Awesome news: my dear old college friend Dan Ewen, the noted screenwriter and comedian, and his friend Tom Richner (a longtime artist for The Simpsons) have designed an amazing T-shirt that both honors the Buddhist connection to The Big Lebowski and benefits Buddhist Global Relief with 10% of each sale. You can buy one right here.
Dan wrote to me awhile back asking me what one Buddhist charity I would make a donation to if I had a bunch of money, and I said Buddhist Global Relief – the visionary, Buddhist-inspired humanitarian organization that contributes to relief and justice efforts worldwide, and does, I think, a truly extraordinary job of it. Bhikkhu Bodhi, founder of BGR, is a friend I’ve mentioned before: I’ve interviewed him many times in the past, and you can find those interviews here, here, here, here, here, and here.
The Big Lebowski is, of course, Joel and Ethan Coen’s 1998 cult classic which tells an absurd, Chandler-esque L.A. detective story of sorts. It’s also been co-opted by Buddhists as part of the canon of “Buddhist films.” Earlier this year, I was honored to serve as moderator for a conversation with the film’s Academy Award-winning star Jeff Bridges and Zen master Bernie Glassman for the Library Foundation of Los Angeles’ [ALOUD] series. The two were promoting a new book they wrote together about Zen and The Big Lebowski entitled The Dude and the Zen Master. You can listen to the conversation in podcast form, as well as watch it on video at Vimeo.
Anyway, I was thrilled to see what Dan (who is not only one of the funniest guys I know, but one of the sweetest too) and Tom did, and I hope you’ll buy a shirt. If you love Buddhism and film, and want to benefit good works being done by Buddhists, then this is the shirt for you! Again, you can buy one right here.