Watch “The Big Lebowski” and Abide

Verse 16

As you relax and enjoy watching “The Big Lebowski”, White Russian in hand, you’ll find the calm and peace you seek.  The simple act of focusing on the movie will bring clarity and balance, as your mind will momentarily cease to wander over the many disturbances that so often swirl through your brain.

Just as you’ve done while watching the movie, remember to simply relax and be calm.  Abide the ups and downs of life and welcome them all.  If others don’t understand how you can be so calm, if they suggest you should be more concerned or upset about things, remember that they have not studied the way of The Dude and do not yet understand how to abide.

Enjoy the simple pleasure of relaxation.  Partake of whatever methods help you achieve calmness.  Find your path to Dude-like behavior.  And remember, always, that even at times when you feel you have run out of patience and cannot stand the aggression around you, you still have the source of calmness within you, if you dig deeply.  Go to that source and restore your peace.

A Lesson

By Sunday, it had been a rough weekend.  Did a 5K on Friday morning, which left me sore all over.  Saturday, that soreness, plus some additional annoying pain, had me feeling entirely annoyed and short-tempered.  But, that evening was my monthly dance class, so I went and danced for 2 1/2 hours and stayed up late having dinner with friends afterward.  Come Sunday morning, I was feeling pretty bad.  But, it was time to bowl again.  Got up early and struggled to get my act together in time, only to find that my bowling partner had canceled on me.  I went to the alley, anyway, to find that 2015 leagues had started and there were no lanes available.  The guy at the front desk put my name at the top of a list for lanes and told me it would be about 20 minutes.  I waited 30, then went over to the counter with the intention of asking if Sundays were normally this busy.  When I got to the desk, I realized the guy was giving people lanes, but had never called my name for one.  Frustrated and upset, I walked out of the alley and sat in my car, trying to calm myself.  I used my phone to look up rates at other local alleys and got even more frustrated that some didn’t even list their rates, while all the ones that did were much more expensive than I’d have preferred.  I nearly cried, I was so frustrated by that point.  The weekend felt like nothing but a huge ball of annoyance.

I headed toward home, but decided to drive past and head down to a 24 hour alley that’s been around forever, but I’ve never been inside.  They had a deal; $12 for an hour of bowling.  I didn’t figure I’d get my money’s worth, but decided to do it, anyway. The alley was old and run down.  The scoring system looked like an old MS-DOS computer program.  The lanes looked okay, but old fashioned.  The balls were awful; pockmarked and likely to be unreliable.

I took this as an opportunity to abide.  I figured I’d just roll the best I could, relax, and be calm.  I ended up getting in 5 1/2 games in the hour, which definitely made the deal a good one.  I broke 100 on every game.  My third game, I rolled a 161!  My personal best, by far!  Two games later, I rolled a 140.  My best prior to that day was 116.  Amazing!

This definitely gave me an important lesson in abiding.  Because I decided to let go of the frustration of the weekend and my worries about the alley, I was able to relax and roll calmly.  I thought of nothing but my game, and I found greater focus and ability because of it.  Even with all the issues at the alley, and the terrible balls, I was able to do my absolute best.  This is a lesson I must remember and apply in my daily life.  If I remain calm and abide, I will find greater focus and ability.


Our Dudefathers

Verse 15, Great Dudes in History

Here’s my take:

Those who mastered Dudeism before us had knowledge of how to abide and be calm that we can only aspire to. Compared to them, we roll like beginners.

Because we can’t understand all that they knew, we can only consider how they behaved, which will serve as a guide to us.

They took care and did not allow themselves to become unbalanced because of the world around them. They found unique ways to calmness. They thought deeply, delving into the dark mysteries of their minds. They exhibited simple genuineness and an appreciation for the basic pleasures in life. They refrained from muddying their minds and remained open to new ideas. They were people of substance who brought joy to others.

