Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Dude and the Zen Master” as Want to Read:
The Dude and the Zen Master
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Dude and the Zen Master

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  2,848 ratings  ·  371 reviews
The New York Times bestseller from Academy award-winning actor Jeff Bridges and Zen leader and author of Bearing Witness, Bernie Glassman.

Zen master Bernie Glassman compares Jeff Bridgess 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. His
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published January 8th 2013 by Blue Rider Press (first published 2012)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Dude and the Zen Master, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Dude and the Zen Master

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.66  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,848 ratings  ·  371 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Dude and the Zen Master
Mar 06, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
You know when you walk into the kitchen at a party and there are two stoned guys having a conversation and they're kind of talking about the same thing but really they're just spewing utter nonsense that occasionally lines up?

This book is just like that.
LE: 22.10.2018
I came across this interview today with John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, and Jeff Bridges, shot a few days ago, 20 years after the movie was out. Had a great time watching it, recalling scenes and some behind-the-movie insights. Jeff also mentions his encounter with Bernie Glassman and thus how the book was born. Funny and nostalgic, made me wanna watch the movie again.
Here's the link, you're interested:

Quite a special book. Jeff Bridges is one of my
Nov 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The Dude and the Zen Master by Jeff Bridges and Bernie Glassman is an entertaining, charming, inspiring look into the minds of two practicing Buddhists through the lens of a Hollywood cult film.

The Hollywood film in question is The Big Lebowski in which Bridges stars as The Dude. Although the Coen Brothers didnt write the movie from a Zen perspective, Roshi Glassman views The Dude as a great example of the men of Jewish mysticism who are simple and unassuming, and so good that, on account of
Paul Gleason
Jan 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Bob Marley once wrote, Were jamming / I wanna jam with you, / Were jamming, jamming / And I hope you like jamming too.

After reading Oscar-winning actor Jeff Bridges and Zen teacher Bernie Glassmans The Dude and the Zen Master, youll know exactly what Marley meant. In fact, youll have jammed with the dude behind the Dude in The Big Lebowski and his Buddhist buddy, Bernie.

But what does it mean it jam? Bridges and Glassman spend a good portion of The Dude and the Zen Master answering this very
Conrad Zero
Transcriptions of conversations between actor-dude Jeff Bridges and zen master Bernie Glassman. The topics center on living Zen Buddhism, the nature of suffering, nonattachment, enlightenment, etc and they tie their discussions to their real world experiences. The attitude is very Dude (a'la the Big Lebowski) You also get a peek into Jeff Bridges life as an actor, and see how he is (and is not) like the Dude.

