By Ty H. Phillips
What can I say about Gerry Striblings, Buddhism for Dudes?
To start with, it was right up my alley. Free from dogma, judgments, cultural worship and just straight to the point, simple, open and glorious wisdom in a tiny pocket-sized book. He mentions fishing several times and that’s exactly what I pictured in my head: sitting on a dock, rod cast, sitting back and reading this delightful tome between casts.
The book starts, as do many in the field of Buddhism, with a basic explanation of the Buddha and his life. Unlike many, it is devoid of the nonsense and grandeur that the Buddha himself would have dismissed as foolishness, but instead offers a real human look—man to man.
Stribling moves right into the core of Buddhism by taking the four noble truths and eightfold path and turning them into a field guide for men and how not to be—well, a dick. His wit, humor, insight from his years in the military, and his comparative knowledge between faiths was refreshing and made for light and truly uplifting reading.
All teachings and seriousness aside, what I truly enjoyed about Stribling’s book, was his man-to-man manner.
He comes right out in the beginning and says basically, I’m a dude, writing for dudes. It was his manner, his lack of pretense and holier-than-thou approach that makes it worth reading.
Buddhism for Dudes is not a teaching manual. It is not a several hundred page exhaustive text on the ritual and nuance of modern Buddhist theology and quite frankly, that’s why the book is good. It removes everything that we have added to Buddhism, everything the Buddha said, “Hey, don’t do this,”and tosses it aside.
Stribling wasn’t disrespectful in doing so, he was real. He was connected as an everyday man to everyday men. I appreciated every page and I think you will too.
Now, if you don’t mind, I’m gonna go fishing.
Photo: Wisdom Publications
Editor: Dana Gornall