Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Dude calmly abides

From an excellent Utne Reader interview with Jeff Bridges, discussing a range of meat-and-potatoes topics, from Buddhadharma and Jesus to acting and feeding hungry kids to just sitting as a key component of both the spiritual path and the taking of a shit:

I noticed I had a resistance [to committing to do something to help children suffering from hunger] because I wanted to do other things with my time besides help people. So I said, Well, maybe let both of those things exist at the same time.
It’s like this. Preparing for a role, sometimes I’ll have to get in shape fast, lose a lot of weight. But I don’t want to work out so hard the first couple days that I’m sore and I don’t like it. I thought I would apply the same thing to this hunger work. I would go toward the light, so to speak, but if it got too bright and too intense, ’cause basically what it’s asking you is Be Jesus, be Buddha—give. And I’m not there. I’m not light yet. [Changes to a higher voice.] So just because you’re not there yet, are you not going to do it? [Cocks his head.] So I go toward the light, and if my selfishness comes up too much I’ll stop for a second. And then I’ll take little baby steps toward it. I like to experiment with myself, to go against habitual self-gratification. And then you try it and you say [high voice], Oh, hey, I kind of got off when I did that. That kind of felt good! It’s like taking a shit. Sometimes it’s best to just pick up a magazine and get in there and sit, rather than aaaaargh [mock straining]. It’ll kink up that way.

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