So, we must learn to remain calm, even while embroiled in difficult situations. We must refrain from becoming unbalanced by the actions of others. We should not desire rewards for our actions, nor should we feed the base desires of others. By doing these things, we can find a sense of calm to help us through our daily lives.


Next up in the Dude De Ching: Tying the Room Together

To recap:

The calmness of Dudeism is not something that can be seen, heard or touched. It’s an ethereal idea that we can picture in our minds, hear the peaceful sounds of in our heads, and imagine the feel of in our hearts.

The concept of calmness has no end, no definite name or designation, it has many aspects that make it seem complicated, although it is not so. Often, as you reach calmness, it begins to elude you. But, as you lose calmness, you will begin to see new ways of reaching it. There are many ideas about how to reach calmness, but you must find the way within yourself; though others may attempt to instruct you, you must follow your own path.

Calmness is a concept that endures through all that life throws your way. It has stretched across all human history and continues into the future. However, it is not a concrete idea that has been passed down, but rather an idea that is individual to each person who seeks it.

The calmness of Dudeism is found by letting go of regrets of the past, letting go of worries for the future, and finding peace in where you are at the moment. By doing this, you can find continual peace in your life.

And Proud We Are of All of Them

Ran a Star Wars themed 5K on Friday the 16th.  This was my seventh 5K in the last few years.  Back when I signed up to do my first one, I followed one of those couch-to-5K programs, which actually worked and got this total non-runner up to running 28 minutes straight.  According to the program, that should have been a 5K.  Obviously, I’m a much slower runner than the program took into account, because I wasn’t at 3.1 miles in that time! Unfortunately, I hurt my knees while running on a treadmill and could hardly walk for a few days.  Went to the doctor, who was a good man and thorough, and he told me my knees would eventually recover, but that I wasn’t meant to run.  That was fine by me.

I adapted and did that first 5K with a run/walk system.  I used a timing watch to regulate when and how long I’d run.  Worked out great.  I felt quite accomplished when I crossed that finish line.  After that, I only signed up for races that provided a finisher’s medal to all participants who completed the race.  I felt I should get something besides a commemorative t-shirt for my effort!  Now, I’ve got a medal that looks like a surfboard, one with the Angels baseball logo, three with Disney characters, one Avengers, and one Star Wars.  It’s good to live near the Disney parks, so I can take advantage of their themed events.

Now when I run a race, which is pretty rare, I don’t bother with the watch.  I just fast walk the course and throw a few spurts of running in, when I feel that I can do it.  I start running when I’m ready and I stop when I’m ready to, usually a couple minutes later.  I finished the race this week in about 47 minutes, which I think might be a personal best for me (forgot to time the race prior to this).  That’s pretty cool.  When I did a few without any running, they took me close to an hour.  I got to spend my time with a friend and we both got nifty C3PO medals.  What more could you want?  Oh, and we had a great breakfast afterward!  Now that’s an awesome morning.

It’s all about adapting, abiding, and getting on with things.  Do what feels good and don’t worry about what other people think you should/shouldn’t be doing, or how they think you ought to proceed.  Be calm, have fun, and enjoy yourself, even when you’re running uphill.


Dude, Calm

Part 13b of the Dude De Ching

My take on it:

The Dude, being a Sage of Dudeism, has many quotes in “The Big Lebowski” that remind us to be more Dude-like.

He reminds us to stop worrying about everything, because life will happen as it is destined to happen, regardless of whether we worry or not. So, why waste time and energy in worry? Just let it happen.

He reminds us that even in situations where there is some foundation for our concern, we have to just relax and be calm. By getting worked up and focusing only on the problem, we do nothing but create a negative atmosphere, which is not helpful to finding solutions.

He reminds us that even as The Dude, he sometimes gets caught up in negative, narrow thinking. Even he has to find ways to relax and calm his mind. So, we shouldn’t be upset when we get caught up in that kind of thinking. We should recognize it and attempt to find calmness.

We all know that we must abide both the positives and negatives of life, without allowing either to unbalance our minds and emotions.

