The Buddha Walks into the Office


Oh My Goodness! — such a jumble of insight, preachiness, empathy, anecdote, wisdom, and buzzwordiness. The Buddha Walks into the Office by Lodro Rinzler (2014) is a stew that (cl)aims to be, as per its subtitle, "a guide to livelihood for a new generation". Or maybe not. Its author has been accused of sexual abuse, as have his teacher and so many others within American Buddhism. His book is chatty and fast-reading, encouraging and gentle. It's also obsessively first-person, a jarring tone from an ostensible advocate of selflessness and letting-go of ego. Logic is flimsy. Spirit is kind. Doctrine is distracting. Intention is positive. Execution is weak.

Positive features:

  • gentle how-to advice on mindfulness meditation for beginners (far from original, nonetheless good)
  • recommendations to listen, ask questions, and simply be present to others at your workplace (and everywhere)
  • suggestion to find spiritual friends, and be one to others

Distracting features:

  • unnecessary religious jargon and dogma
  • summary-chapters offering "Five Slogans" that are a disconnected mess
  • self-centered stories that intrude and seem mainly meant to promote the writer

Helpful thoughts:

  • treat serious matters lightly and light matters seriously
  • focus on what you want to be, not just what you happen to do

(cf Buddha Buddy (2014-05-19), Flawed Gurus (2014-08-11), ...) - ^z - 2019-10-26