The Dude and the Zen Master

As I mentioned earlier, I recently re-read the book The Dude and the Zen Master by Jeff Bridges and Bernie Glassman. This book is something I really needed to familiarize myself with, again. I started it on November 12th and finished it on the 17th. It really helped me to get a perspective on the world and to nourish my soul.

Rather than try to talk about it more, I’m just going to transcribe the quotes I made note of as well as any notes I made while reading it. I just ran across a wonderful article that talks about the book. Check it out if you’re interested. These are simply the quotes that really impacted me this time around. I hope that they inspire you to pick up this book for yourself, or at least gain something from them. But remember that these are simply parts of the whole. They have more when they are consumed as part of the whole. Enjoy!

“Thinking’s not the problem. We freeze up because we expect a certain result or because we want things to be perfect. We can get so fixated that we can’t do anything.” – Bernie Glassman

“Bear witness to the situation and have faith that the right thing to do will naturally arise.” – Bernie

“People think of home as the place where they’re comfortable and everything’s okay.” – Bernie

“The people who’ve had an impact on our lives are also in some way vessels that take us to the other shore. As we aim for a new destination, we often get to choose new company.” – Bernie

“The way to turn society around is to realize that you’re connected to something bigger.” – Jeff Bridges

That’s your opinion, man.
“If we take certain things to be the truth, we’re going to fight and kill for them, but it’s hard to battle over an opinion.”
“You can respect opinions. You both have the same thing going on, only you have your version of it and someone else has theirs.” – Bernie and Jeff

“Life’s not about getting knocked over, it’s about how fast you come back.” – Bernie

“The second of the Zen Peacemakers Tenents is bearing witness to the joys and suffering of the world, which means not backing away from anything that comes up inside you or that you see and bear in life.” – Bernie

Don’t take on, don’t bear witness to more than you can handle.

“So depending on how far or how close you get to something, the perspective changes.” – Jeff
-So fucking true. That’s part of the problem, we keep looking closer and closer at who we are, which keeps dividing us more and more, instead of backing out and looking at how we are all human beings. We need to learn how to pull back!

“Something may look like it’s gone for a minute, five minutes, a hundred years, two hundred years, but eventually it will pop up again. If you’re not working with the whole picture, if there are pieces you’re excluding, it’ll come back.” – Bernie

“Hidden within every difficulty is an opportunity.” – Bernie

“Once we have words, we get stuck to them, especially to what we think they mean. Don’t forget, a word may mean different things to different people.” – Bernie

“There’s foreplay, during which you try to get in resonance with each other, and then there’s the time of coitis itself, where you’re not doing any of that.”
“It’s doing you.”
“That’s playing. The other is practice.” – Bernie and Jeff

If there’s repetition in life, look at what’s different instead of what’s the same. There’s always something different, and potentially beautiful.

“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!” – Bernie

“Give yourself a fucking break so you can move, so you can keep going.” – Jeff
I think I need this by every computer I use!

“So if a voice says, I should have done this, I can say right back, That’s just your opinion, man. It’s just an opinion; there’s nothing true about it.” – Bernie

Befriend the self. Accept who you are and what your limitations are. But keep doing what you can.

No is beautiful. It clears the way for a yes. If you feel no and you don’t express it, it first festers inside and gets expressed unskillfully. The freedom to say no, on the other hand, helps you experiment, open up a little more.”
I need to respect others no. I want my no to be respected, so I need to respect others’.

That book is truly soul food.

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