A Buddha walks into a Bar
Lodro Rinzler is not your typical spirituality teacher. The New Yorker was labeled by the Boston Phoenix like "the cool kid's Buddhist" and for a good reason.
His book The Buddha Walks into a Bar... a guide to life for a new generation can be read as a field guide to the realms of an alternative and fresh way to understand Buddhism. Or as the author states in the introduction: "this isn't your grandmother's book on meditation".
Rinzler argues that the Buddhist dharma is not to be looked as some obscure tome that needs to be analyzed, on the contrary, it is meant to be lived.
One of the most interesting practices he teaches is manifesting the qualities of the tiger. Following the Tibetan Buddhism tradition he recommends that, in order to contact our basic goodness, we can manifest certain animals - also called dignities - into ourselves.
There are 3 primary qualities that the tiger embodies that can be applied both to our daily routine and to our meditation practice:
The best thing we can do is not to be hard on ourselves or beat ourselves up - Maybe it's time to bring on some warm gentleness to our thoughts.
Like the animal walking through the jungle observing his surroundings, we can do the same in our life by simply reflecting on our daily activities. After a while, we can learn about our habitual patterns and try to cut off the bad ones.
The path of self-reflection is not always quiet, we can find some turbulences in the way. The best thing we can do is not to be hard on ourselves or beat ourselves up. As Rinzler says: it is better to take a "good buddy" approach. We tend to be our worst critics, sometimes even rating our performances with 1 star out of 5. Maybe it's time to bring on some warm gentleness to our thoughts.
The tiger places each paw with care when he's moving through the wilderness. We should try to do the same and be present and aware to our environment. Within a few days it will lead to a sense of things and thoughts slowing down and to a feeling that we are gaining precision.