Today I would like to tip my hat to Lodro Rinzler, the author of several books on how to be a modern Buddhist, or rather, how to live compassionately nowadays based on the teachings of the Buddha. I specify this because he’s wonderful at explaining that you don’t need to buy into everything about Buddhism to learn from its philosophy. It is so accessible that I recently passed the first book I bought on to a non-Buddhist friend. I love when any spiritual teacher achieves this, no matter what religion. We all have the same ideas after all.
I picked up his second book today after recently reading The Buddha Walks into a Bar…a Guide to Life for a New Generation. My new one is called Walk Like a Buddha: Even If Your Boss Sucks, Your Ex is Torturing You and You’re Hungover Again. Other than being fabulous with titles, I love the way he writes. He hits the nail on the head with how I’ve felt about Buddhism since I stumbled upon it in highschool. It is a welcoming, non-judgmental religion that was started by a guy in his 20s and 30s who was equally feeling odd about his spirituality in the world. That totally makes sense. Thanks, Siddhartha. I feel angsty too! Because of this connection, Lodro Rinzler lovingly refers to Siddhartha in his books as Sid. Not out of disrespect, but to remind us that people who lived twenty-six hundred years ago were people too.
Anywho, I am taking on this second book as a study to guide me in my own writing. One thing that stuck out to me in the introduction is the phrase he uses “I’m a mess and I’m also okay.” Yes! Thank you! Something so simple takes the pressure off that weird dark 20-something cloud (and I’m sure it happens in other ages as well, as much as we love to be self-deprecating 20-somethings). There is a lot of pressure to decide if you are in a good place or a bad place at this given moment. But I do believe it’s possible, and perfectly normal to be grateful, in a comfortable lifestyle, and trying your damndest in your career while still feeling anxiety. Or your life could be a hot mess right now, but you’re feeling rather peaceful and under control. I often find when I’m in one mood, the opposing voice try to remind me of why I should feel otherwise.
The other thing Rinzler brings up is Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s quote, “Live your life as an experiment.” I love it. Suddenly the thirty temp jobs, mish-mash liberal arts education, and wandering lifestyle we lead feels a little bit more justified. My experiment today is tagging an author I look up to in my post. I will continue to share some of his messages throughout my wedding and life ramblings.
If you happen to see this, thanks for the fabulous books, Lodro Rinzler! And your notes about reaching out after reading your material is just the coolest. Way to stay humble as a very talented writer.
Also, unrelated! Fall equinox is tonight! Break out the mulled wine!