January 09, 2013

Jeff Bridges and Bernie Glassman

The Dude and the Zen Master

The Tricycle staff had a lot of fun last night at the NYC Union Square Barnes & Noble event featuring actor Jeff Bridges, Zen teacher Bernie Glassman, and Tricycle's very own editor and publisher James Shaheen. Jeff and Bernie were there to promote their recently released book The Dude and the Zen Master. If you've seen The Big Lebowski, you know which one is the Dude and which one is the Zen master, although many fans of the cult classic claim that the Dude is a Zen master. The two friends spent five days at Jeff's ranch in Montana doing what they call "jammin'" and what I like to call being on a "bro retreat"—chilling out, talking about life, and smoking cigars. Their conversation was recorded, transcribed, and voilà: The Dude and the Zen Master was born. With James moderating the discussion, the three debated the Zen merits of the Dude's infamous koans—"The Dude abides" and "The Dude is not in"—and chatted about the movie that started it all.

The Dude

Bernie Glassman, Jeff Bridges, and Tricycle's editor and publisher James Shaheen.

Bonus fun fact: Jeff holds a special place in Tricycle's history as the only celebrity besides the Dalai Lama that we've ever put on the cover.

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phyllis segura's picture

Wasn't Spalding Gray on the cover once? Richard Gere?

Actually, when Tricycle started several of us thought that the juxtapositioning of unlikely people with Buddhism lent a very avant-garde slant and created a positive discontinuity. It looked as though there was going to be some grand switcheroos and surprises. I still think going in that direction would be classy and very effective.

James Shaheen's picture

Richard Gere was sort of on the cover, once, but was for the most part unrecognizable. In the cover image, two monks in Bangkok walk by an ad for American Gigolo, eying it curiously. Photographer Jeffrey Aaronson (Network Aspen, now Still Media) shot the ad.

You can look at it here.

Emma Varvaloucas's picture

Hi Phyllis-Nope, if my memory serves, neither Spalding nor Richard have been on the cover, although they've both certainly been inside the pages.
And that's some good feedback to think about!
Emma V.

Dominic Gomez's picture

Please define "unlikely". ;-)

oliverhow's picture

....thank you! :o)