By Lodro Rinzler
Shambhala Publications, $14.95, 207 pages

Author Lodro Rinzler attempts something unconventional: describing a “Western Buddhism” that would appeal to new college graduates who are beginning careers. His timing is fortunate due to the current economic and social world creating more turmoil in the lives of this group than perhaps any other.

Rinzler’s writing, a light touch infused with irreverence, comes across as a bit too relaxed to capture the emotional quality of a rich commitment to Buddhism. But, he succeeds at creating an infectious habit of mindfulness, neither austere nor indulgent, that emerges from people’s willingness to “engage and confront their habitual way of relating to the world.” His focus on practice rather than belief makes for an easy read, full of his constant encouragement for the self-care and inner-work needed to sustain Buddhism. The Buddha Walks into a Bar will not reveal anything deep about how to live your life, but the book will engage you in thinking more productively about it.

Reviewed by Neil Liss