you come up standing again.  As you practice more and more, it takes a stronger and stronger force to get you knocked over, and even then the oscillations aren't so big, and before you know it you're back to center.

Bernie: When you first start doing Zen meditation, we give this instruction: Thoughts will come; the brain's job is to produce thoughts. Don't try to stop them, and also don't ollow them. Pretend it's an open door; let the thoughts come in and let them go. Don't try to manipulate them because you'll get into trouble.

Bernie: People hear that the practice is to live in the now, and they feel like a failure that they can't do that. I give lots of talks, and almost always at the end somebody raises his hand and says, "You know, I've been trying to practice this for so long, and I still can't be here now". At that point I always say, "Whoever is not here now, please stand up". Of course, nobody stands up because we're all here now. Where else can we be?

Bernie: I tell people that when stuff comes up and at a certain point it feels like it's too much, move on. It's not going anywhere and there'll be a time when you'll be ready to work with it. For now, listen to yourself. If it's not the time, don't push it. Gently down the stream. Some people say you have to work with everything, but there's a time and a place. If it feels like a knot, wait. It will come up again when you and the universe are ready.