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The Buddha Walks into a Bar...: A Guide to Life for a New Generation Paperback – January 10, 2012

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala; 1 edition (January 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590309375
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590309377
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,174 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Buddha Walks Into A Bar is a lively and engaging invitation to a new generation of seekers, offering them a needed opportunity to be themselves, to be real, and to be thoughtful about life, without taking the spiritual journey so damn seriously." - Ethan Nichtern, author of Your Emoticons Won't Save You and One City

"The Buddha Walks into a Bar is a wise, practical and down-to-earth presentation of the liberating teaching of Tibetan Buddhism. I highly recommend this book to everyone who is interested in transforming their lives and this world we live in. Read it, then start a revolution!" - Noah Levine, author of Dharma Punx, and Against the Stream

“A young, New York-based Buddhist teacher, Rinzler is able to take a relaxed, colloquial approach to meditation and its many benefits because he’s so well-versed in Shambhala and Tibetan Buddhism. With examples ranging from superheroes to YouTube videos, Rinzler brings timeless teachings to the buzz of now in an engaging, richly instructive, genuinely illuminating spiritual guide.”—Booklist

“Don’t let Rinzler’s youthful exuberance fool you. The kid knows his stuff.”—Tricycle

“This volume is far beyond a compilation of Rinzler’s columns or prior work; it is a genuine introduction to living a Buddhist life without immersion in Buddhism’s more esoteric practices.”—Library Journal

“Light-hearted, contemporary, and at times hilarious, Rinzler’s book is addictively easy to read.”—Nexus

“Enjoyable, engaging, and inspiring. I loved the book and think it’s a great introductory read for a younger person who would like to know more about Buddhism, or just life in general.”—

“Rinzler’s voice is approachable and funny and absolutely credible to all of the young professionals who seem to have it all but who are beginning to wonder if they are missing something really, really big.”— 

“The cool kid’s Buddhist.”—The Boston Phoenix

From the Author

"This isn't your grandmother's book on meditation. It's for you. That is, assuming you like to have a beer once in a while, enjoy sex, have figured out that your parents are crazy, or get frustrated at work. It's a book that doesn't put Buddhism on some pedestal so that you have to look up to it. It's about looking at all the book and crannies of your life and applying Buddhist teachings to them, no matter how messy that may be." - from the introduction of The Buddha Walks into a Bar: A Guide to Life for a New Generation

More About the Author

Lodro Rinzler is a teacher in the Shambhala Buddhist lineage and the author of the best-selling book "The Buddha Walks into a Bar" (January 2012) and the new book "Walk Like a Buddha" (October 2013). Over the last decade he has taught numerous workshops at meditation centers and college campuses throughout North America. Lodro's column, "What Would Sid Do," appears regularly on the Huffington Post and his writing has appeared in Tricycle, the Shambhala Sun, Bloomberg Businessweek, Entrepreneur, Real Simple, and the Good Men Project. He is the founder of the Institute for Compassionate Leadership and lives in Brooklyn with his dog Tillie and his cat Justin Bieber. Events can be found at

Customer Reviews

Very easy read and love the way it is written.
I'll probably have to read it multiple times because there's a lot of good stuff in the book, and even though it's easy to understand, it takes some time to absorb.
Alex Honda
This book was worth purchasing, and I look forward to reading it again.
Product Reviewer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Money on December 31, 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I believe in being good to others and to be thoughtful about the world around me. Never has a book reinforced and expanded on my feelings like this one has. It has essentially broken down all the efforts I make to being a good person to the core, but has at the same time challenged me to a be a better person, to be more reflective, more compassionate, and overall more thoughtful about myself and the world around me. Can a reader, with no expectations of a spiritual awakening coming from a mere paperback, actually find a spiritual direction? Indeed!

