Book Review (partial) – The Buddha Walks Into A Bar

 

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Disclaimer: No this is not a religious post or any preachy/holy speech. Promise.

The Buddha Walks Into A Bar – A guide to life for a new generation by Lodro Rinzler

“May those who lose their way and wander in the wild find fellow travelers. And safe from threat of thieves and savage beasts, may they be tireless and their journey light.” – Shantideva

I was introduced to this book by one of the yoga instructors at the studio where I practice at. Inspired, your’s sincerely decide to pick the book up herself. Why this is just a partial review, is because I am still in the progress of reading (and understanding the practices and applying certain techniques) this book.

First, this book is not a book to convince one to turn to Buddhism or to become a Buddhist. Instead, it is about looking at the nips and tips of one’s life and applying Buddhist teachings (dharma) to them. It offers the reader a different point of view on one’s life.

The book explores the four dignities of Shambhala and the three yanas, or vehicles, of traditional Tibetan Buddhism. (Shambhala – in Tibetan Buddhism, a mystical kingdom believed to exist in inner Asia)

T’s thoughts

Rinzler definitely had the “new generation” in mind when writing this book. So far, the book felt like listening to a concerned friend who has been there and done that, after you spilled out your life’s worries and woes to him. I have yet to practice meditation myself, but here are some spoilers/pointers from the book that I believe are definitely handy:

1. The apprehension of the thought without acting on it – by actively labeling angry/emotionally fueled thoughts as “thinking”, and being present with the experience. This equates to experiencing a gap/spaciousness with time when we encounter a situation that gives us that same angry/emotionally filled thoughts. This gives us the chance to not act in the same emotionally fueled manner as we would, but allows us to be present in the moment, “yes I am experiencing this and that”. Full stop.

2. Experiencing the nowness of every moment of life, and that this is sacred – practicing this takes conscious effort, and it is hard.. But very uplifting.

3. “With gentleness, you can achieve all things,” – be gentle to yourself. Be frustrated, be annoyed, but be gentle and forgive, encourage yourself. This acts like a positive reinforcement. I believe too, as with the teachings, that once we are gentle with ourselves, we can be gentle with others.

Verdict

Read this book if you often find yourself messed up or lost or if you seek a different perspective on life.

The Buddha Walks Into A Bar is available at Kinokuniya Singapore, retailing at 24.48 SGD. You may also purchase the eBook from Amazon.com here.

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