A quick, light read for fans of Zen or Dude or Both.
Feb 04, 2015 rated it did not like it
The Dude and the Zen Master is one of the laziest contrivances of a book I have seen yet. Here's the deal: let's take a moderately beloved cult classic - The Big Lebowski - then pair it up with a cigar-smoking Zen master, who functions here as a self-help guru/beacon of wisdom - Bernie Glassman - and then they talk. They go on and on and on in the longest "Yes, and" dialogue I've read in recent memory. The book is in the form of dialogue, but here's the thing: although it takes both Jeff and ...more
Clark Hallman
Jan 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: buddhism, nonfiction
The Dude and the Zen Master is a conversation between two very talented and benevolent men. Jeff Bridges is a well-known Oscar-winning actor, performer, songwriter and photographer; and Bernie Glassman is the founder of the Zen Community of New York and a longtime Zen teacher. This dialogue addresses their thoughts and opinions about work, play, love, compassion, trust, selfishness, fear, life, death, and much more. Its a somewhat rambling conversation that is humorous at times and very poignant ...more
Mar 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
I thought this would be a cheap cashing-in on Lebowski, forcing links between the character's lazy "zen"-like behavior, but it is actually an extended conversation between the two authors where they reveal and share while discussing zen and its application to real-life situations. It was fun getting some insight into Jeff Bridges's personal life, and Bernie Glassman truly is a savant and treasure; not enough can be said about the good that both these men have contributed to the world. But more ...more
Arne Krueger
Aug 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: retreat
this book gets a strong recommendation! it made a deep impact on me and gets a well deserved place among my alltime fav books. especially jeff has made a deep impression on me, with his openness, his kindness, his way to see things, to live and love his life. absolutely great. somehow, i knew bernies sayings from his other books already: instructions to the cook and the basic buddhist teachings too, so that was not so impressive to me. sometimes i felt a bit bored and a lot of resistance, ...more
May 03, 2014 rated it it was ok
I would have given this book 3 stars if the other guy, the "Zen Master", were not in it. I was sick to death of hearing this Bernie guy tell me he was a Zen Master and he does - again and again and again. I was mostly interested in Bridges' approach to acting which sounds all consuming and yet, humbled at the same time. I enjoyed reading about his time with directors, particularly Hal Ashby. I guess if you are a die hard Lebowski fan, you might love it, but if you are a sentient human being, you ...more
The actor who plays the Dude and his zen master buddy spend a week waxing philosophical on the big Lebowski, life, and everything in between. Sure, Jeff Bridges does not lead an atypical life. Sometimes he's got some valid points that give grist to the mill, and other times you can't help but say, " yea, but that's just like you're opinion, man", when you really mean to say, you've had the benefits of a stress-free fiscal life. Well, that's your challenge, because wisdom and understanding are ...more
Jun 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have to confess that I had my moments with this book. It is very difficult to say whether my four stars grading is justified by the fact that the Big Lebowski just might be among the best movies ever made or by the other fact that my mind made an impressive trip during the reading process. Possibly due to both facts, or opinions. Like any book in our world, I am sure this book does not impress everyone. However, if you are thinking to skip this book, just because you think it is one of those ...more
James Gordon
Jan 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant. The Dude abides is a phrase I use to remind myself to just be.
Most people assume The Big Lebowski is just a stoner movie. That's the thing about Zen and Mojo, you get it or you don't. This book is a great discussion and along with Willie Nelson's latest book, "Roll me up and smoke me when I die" are great "after stressful holidays" reading.
Related reads; Tao of Willie & Tao of Pooh.
In The Dude and the Zen Master, Jeff Bridges and his old friend Bernie Glassman have a loose and free-wheeling chat about life and Buddhism, attempting to make it more accessible by illustrating many of its concepts with The Big Lebowski as its main example (my love for which probably being what prompted this being gifted to me).

Buddhism and mindfulness have both been recommended to me a lot, given that I have a few troubles with anxiety, and so using something that I already love and know
Dave Patterson
Nov 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book really tied my life together.
Mar 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: spiritual seekers
5/21/2013 Dude! This is so Zen!
This book was very helpful in teaching me to see and accept myself. Starting with Jeff Bridge's movie The Big Lebowski, two friends have a discussion, Jeff Bridges and Bernie Glassman, a former aeronautical engineer and mathematician, presently a master of Zen Buddhism.
Some helpful things I garnered:
"Just throw the fucking ball." (My version, Just live your f-- blessed life!)
Row row row your boat, merrily down the stream!
"caring for where I am right now"
The Dude
Jan 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Thanks Jeff and Bernie for this book. You're cool cats and Zen dudes.

If you are looking for a book about your favorite movie, The Big Lebowski, this isn't it. Although, Bernie Glassman, who founded the Zen Community of New York, finds perfect Zen simplicity (and popular representation) in two of the Dude's phrases: "The Dude is not in" and "The Dude abides." And then there's the question of letting go of the rug that 'really tied the room together.'

Conversations between these remarkable men and
Jan 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
'The Dude and the Zen Master' was a strange read for me, not just jumping abit outside my preferred genre, but also being a book I tried to enter with no preconceived notions. I understand it is not a total break down of 'The Dude', and I know it is not a zen primer, but instead is just a weekend conversation between Jeff Bridges and Bernie Glassman. I tried to take it as such and I think that just a relaxed and quiet attitude is the best to read this.

