Book on the Mat: The Buddha Walks into a Bar

As part of my desire to be more mindful, and to continue my reflective journey inward with more dedication and persistence, I’m starting a new series of posts entitled Book on the Mat, referring to a book I’m currently reading that should help my progress into meditation and self awareness. I might touch on a work once, or return to it a number of times as I glean new insights and direction

A well used copy of the book I just picked up...

A well used copy of the book I just picked up…

The first of the series, “The Buddha Walks into a Bar” by Lodro Rinzler, came shortly before I picked up a new zafu/zabuton set from a friend. I needed something to read that I could relate to, that could steer me back onto the path of daily meditation byt comparing eastern practices to the everyday benefits that I would experience if I dedicated even ten minutes a day to sitting on the mat.

I was in Chapters after an amazing coffee dat with an old friend I had net seen in some time.  In a positive frame of mind, I was hunting for a book that would be really easily approachable.  Since I have recently cut alcohol out of my diet, the very title of this book instantly appealed to me.  Whilst the content is more geared toward the Chinese variety of Buddhism known as Shambhala (I am more focussed Japanese Zen techniques on a whole at the moment), I was reminded of Shoshin, Beginner’s Mind, and stayed open to the concept of something different.

Although I have only read a few chapters this evening, I am really glad that this is the book that I chose.  It’s exactly what I needed to read, to understand, to start to absorb.  One of the biggest messages I’ve taken to heart this far is the concept that enlightenment is how things are normally in the world before we colour and distort them with our own hopes and fears. This appeals to be on a number of levels, because it makes the concept of seeing the world as it is as a very approachable goal, or at least one that at least sounds attainable. And I like the thought of that.

Stay tuned.

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