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The Lebowski Precepts

Section: Dude Testaments  | Date: March 12th, 2012

bernie and jeff A while back we posted Bernie Glassman’s Coen Koans, which were mystical Zen poems that compared The Big Lebowski with the Zen tradition. Bernie really threw rocks again recently with a Lebowski-inspired take on Buddhist Precepts. They are reprinted below.

For those of you know don’t know, Mr. Glassman is the founder of Zen Peacemakers, a far out Buddhist social action organization. (Our very own Rev. GMS is a liason between Dudeism and the Zen Peacemakers, by the way.) He’s also best buddies with Jeff Bridges. They’re even coming out with a book soon which will no doubt be very Dudeist in nature. We can’t wait to read it in the tub.

THE LEBOWSKI PRECEPTS

The Three Refuges:  I take refuge in the:

bridges in tron legacyBuddha

Dharma

Sangha

The Three Pure Precepts:

Do No Evil

Do Good

Do Good for Others

The Three Tenets of the Zen Peacemakers:

Not Knowing

Bearing Witness

Loving Action

The Three What Have Yous:

I’ve dabbled in Pacifism myself, though not in Nam of course.

jeffbridgesillustrationpromotingthezenpeacemakersevent The Dude Is Not In

The Dude Abides

Enjoyin’ My Coffee

THE TEN GRAVE PRECEPTS

This is not Nam; there are rules!

1. Not Killing.

Bodhidharma: Self-nature is subtle and mysterious. In the realm of the everlasting Dharma, not giving rise to the ideal of killing is called the Precept of Not Killing.

Dogen Zenji: The Buddha seed grows in accordance with not taking life. Transmit the life of Buddha’s wisdom and do not kill.

Zen Peacemakers: Recognizing that I am not separate from all that is. This is the precept of Non-Killing.

Big Lebowski: This aggression will not stand man!

2. Not Stealing.

Bodhidharma: Self-nature is subtle and mysterious. In the realm of the unattainable Dharma, not having thoughts of gaining is called the Precept of Not Stealing.

Dogen Zenji: The self and things of the world are just as they are. The gate of emancipation is open.

Zen Peacemakers: Being satisfied with what I have. This is the precept of Non-Stealing.

Big Lebowski: The old man told me to take any rug in the house.

3. Not Misusing Sex.

Bodhidharma: Self-nature is subtle and mysterious. In the realm of the ungilded Dharma, not creating a veneer of attachment is called the Precept of Not Misusing Sex.

Dogen Zenji: The Three Wheels are pure and clear. When you have nothing to desire, you follow the way of all Buddhas.

Zen Peacemakers: Encountering all creations with respect and dignity. This is the precept of Chaste Conduct.

Big Lebowski: She’s not my special lady friend; I’m just helping her to conceive.

4. Not Lying.

Bodhidharma: Self-nature is subtle and mysterious. In the realm of the inexplicable Dharma, not preaching a single word is called the Precept of Not Lying.

Dogen Zenji: The Dharma Wheel turns from the beginning. There is neither surplus nor lack. The whole universe is moistened with nectar, and the truth is ready to harvest.

Zen Peacemakers: Listening and speaking from the heart. This is the precept of Non-Lying.

Big Lebowski: I’m sorry, I wasn’t listening.

5. Not using intoxicants.

bernie_parisBodhidharma: Self-nature is subtle and mysterious. In the realm of the intrinsically pure Dharma, not giving rise to delusions is called the Precept of Not using intoxicants.

Dogen Zenji: It has never been; don’t be defiled.  It is indeed the great clarity.

Zen Peacemakers: Cultivating a mind that sees clearly. This is the precept of Not Being Ignorant.

Big Lebowski: Careful man there’s a beverage here!

6. Not Discussing Faults of Others.

Bodhidharma: Self-nature is subtle and mysterious. In the realm of the flawless Dharma, not expounding upon error is called the Precept of Not Speaking of Faults of Others.

Dogen Zenji: In the Buddha Dharma, there is one path, one Dharma, one realization, one practice. Don’t permit faultfinding. Don’t permit haphazard talk.

Zen Peacemakers: Unconditionally accepting what each moment has to offer. This is the precept of Not Talking About Others Errors And Faults.

Big Lebowski: You’re not wrong Walter; you’re just an asshole!

7. Not Elevating Oneself by Blaming Others.

bernie Bodhidharma: Self-nature is subtle and mysterious. In the realm of the equitable Dharma, not making any distinction between oneself and others is called the Precept of Not Praising myself while blaming others.

Dogen Zenji: Buddhas and Ancestral Teachers realize the empty sky and the great earth. When they manifest the noble body, there is neither inside nor outside in emptiness. When they manifest the Dharma body, there is not even a bit of earth on the ground.

Zen Peacemakers: Speaking what I perceive to be the truth without guilt or blame. This is the precept of Not Elevating Oneself And Blaming Others.

Big Lebowski: The bums will always lose!

8. Not Being Stingy.

Bodhidharma. Self-nature is subtle and mysterious. In the genuine, all- pervading Dharma, not being attached to one form is called the Precept of Not Being Stingy.

Dogen Zenji: One phrase, one verse – that is the ten thousand things and one hundred grasses; one dharma, one realization – that is all Buddhas and Ancestral Teachers. Therefore, from the beginning, nothing has been withheld.

Zen Peacemakers: Using all of the ingredients of my life. This is the precept of Not Being Stingy.

Big Lebowski: Where’s the money shit-head!?  It must be down there somewhere, let me have another look.

9. Not Being Angry.

Bodhidharma: Self-nature is subtle and mysterious. In the realm of the selfless Dharma, not thinking of the self is called the Precept of Not Being Angry.

Dogen Zenji: Not advancing, not retreating, not real, not empty. There is an ocean of bright clouds. There is an ocean of solemn clouds.

Zen Peacemakers: Transforming suffering into wisdom. This is the precept of Not Being Angry.

Big Lebowski: Calmer than you are.

bernie and jeff 2 10. Not Speaking Ill of the Three Treasures.

Bodhidharma: Self-nature is subtle and mysterious. In the sphere of the One Dharma, Not holding a dualistic view of sentient beings and Buddhas is called the Precept of Not Speaking Ill of the Three Treasures.

Dogen Zenji: The teisho of the actual body is the harbor and the weir. This is the most important thing in the world. Its virtue finds its home in the ocean of essential nature. It is beyond explanation. We just accept it with respect and gratitude.

Zen Peacemakers: Honoring my life as an instrument of peacemaking. This is the precept of Not Thinking Ill of the Three Treasures.

Big Lebowski: That rug really tied the room together, did it not!?


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2 Responses to “The Lebowski Precepts”

  1. manny-san on March 13th, 2012 7:41 am

    Tied together nicely, Dude. When you get right down to it, Dudes n’ Buddhas are all the same.

  2. Doctor Joe on March 18th, 2012 7:55 am

    Nicely done. Ties all the comparisons together in one neat bundle.

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