Mini book review: ‘The Dude and the Zen Master’

by Keena Kimmel

What would it be like to shoot the breeze with Jeff Bridges, or better yet, his most famous character, The Dude?

First, if you haven’t seen it, go watch the Coen Brothers’ film “The Big Lebowski,” wherein Bridges stars as The Dude. He’s a White Russian-sipping, J-toking, cardigan-rocking, pacifist bowler known to all as His Dudeness, or Duder, or you know, El Duderino – if you’re not into the whole brevity thing.

Then pick up a copy of “The Dude and the Zen Master.” It’s by Jeff Bridges and his long-time friend and Zen teacher, Bernie Glassman.

As you read, you’ll morph into a fly on the wall, casually eavesdropping on a great conversation. Here’s the gist: The Dude is a bottomless well of zen-like wisdom structured into by chapters with “Dudeist” titles that could be koans, like “The Dude is Not In” and “Yeah, Well, Ya Know, That’s Just Like, uh, Your Opinion, Man.”

The duo’s dialogue meanders as they wax philosophical on life, lessons learned, and not taking the whole being human thing so very seriously. Simple questions like, “What would the Dude do?” turn surprisingly deep and Buddhism meets Dudeism in this light take on working toward our better selves.

Keena KimmelOwner of White Rabbit Books and Curiosities


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