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The Buddha Walks into a Bar...: A Guide to Life for a New Generation

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  1,222 ratings  ·  118 reviews
This isn’t your grandmother’s book on meditation. It’s about integrating that “spiritual practice” thing into a life that includes beer, sex, and a boss who doesn’t understand you. It’s about making a difference in yourself and making a difference in your world—whether you’ve got everything figured out yet or not. Lodro Rinzler is a bright and funny young teacher with a kn ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published January 10th 2012 by Shambhala (first published January 1st 2012)
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I read a fantastic book and I want to share it with you. I was wandering around Barnes and Noble (I know, big surprise, right?) when I ventured into the "Eastern Spirituality" section to look at books on Buddhism when I encountered this title for the upteenth time. This time I decided I had better buy it and see what it was all about. After all, the title is enough to grab you all on its own and the author's introduction to the contents only reinforced it.

It begins by saying this isn't your gra
John Pappas
There are far better "forced spirituality" books out there. Yeah, I get it - this is Buddhism for a new generation of alcoholics and womanizers chomping at the bit to fill the void after Chogyam Trungpa's reign but, seriously, it falls so short. If you want a taste of this sort of modern Buddhism then read anything from Brad Warner or Noah Levine and have fun with it. Both are good authors have led interesting lives, written memoirs and did a good job of applying Dharma principles to modern life ...more
Bodhidasa Caldwell
There are few engaging, relevant and 'hip' books on Buddhism. This is one of them. I've been buying copies and handing them out like free shampoo samples to all my under 35 year old friends (not that they need to wash their hair, mind you). These friends who enjoy games, furtive (or not so furtive) love-making and the odd drink, just don't connect with 'Definitional Dharma' as I call it - lots of Pali, sanskrit and commentary with a fair slew of lists of how to be 'good', whatever that is.

Travelling Sunny
I judged this book by its cover... and I judged wrongly.

Look at that cover. See how cleverly Buddha is hiding on the liquor shelves? Doesn't that seem like it will be a whimsical little book? Like E.T. hiding in the stuffed animals whimsical? I whipped out my phone, snapped a pic of the cover of this book and its counter-part Walk Like a Buddha: Even if Your Boss Sucks, Your Ex Is Torturing You, and You're Hungover Again, and sent the picture to my husband as a Christmas present recommendation
Alain Burrese
I really enjoyed “The Buddha Walks Into A Bar... A Guide To Life For A New Generation” by Lodro Rinzler. I came across the book at the perfect time. I'd gotten away from meditation and spiritual pursuits due to the complexities of life that we all face. Ironically, it is just those complexities and the hustle and bustle of our fast paced society that makes meditating all that more important.

Rinzler, who is a meditation practitioner and teacher in the Shambhala Buddhist lineage, has written an en
Wendy Yu
It does not bode well for my entrance into Buddhism that towards the end I could not really keep track of the lessons from a book with this title. Maybe I need to step down and get a "Dummies" book.

1. Qualities of the Tiger
Discernment (not looking away from your ATM balance)

2. Qualities of the Snow Lion
The snow lion does not get hooked by being dragged down by her emotions, remaining vibrant, energetic and youthful. She uses compassion, virtue and the 6 paramitas as tools:
Kayla Grzech
While it can get redundant, I still feel that this book was a wonderful guide and a great introduction to Buddhism. He covers his bases here and keeps a good balance between giving some anecdotal, "modern," examples as details and yet keeping the themes open, flexible, and accommodating. I appreciated the easy way he laid out the thought process in exploring the ideas and concepts. One other review commented that the book talks a lot about being "good," but never quite gets at what that means. I ...more
A really great read that brings the principals of Buddhism into your everyday life - your REAL life. Rinzler talks about how, by examining motives behind actions, you can live more mindfully without necessarily having to give up some of the vices we all enjoy. Using the four dignities, he shows how we can embody their characteristics to help us achieve a happier and more fulfilling life. I great read for anyone, not just those in their 20's (I'm 41 and I liked it!)
D.S. West
A fast and largely superficial read, but my first brush with Shambhala Buddhism (how many are there now?!). This isn't my first Buddhist reading, and at times I grew frustrated with Rinzler's fast pace and elementary approach to the material. On the other hand, I'm still a n00b. Overall, this text was helpful and, my pretensions aside, precisely the right kind of text with which one such as myself can sharpen his or her teeth on before tackling more in-depth readings on a body of religious/philo ...more
**Buddhism for the rest of us**

If you’re curious and intrigued by the concepts of Buddhism and how they can work in “everyday” life, this may just be the book for you. Think of it as a “Buddhism-for–the-rest-of-us” guide to life.

