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Book Review: The Buddha Walks Into A Bar

December 15, 2011

“The Buddha Walks Into A Bar: A Guide To Life For A New Generation”
Written by Lodro Rinzler
Published by Shambhala Publications

Lodro Rinzler joins the ranks of other GenX American practitioners/ teachers such as Ethan Nichtern, Brad Warner, Noah Levine and more, to get into the writing world. While not breaking any new ground, Lodro explains things in a very practical and down to earth style. Coming from a specific tradition, Vajrayana in the Shambhala lineage, there is of course helpful hints and tips based on those teachings.

Lodro introduces some witty anectdotes that reflect circumstances from his life. One particular story I enjoyed was one where he was at Karme Choling and an incident occurred where some workers there had some tension. The outcome was not some profound wisdom on his part, but was the wisdom of a fellow retreatant that he witnessed and learned from. Lodro tells the reader how to recognize events in everyday life as lessons. From the simplest of things, there are always things we can slow down, reflect on and gain some wisdom from.

That doesn’t mean he circles round the daisies here folks, he tackles many subjects that make most Buddhist purists get all uppity and offended. From sex, to beer Lodro tackles just about every situation you could possibly get yourself into. He does not denounce either of them, as a matter of fact, he says just the opposite. He talks about embracing them. Drinking a beer for instance, it’s not about getting drunk, but grab a hold of that beer, drink it, notice it and see what effects it has on you. I’m of course paraphrasing here, you’ll have to get a copy of the book to better understand what I was getting at.

All in all, Lodro has written a gem here. His openness is valuable, and his wisdom palapable. I look forward to reading more from him in the future.

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