Sure the book draws specific markers from
Melissa Lee-Tammeus
Aug 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: borrowed
I have a crush on Jeff Bridges so when I saw this I figured I'd find out how much was based on his characters versus how much is real. And after reading this, I still have my crush. This book is a philosophical discussion related to the character The Dude, which of course is an icon in and of itself. The two friends discuss the notion of Zen practice and how it relates to our lives and our sense of self awareness. On occasion I had to put it down as it began to hurt my head - there is a lot of ...more
Jan 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
A very enjoyable read, like eavesdropping on a great conversation. So much resonated for me; here are a few nuggets: No system wants to be changed. I'm not talking about utopia; I'm talking about working toward peace -- and then letting go of any expectations. Being at peace means being interconnected. There is a tension and struggle between our individual sense of identity and the ground of interconnectedness that we all belong to. The distinction between play and practice - play is ...more
Jim Razinha
Feb 06, 2013 rated it it was ok
Disappointing...even more so as I like Jeff Bridges and The Dude. Two guys talking about many different things and mostly senseless drivel. Zen is a crock of manure anyway (anything that advocates thinking about nothing is an abrogation of the evolutionary imperative to think), and Bernie Glassman spouts the lion's share of the nonsense in this book, but Bridges is surprisingly misinformed about a lot of what he says that's outside the acting world. Now, his revelations about his movie ...more
Aug 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
With the common discourse of our lives often focusing on kids, work, or the newest horse apple being sold as a movie, it's nice to sit down with two guys who seem to apply some rigor to their thinking as it applies to their lives. These are the conversations I wish I found more of in my own life. While they may not be breaking new ground, they are at least focused on the honest attempt to understand and improve themselves.

Oh, and the whole thing stems from the greatest slacker movie of all
Mar 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
An endearing, honest, meandering conversation about living a life informed by Buddhism. The initial conceit is that the Dude, the hero of the film "The Big Lebowski," played by Bridges, has a zen-like wisdom that we would-be Buddhists can learn from. But this becomes less important as these two very different figures improvise a dialogue on what living this way means day to day. At times thought-provoking and funny, I enjoyed this thoroughly. Yet, I'm not sure it's a great first read for someone ...more
Bernadette Puleo
Mar 14, 2013 rated it it was ok
Decided that I didn't want to spend my time finishing this book. Stopped at page 129. There were a couple if good insights along the way but this dude is not in. All this talk about loosing your ego while all they are doing is talking about themselves.
Cynthia Malm
Oct 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book was phenomenal. I just love Jeff Bridges and all the creative endeavors he sets out to accomplish. This isn't any different. I'm highly impressed and found myself making notes on how I can implement these ideas into my life.
Scott Stahl
Jan 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A great dialogue with two wise people. I'm already planning on reading this again, soon. It was a breeze to read through but dense with heavy thoughts. I feel inspired.
Jan 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. Bridges and Glassman have a great conversation about life, love, family, work, compassion... I really dig this book.
Feb 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Right on, man. If you've never seen The Big Lebowski, then this book will make no sense. If you have seen the movie, this book will make you see how great The Dude really is.
May 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Liked it very much, it was fun reading and a good review of Zen. Love how Jeff related acting to the philosophy.
Jul 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
A quick, delightful read as if eavesdropping on conversation between two old friends. Enjoyed the banter, the insights and rapport between these two very much.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Hardcore Zen: Punk Rock, Monster Movies and the Truth about Reality
  • Spotify inifrån : så blir man störst i världen
  • Непобедимое солнце
  • This is It & Other Essays on Zen & Spiritual Experience
  • The Way of Zen
  • Going to Pieces Without Falling Apart: A Buddhist Perspective on Wholeness
  • My Storied Year
  • The End of October
  • Natural History
  • Useless Information
  • The Seekers: The Story of Man's Continuing Quest to Understand His World
  • Blade Runner 2019, Vol. 1: Los Angeles
  • Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America
  • Gazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
  • Kulleteyn
  • The Blade Itself #1
  • Destroy Your Safe and Happy Lives
  • What We Do Is Secret
See similar books…
Jeffrey Leon "Jeff" Bridges is an American actor and producer. He comes from a well-known acting family and began his first televised acting in 1958 as a child with his father, Lloyd Bridges, and brother Beau on television's Sea Hunt. Among his best-known major motion films are: Tron (and its sequel), Fearless, Iron Man, The Contender, Starman, The Fabulous Baker Boys, Jagged Edge, Against All ...more

Related Articles

You might know comedian Colin Jost from his work as the co-anchor of Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update, or perhaps you know him as Scarlett...
122 likes · 46 comments
“People get stuck a lot because they're afraid to act; in the worst case,...we get so attached to some end result that we can't function. We need help just to move on, only life doesn't wait.” 15 likes
“Let me give you a wonderful Zen practice. Wake up in the morning...look in the mirror, and laugh at yourself.” 13 likes
More quotes…