The book is highly readable and applicable. The author does an impressive job presenting the essence of Buddhism in a down-to-earth and easy-to-try-for-yourself way. His realism and humor shed light on the journey to enlightenment:
“We have a long path ahead of us, and as
The Buddha Walks into a Bar... presents Tibetan Buddhism at its optimistic best--a life of practice, moderation and basic goodness. It shares the approach of Stephen Batchelor (Buddhism Without Beliefs), checking dogma at the door and remaining nearly silent on the concepts of karma and reincarnation. This is Buddhism for western skeptics and religious castaways, but the overall feel is that West must come to East, from a generous helping of Sanskrit terminology to the anthropomorphic silliness ...more
This book was initially described to me as a book for anyone who has ever said to him or herself: "I agree with a lot of Buddhists but I am not one myself. Or perhaps I might be?" In a modern voice with ancient wisdom, the truths are explained in simple, hip terms for young adult seekers. Additionally, meditation topics and anchoring/grounding techniques are introduced. One can move at one's own pace through the material and take as much time and reflection as one would like. Additionally, I can ...more
Sara Gray
I read this in anticipation of attending a workshop taught by the author. While there are plenty of good ideas and wisdom in this book--it's hard not to agree with most aspects of the dharma, at least for me--it was presented in a way that wasn't for me. This book is definitely geared more towards a younger person who is new to Buddhism and Shambhala. I'm no expert, but I've read enough that this book was pretty redundant, and he had few new insights or information to add to an already huge gamu ...more
Saruh Victoria
This is the most meaningful book I have ever read. Thank you, thank you, thank you Lordo Rinzler.
Sam Klemens
I thought this book was interesting and it was a nice introduction to Buddhism. Honestly though I had a hard time getting through it because I already knew so much of the information. Not through Buddhism but through living a good life and reading by the barge-load. It turned into something like this: wow another philosophy I've held for two years is actually a Buddhist philosophy. And so on to the point that I started to skim sections.

For a person brand new to good life philosophies this would
Aspire to be like the Tiger, Snow Lion, Garuda, Dragon and ...Honey Badger? Yep. Extremely readable, excellent introduction to Vajrayana Buddhism for the neophyte under 35.
"Discomfort and uncertainty are not new. They have been coming up for every creature since the dawn of time. One of the most common ideas about our universe's birth is the Big Bang theory. This is not a 'things started off going as planned and only got more comfortable with time' type of theory. It is the idea that a big explosion took place, and out of that explosion the universe burst into existence. From that time, you can say that big and small explosions have taken place constantly, especia ...more
Nick Bailey
EASILY my favorite book currently. I've recommended this book to more people than I can remember. I tend to think of it as a beginner's guide to mindfulness, compassion, self love and Buddhism as well. Obviously the author is Buddhist, but you don't have to be to appreciate the content. Anything who is looking to better themselves and get a better sense of self-peace would appreciate this text. It's written in a way that's easy to understand for our generation, as opposed to text from older monk ...more
I really enjoyed this book and feel it is a good intro to Buddhism for those of us interested in how we can apply it directly to our everyday lives (eg work, social life, money, etc.) The content covers a wide range so he doesn't get really in depth with most topics. But weaves in themes of compassion, kindness, coming back to the present moment, mindfulness, and other pillars of Buddhism throughout the book. With that, some parts do feel repetitive and drag on a tiny bit. What I like about how ...more
What attracted me to this book was the impression that it would be a more practical application of buddhism in daily life, compared to something written by a monk. I read something about the author writing advice columns too, that reinforced my assumption.

The book explains shamata meditation and follows the thread of the four dignities of Shambala. I think that much of the daily life element has been injected in the book more through the use of cartoons, comics or tv ads as an example, instead o
The Buddha Walks Into A Bar... is one of those books I judged by its cover (and name) but I stayed for the content once I began reading it. A book like this that advertises itself as “This isn’t your grandmother’s book on meditation” alongside the clever title don’t typically live up to the hype that they build. Luckily, The Buddha.. pays off for those that actually decide to read it. I think one of the best things about the book as a whole is how pragmatic it tends to be about people’s behavior ...more
“Das hier ist nicht das Meditationsbuch deiner Großmutter. Es ist deines. Wobei ich davon ausgehe, dass du ab und zu gerne mal ein Bier trinkst, Spaß am Sex hast, dass dir klar geworden ist, dass deine Eltern verrückt sind, oder dich deine Arbeit manchmal frustriert.”

