Zen master Bernie Glassman compares Jeff Bridges’s iconic role in The Big Lebowski to a Lamed-Vavnik: one of the men in Jewish mysticism who “are simple and unassuming, and so good that, on account of them, God lets the world go on.” His buddy Jeff puts it another way. The wonderful thing about the Dude, he says, is that he’d always rather hug it out than slug it out. Bernie Glassman founded the Zen Community of New York, which later became Zen Peacemakers, an international order of social activists. A longtime Zen teacher, he also founded the Greyston Mandala, a network of for-profits and not-for-profits creating jobs, housing, and programs to support individuals and their families on their path to self-sufficiency.
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