20 Jeff Bridges Quotes on Zen, Dreaming and Dude-ness

Well, today (the day of this writing) is Jeff Bridge’s birthday! And we love Jeff Bridges. (Really, who doesn’t?) The iconic actor has not only been one of Hollywood’s most prolific players over the last 40 years, but one of its most sage voices for reason and compassion both within the industry and without. A long-time practitioner of TM, he’s no stranger to the lighter side of things, if you catch our drift.

Those who’ve worked with him over the years have almost nothing but good things to say about him, and his list of charitable work is long and plentiful. Despite this inherent reputation as such a good guy, however, he’s somehow managed to not lose his edginess and attraction to audiences worldwide. He’s just got that something.

On that note, here are 20 Jeff Bridges quotes on Zen, Dreaming and ‘Dude-ness’. Or should we say “20 niceties from the dude who played the dude”? Either way, here are some of his best gems. A number of them are from his book “The Dude and The Zen Master”, co-authored with Bernie Glassman, which, if you haven’t read yet, you should. You can find it here.

Live like you’re already dead, man. Have a good time. Do your best. Let it all come ripping right through you.

If you’re going to wait to get all the information you think you need before you act, you’ll never act because there’s an infinite amount of information out there. 

Thoughts will change and shift just like the wind and the water when you’re on the boat; thoughts are no different than anything else.

If you open your heart, then the object of your love becomes so precious because you are so open. And that philosophy, that caring, spreads.

A famous Japanese Zen master, Hakuun Yasutani Roshi, said that unless you can explain Zen in words that a fisherman will comprehend, you don’t know what you’re talking about. Some fifty years ago a UCLA professor told me the same thing about applied mathematics. We like to hide from the truth behind foreign-sounding words or mathematical lingo. There’s a saying: The truth is always encountered but rarely perceived. If we don’t perceive it, we can’t help ourselves and we can’t much help anyone else.

You don’t want to do what your parents want you to do. You got your own things. And the whole idea of getting a job because of who your father is — that just isn’t right.

I’m always busy, but I’m lazy as well.

I love seeing somebody act real earnest and serious, like Jackie Gleason. He makes me laugh because he reflects back to me my own serious-mindedness and how ridiculous it all is. It’s always easier to see somebody else in that position than yourself, and you laugh. It’s like the classic slipping on the banana peel, or someone getting hit by a pie in the face. Why do those things make us laugh? Is it from relief, like: Thank God it wasn’t me? Or is it something else: I’m being very serious now. I’m pontificating earnestly and solemnly about—POW! PIE IN THE FACE! The bust-up of certainty.

I had years of partying, and I was kind of surprised and happy I survived it all. Now, being a parent, I look back on it thinking, Oh God, the things you did!
 
Sobriety and health is the greatest thing.
 
35 million people in the U.S. are hungry or don’t know where their next meal is coming from, and 13 million of them are children. If another country were doing this to our children, we’d be at war.
 
Poverty is a very complicated issue, but feeding a child isn’t.
 
It’s not enough just to treat women well. We have to work to make sure all men treat women well.

Hope’s interesting, isn’t it? I can’t turn hope off, it’s hopeless.

You’ve got to take care of yourself on the path, not just when you cross the goal line, because don’t forget, wherever you are, that’s the goal line. 
 

Always maintain a joyful mind. Appreciate the struggles as opportunities to wake up.
 
Some people say you have to work with everything, but there’s a time and a place. If it feels like a knot, wait. It will come up again when you and the universe are ready.
 

All this is nothing but space to be danced in. There’s no need to feel harnessed or limited in any way . . . When the Dude is not in, life just blossoms.
 
Up in the morning, go to the bathroom, pee, brush your teeth, look in the mirror, and laugh at yourself. Do it every morning to start off the day, as a practice.
 
The word happiness comes from “to happen.”

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