Lodro Rinzler hat hier ein kleines, feines Buch für junge Leute geschrieben, die sich für den Buddhismus interessieren. Die sich nicht zwangsläufig mit viel Theorie rumschlagen oder zuerst ein Geschichtsstudium abschliessen wollen,
Emily Herscher
As a fresh look at a popular religious philosophy, Lodro Rinzler's The Buddha Walks Into a Bar provides a young and upbeat representation of Buddhism in a form that modern youth can relate to. Being a religious New York column writer, Rinzler's experiences practicing and teaching Shambhala Buddhism provided him the insight to write this lone novel on applying Buddhist practices to everyday life to find balance. The book is easy going, although often repetitive towards the idea of enlightment to ...more
Tanya McGinnity
It’s not for lack of wanting to read Lodro Rinzler’s book ‘The Buddha Walks Into a Bar: A Guide to Life for a New Generation‘ the instant it rolled off the presses, but as the book mentions, life can get messy and things can fall between the cracks. For this reason, I hope that I get a free pass for only writing this review several months after the book’s release.

‘The Buddha Walks into a Bar’ is a joyful and fresh read that is deeply rooted in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition and remixes the old
I picked this up hoping I would get a bit more everyday peacefulness out of it, it's not bad but for someone such as myself with no background in Buddhism I found my self getting lost with all the Buddhist names for things especially in the later chapters, I'd like to try reading it again some other time to see if it makes more sense and I can get more out of it, it's still worth reading I think just perhaps not as enlightening at first read as I hoped.
This book is trying too hard to appeal to young people. It seems like the author is trying desperately to be cool which often feels condescending and out of touch.

At one point early on the author refers to a former relationship as a "hot chick on [his] arm". I found it hard to take anything he said after that very seriously.

I hope Rinzler will choose to mediate on the path of Right Speech before his next lecture on compassion.
absolute must read if you find yourself cringing at the thought of running into rush hour traffic, worrying about the motives and actions of loved ones or perfect strangers, or even if youve hit rock bottom in life and are contemplating how you will begin rebuilding. The translations can be troublesome if you are newly introduced to buddhist practice but all in all this book changed my outlook on life!
Ok, but didn't love it. I was looking for general ideas on how to improve my life and cultivate peacefulness. The best thing I got out of this book was that I've started to meditate for 10 minutes a day. However the book focuses very heavily on specific tenets of Buddhism, talking about stuff like "vipashyana," "paramitas," etc. - though I'm personally not interested in these religious specifics, other people might be and may enjoy the book more than I did.
I thought it was very accessible and easily explained Buddhist concepts and step-by-step instructions for meditation exercises. He has a conversational tone that's pleasant to read and matches how he talks in real life (I saw him speak a few months ago), so there's sense that you're just chatting with him about life. It's a pleasant read.

However, I'm confused as to what audience he had in mind when writing this book. He is speaking to the audience of Western young professionals. He talks about s
I really wanted to like this book, but in the end I just found it much too distracting. The author comes from the Shambhala tradition and espouses a lot of Chogyam Trungpa-isms as well as Vajrayana mysticism. While it was initially entertaining to read about Snow Leopards and Garudas, I finally gave up trying to use these ideas to enhance my own understanding. I did highlight a considerable number of passages, so I'll have to come back to this in the future to see if it makes more sense.

I'm als
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Lodro is a practitioner and teacher in the Shambhala Buddhist lineage. He began meditating as a child and sat retreats as a teenager, even going as far as attending a silent month-long retreat during which he shaved his head and took monastic robes and vows.

When he left for college he received two heirlooms from his parents. From his father, a mala which he had used to recite mantras. From his mot
More about Lodro Rinzler...
Walk Like a Buddha: Even if Your Boss Sucks, Your Ex Is Torturing You, and You're Hungover Again The Buddha Walks into the Office: A Guide to Livelihood for a New Generation Sit Like a Buddha: A Pocket Guide to Meditation Camina como un Buda: Aunque estés de resaca, tu jefe te agobie y tu ex te torture Buddha Walks into a Bar..., The: A Guide to Life for a New Generation

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“Patience from a Buddhist perspective is not a "wait and see" attitude, but rather one of "just be there"... Patience can also be based on not expecting anything.Think of patience as an act of being open to whatever comes your way. When you begin to solidify expectations, you get frustrated because they are not met in the way you had hoped... With no set idea of how something is supposed to be, it is hard to get stuck on things not happening in the time frame you desired. Instead, you are just being there, open to the possibilities of your life.” 14 likes
“You let your motivation shine, and other people are attracted to your passion and commitment.” 4 likes
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