Jen Whitney: While strolling through a local book store, in Beacon, N.Y., the picture of Jeff and Bernie caught my eye—as well as the title. As soon as I read the synopsis, I took it to the register and bought it. Zen and The Big Lebowski—surely it would be an enjoyable read.
YCNYC: Favorite quote?
JW: Jeff is quoting a favorite line of his stand-in, Loyd: "You know what your problem is? You don't realize who I think I am." Or sometimes he switches it: "You know what my problem is? I don't realize who you think you are." I love this because, 1., it's a bit muddled, so you have to take a moment to really work with it; 2., it's pretty hilarious, and that's always great to bring into dharma work; and, 3., it's so, so true.
YCNYC:What one person would you recommend this book to?
JW: If I had to choose one person outside the yoga and Buddhism world, I'd recommend it to someone with an inquiring spirit who is interested in the acting world and-or The Big Lebowski. The book covers so many interesting practices and so much deep philosophy, but through an approachable conversation and the light-heartedness of Jeff and Bernie—it's a great way to start exploring dharma.
YCNYC: What moment or part resonates with you the most?
JW: The book is organized into four sections of 15 chapters. The third section, "That Rug Really Tied the Room Together, Did it Not?", really resonated with me the second time through. It gives the spark for so many practices we can start with right this moment in our lives, as well as tackling some pretty big questions that I believe most practitioners struggle with, like how to work towards peace when confronted with the enormity of war, hunger, and other horrors that exist, or how to reconcile the need for effort and practice that with flow and movement through life.
You can purchase The Dude and the Zen Master here.
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