The Dude abides: Jeff Bridges to co-write book of Zen teachings


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Evoking his character in 1998’s ‘The Big Lebowski,’ Jeff Bridges will co-write a book of Zen teachings, to be published later this year. ‘The Dude and the Zen Master,’ co-written by Bridges (the Dude) and Bernie Glassman (the Zen Master), promises to be a set of casual exchanges on life, film and trying to do good.

The book is coming in November from Blue Rider Press, an imprint at Penguin. Bridges and Glassman, who are friends, are quoted in a release from the publisher:


“Making movies and life have a lot in common. When you’re making a movie you’ve got a finite amount of time to do what you’re going to do. It’s a communal art form, collaborative. You work together with other artists to come up with something groovy, something beautiful. Life’s like that, too.” He added: “On a movie set I do my best to keep my head and heart open. My favorite part of the whole deal is jamming with the other artists, getting to know them, sharing the excitement of what we’re up to, and inspiring each other. That means intimacy. I look for that in life as well. That’s why I hooked up with Bernie, to make the most of this wonderful experience called Life.” Bernie Glassman said of the book: “I always like finding new ways of expressing the essence of Zen, which for me is all about the oneness and interdependence of life. The Dude’s life is different from mine, and not so different. And our life is different from other people’s lives, and not so different. So Jeff and I have hung out over the years and examined together how we live our one life in the best, freest, and most joyful way possible.”

While the book will focus on Zen, some fans of the Dude have already found religion: Dudeism. From a website dedicated to the ideas and teachings of the character created by the Coen brothers: ‘Life is short and complicated and nobody knows what to do about it. So don’t do anything about it. Just take it easy, man. Stop worrying so much whether you’ll make it into the finals. Kick back with some friends and some oat soda and whether you roll strikes or gutters, do your best to be true to yourself and others -- that is to say, abide.’ The site claims 100,000 ordained Dudeist priests worldwide.


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-- Carolyn kellogg