Yes, it may produce some raised eyebrows, but it is only fair to say that Lodro Rinzler has come up with a remarkable book that changes the perception of lifestyle. The Buddha Walks Into a Bar: A Guide to Life for a New Generation is a ready winner, shaped for the young birds; and exalts the religion into multi-dimensional spheres.
Rinzler weaves his viewpoints in allegorical fashion utilizing the four Shamanic animals, namely, the Tiger, Lion, Garuda and Dragon. All these animals have certain splendid characteristics. The writer brilliantly fuses those traits into general life, suggesting how we can infuse them to achieve the highs in life. He scores high on interest as well, bringing forth icons such as Superman, Wonder Woman and Honey Badger. The maxim that there is good and evil in every guy is brought lucidly into perspective here. The book seeks a pattern whereby we can enjoy our vices but not get carried away by it.
Lord Buddha himself, keeping the steadily vitiating times of His era in mind, preached the Middle Path. His vision encrusted that everything is fair when done in moderation. Lodro perhaps has gone a bit over the top displaying the Western Outlook of Buddhism, where it seems all right to fall into one-night stands and liquor. He just about appears to burn the brides there with his anti-puritanical suggestions, but modulates that with loads of positive attitude that we should inculcate first.
He has a relevant way of how to control anger; he has nowhere denigrated the precepts of Buddhism, as stressed in His eight-fold path. He has also propagated the idea of how to broaden one’s horizon and spread happiness beyond oneself. He has clarity on matters of health, well-being and keeping conflicting emotions at bay. Yes, his evocative writing reflects something of a dressing down for Hinayana, a revered sect of Buddhism; but let’s look at the bigger picture.
Buddha Walks Into a Bar is nothing but an assimilation of His wise thoughts into the current mixed principles. He rakes it subtly that religion and morality are fast taking a back-seat only because the current crop cannot hang to the strict precincts of penance, abstinence and pain.
He insists that we enjoy the daily activities; relish life on a bigger platter and imbibe His teachings with a deeper meaning. So what if we duly celebrate our life with some excesses, the Sky won’t Fall! The book is a must-read, particularly for the new generation.