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Dharma Book Club

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Welcome Readers!

The South Bay InsightLA Dharma Book Club is a way for our community to connect through a common interest in books that inspire and enrich our meditation and mindfulness practices.

Join us for our next meeting

Wednesday, September 20
12:00 - 1:00 pm

On Zoom

Moderated by Annette Lombardi

Book Selection:

The Dude and the Zen Master

by Jeff Bridges and Bernie Glassman

About Dharma Book Club Meetings

Take a break and join us for a lunch-time get together to talk about books and authors who have written about the Dharma in a variety of genres. Each book will be covered in a single meeting. On occasion, authors will be  guest speakers at our meditation practice groups after our book club meeting.  Please sign up below to receive a reminder and a  Zoom link the day before our meeting. Participation in the discussion is optional for those who would prefer just to read our book selection or listen to comments. All are welcome! 

About our Book Selection

"Zen Master Bernie Glassman compares Jeff Bridges’s iconic role in The Big Lebowski to a Lamed-Vavnik: one of the men in Jewish mysticism who are “simple and unassuming,” and “so good that on account of them God lets the world go on.” Jeff puts it another way. “The wonderful thing about the Dude is that he’d always rather hug it out than slug it out.” For more than a decade, Academy Award-winning actor Jeff Bridges and his Buddhist teacher, renowned Roshi Bernie Glassman, have been close friends. Inspiring and often hilarious, The Dude and the Zen Master captures their freewheeling dialogue and remarkable humanism in a book that reminds us of the importance of doing good in a difficult world."

From the Publisher

"A rambling conversation on all things Zen between the mystic-minded movie star and his spiritual teacher. As the title suggests, this book targets (and might most please) the ardent cult attracted to The Big Lebowski, the movie that gave Bridges (Pictures, 2006) his iconic role. He explains of the book's genesis, "So…my friend Bernie Glassman says to me one day, ‘Did you know that the Dude in The Big Lebowski is considered by many Buddhists to be a Zen master?' " The two proceed to explore one of the movie's signature lines, "The Dude abides," from every possible perspective, punctuated by anecdotes from Bridges' film career and personal life and spiritual sagacity from Glassman."

From Kirkus Reviews

“The Dude and the Zen Master doesn’t read like a traditional book at all—but rather riffs like a jam’ll feel as though you yourself sat in on the sessions with the dude behind the Dude in The Big Lebowski and Buddhist buddy, Bernie....And what’s so cool is that the two of them manage to address many of life’s profundities—relationships, politics, working, aging, living, dying—in this very funny and readable jam session.”

From Rock Cellar Magazine


A preview of our book selection is available from Google Books. Here you can read the opening passages where Jeff and Bernie explain how and why The Dude and the Zen Master resulted from a long-time friendship and a common interest in the movie, The Big Lebowski, and the practice of Buddhism.

Get the inside scoop on the "bromance" between Jeff Bridges and Bernie Glassman in the Lions Roar article, entitled The Dude and the Zen Master, by Andrea Miller. Part interview, part profile, and part review, Miller fills in the details about how the Dude in the movie, The Big Lebowski, became the topic of our book selection. She also gives the backstory about how Bridges and Glassman took to the Buddhist path. There are some really interesting vignettes about Glassman and his teacher, the legendary Zen master Maezumi Roshi in Los Angeles, and the way Bridges practices Buddhism on the cushion and on the sets in Hollywood.

For a leap from the publication date of our book selection to the present, you can read an interview and see a brief video in a May 2023 feature by Tom Chiarella, Jeff Bridges, 73, Reflects on His Cancer, COVID Battle: ‘The Obstacle Was Death,’ published by It is the true story of a wake up call that makes a mash up of our book selection and our Heavenly Messengers series. In the Dude and the Zen Master, Bridges talks about the Five Remembrances. Here, he tells Death, "Bring it on, man" and talks about stoicism, surrender and survival by giving in to love.


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