Mr. Rinzler breaks down meditation and Buddhism in an approachable, modern way that is respectful to the reader. I could relate to most of the viewpoints he's presented positively and could see the validity to his view. He breaks down the methods of meditation, but then expands on the basic tenets of Buddhism and how it can be used in everyday situations. The four animals of the religion- tiger, snow lion, garuda and finally dragon, are presented in practical everyday ways. Each has an approach to life (and each is a further development upward toward enlightenment), and through meditation are realized in the individual. He presents ways to make negative situations positive, and to learn from them in an attempt to make the world a better place. I read this book with rather low expectations but by the end, actually found myself taking notes! I feel like my way about going about life is pretty solid, but now I have a newfound sense of self, thanks to this book. I have a stronger sense of direction where perhaps one was missing or lacking before.

Anyone that is tied strongly to a religion can still benefit from this book. It is not as much a book of religion as it is a presentation to a new way of thinking.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Michael McKee TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 2, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I started with Buddhist meditation in the mid 80s and have read numerous books on the subject. As you would expect, many of them are dry, and/or unapproachable. That's not the case with The Buddha walks into a bar. The book doesn't start off with descriptions of the Fourfold path or any other Buddhist tenet. Londro Rinzler, instead, speaks about everyday life issues, in an approachable way, using everyday words, thankfully free of jargon. Yes, he also offers a simple meditation technique as a basis for dealing with life, one that millions have found useful. But that's not the bulk of the book. It's mainly about brining awareness into our daily lives and interactions, which can bring peace of mind.

Rinzler path follows Tibetan, Shambhala tradition, but what he offers is not only common to all Buddhist denominations, but can be found in all the world's major religions. I know denominations is not the proper term for the different schools of Buddhism. Same difference, though. It seems human nature to debate theology and continually split from the main branch to better follow the divergent views. Fortunately, Buddhists generally recognize the commonality of methods and goals and have avoided the holy wars common in the west.

I learned the basic meditation technique Rinzler offers as insight meditation, or vipashyana from a different tradition, but the goal is the same. Vipashyana, a Sanskrit words that means 'superior seeing', is only part of the program. Unlike the way many of use were taught to practice religion, by attending service on the sabbath, the Shambhala path calls for living consciously all the time. That's really the goal, isn't it? By bringing awareness and compassion into every aspect of our lives we can attain more equanimity and peace. We also bring those aspects into our interaction with the world. Not a bad goal.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By John L Murphy TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 24, 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This follows the Shambhala practices introduced by Chogyam Trungpa to America to the counterculture; Rinzler updates them for today's alt-culture or perhaps mainstream hipsters. The publicity claims this targets "Generation O." While for me strongly reminiscent of Dzogchen Ponlop's "Rebel Buddha" published a year before (see my review), the emphasis on adapting Tibetan Buddhist teachings aimed not at endless prostrations or mantras or deity yoga but a down-to-earth approach--aimed at younger folks who like a drink, have sex, and love their cellphones (nearly?) as much as their similarly frenetic and chattering friends--has its relevance.

Rinzler risks aiming at trying to sound trendy and winding up like the preachers who marketed denim-clad bibles to the Jesus People in the hippie era; that is, packaging tradition for mass appeal. However, Rinzler's audience like that of Jesus or of the Buddha lives in cities more often than in monasteries! Rinzler wants to go into the dive-bars, the cyber-cafes, the cubicle, and to show how Buddhism can calm, can soothe, and can rouse.

He does this by taking venerable teachings and using parables, anecdotes, and everyday tales to make dharma matter. He translates "the four dignities of the Shambhala" empowerment teachings for us, as tiger, lion, garuda (man-bird), and dragon. "Windhorse" teachings, in Shambhala, enrich these practices which sustain a bolder sense of wise fearlessness as a way to make what insights come to one in meditation become self-actualized. These animals are metaphors for not otherworldly "Super Friends" from above but as qualities we desire to embody.

The "three yanas" or vehicles of dharma comprise the structure of this guide, as they do many introductions to Shambhala and Tibetan practice.
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