Through a Jungian Lens

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The Buddha Walks Into A Bar

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It’s just life, even if it is messy.

My life is messy, I have to admit it. I have these visions of being the perfect husband, father, psychotherapist, friend, world citizen – but, I wake up and find myself, warts and all. I get lazy in so many things, I sometimes forget to shave for a few days and end up looking like some grizzled old geezer. I procrastinate and then forget what I was putting off.  Left on my own I am a bit of a mess. My children know the truth of this and accept this as okay. In a way, perhaps it makes it easier for them as it would be hell to try and live up to model of someone who somehow managed to not be messy.

The Buddha Walks Into A Bar

This afternoon, I found another book in the library that almost jumped of the shelf as I walked by in order to catch my attention. The book is called, The Buddha Walks Into a Bar, and  is written by Lodro Rinzler. Now this, is a book that sounds promising, so I picked it up off the self and began to read it. The first words in the book confirmed what I suspected, that this book will get some of my time. Listen to Rinzler from this opening paragraph in the book:

“This isn’t your grandmother’s book on meditation. It’s for you. That is, assuming you like to have a beer once in a while, enjoy sex, have figured out that your parents are crazy, or get frustrated at work. It’s a book that doesn’t put Buddhism on some pedestal so that you have to look up to it. It’s about looking at all the nooks and crannies of your life and applying the Buddhist teachings to them, no matter how messy that may be.” (Rinzler, The Buddha Walks Into a Bar, 2011, p. xi)

Now this is what I thought I was going to find when I adopted Buddhism as part of my way of being and living. For some reason I got caught up in the words of Buddhist teachers whose words have been recorded over the past two thousand and five hundred years. I have to admit that those words often felt “distant” to me, words that talked of a life and culture that are far removed from my experience of life. A few voices along the way such as Chogyam Trungpa’s provided a context that was more relevant to the world I live in, but even Trungpa understandably brings his Tibetan way of being and knowing into his presentations. I would have to say that it was my Sangha teacher who is much closer to my own experience of the world, a modern western world, that showed me that Buddhism was for “us” as well. Discovering this American Buddhist’s book promises to be a book that will find its way here in posts to come.


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