We also know that life continues on, no matter how apprehensive we may be about the future. Worrying will not stop the future from happening.

Everyone deals with these issues and we must all help each other to relax.

We must, especially, take care to retain our own balance and remind ourselves to abide.

Doing the Impossible

Had a pretty decent day of bowling on the 14th.  Thought I was on track for my highest scoring game ever, but it sort of fizzled near the end.  Still, got a solid 113, so that’s in keeping with my normal scoring range.

I also managed to do the impossible.  When a friend and I went down to Fountain Bowl a few weeks ago and attended the clinic with pro Barry Asher, we heard him tell another bowler that it was impossible for the ball to come off your fingers during your wind-up and end up hitting the wood behind you.  Well, I did it.  Didn’t even feel it happening.  Wasn’t like I thought, “Oh no, I don’t have a good finger grip!”.  Luckily, I don’t have a big back swing, so it just sort of came off my fingers and hit the deck.  No ball flying wildly through the air or anything.  Not too many people, other than my bowling partner, to see it.  But those who did see it made sure to make a joke about it.  Which was fine with me, I was laughing so hard.

You have to be able to laugh at yourself and your mistakes.  Everyone makes mistakes.  No need to get caught up worrying about what went wrong or thinking about what others might think of you because of it.  Just pick yourself up, laugh about it, and move on.  After all, life is just a series of strikes and gutters.  If you can’t enjoy the gutters, how will you possibly appreciate the strikes?


Always Learn, Always Teach

Part 13a of the Dude De Ching

Here’s what I get from it:

Those considered Sages have often repeated the idea that life is a series of ups and downs, strikes and gutters, wins and losses.

We should pay attention to what they have to say, because they have experience beyond our own, which can serve to guide us in our own journeys. While considering their words, we also need to appreciate those who serve as Sages in our lives for their differences from us, as well as their willingness to share their mistakes and triumphs so that we may learn from them.

By learning from our Sages, we apply their knowledge to our own experiences and, in turn, become Sages to others by sharing the further lessons we have learned.

We share our experiences and the lessons we have learned about life, so others can apply them to their lives and, in turn, become Sages in the future.

We all guide each other and continue contributing to the sum of human experience and understanding.

By thinking of the world of people around us as fellow students, as well as fellow teachers, we enjoy the opportunity to constantly learn and grow from not only our own experiences, but those of others. We will be able to view both victories and defeats as important lessons, all of which have value in creating a rich, peaceful life.

By understanding others and not judging them, we are open to learning all we can, so we may pass along greater lessons to those who listen.

Be Quiet

Check out Verse 12 of the Dude De Ching

My take:

Focusing on unnecessary details serves to destroy the clarity of thought, as it muddles our mind with useless worry.

Speaking to others with sharpness deafens them to your words, as they will stop listening to your meanness.

Living without risk creates a life that is boring and without color.

But, always attempting to live in too large a manner will make you unable to appreciate the reward of quiet moments.

When quiet reflection is regarded with fear, everyone will shout and chatter, losing the ability to hear others and create cooperation.

A well-lived life is one that fulfills us internally. It does not require us to fill others with our own ideas.

Internal fulfillment works hand-in-hand with abiding, to bring us calmness.


Verse 11, “No Bottom”

At times, I may be pushed into doing things I would not normally do, because of people who do not understand me or do not care who they harm.

I may have to conduct myself in ways that feel untrue to me or that seem to deceive others in some way.

Through doing these things, I am being deceived not only by others, but by myself. In these cases, I must consider why I am allowing others to dictate my behavior, rather than being true to myself.

But, I must remember that even if I do such things, I am still myself and I can still return to Dudeism.

It may be helpful to meditate on these ideas:

The container is useful only when it carries contents.

The pieces that are missing are sometimes what create a useful whole.

The parts of life that are unexpected or unwanted are often the parts that make it complete.

While events may seem random, they are the stuff of each person’s wonderful life story.

I may not be rich and famous, but I have wealth and value that exceed those trappings.