The Dalai Lama is not the only one taking a Zen approach to Donald Trump’s election.
The Dude is feeling a little Buddhist about it too.
Earlier in the week, his holiness suggested that Trump would be just fine in office, telling an audience in Mongolia that he had “no worries” about the 45th president.
Turns out Jeff Bridges, he of Lebowski-ian repose, has a similar attitude.
The actor, who is out on the Oscar circuit campaigning for his dramatic thriller, Hell or High Water, thinks hand-wringing over the real-estate mogul’s victory is premature, even misguided.
“I’ve got a lot of high hopes.” Bridges told The Times in a phone interview. “I can’t help but have a lot of concerns. Fears and concerns are also bubbling up inside me. But I also have high hopes.”
During the campaign, Bridges was a Clinton supporter (“I don’t go the Trump way,” he said in June), while just after the election he was wryly critical of the president-elect. (“There were some wonderful things [in his acceptance speech] -- if you took it out of context.”)
But the actor said he was now feeling optimistic.
“I’m rooting for the guy. I’m hoping all this behaviour he used to get to be president will change once he is president,” Bridges said.
The Oscar winner suggested that reading tea leaves over particular policies or Cabinet appointments — Ben Carson as potential Housing and Urban Development secretary is the latest — wasn’t very productive.
“The thing is, you never know,” Bridges said. “Being an actor I can stoke my fears and magnify different things. The challenge for us is not to get cynical.”
He then offered up a Buddhist personality of a different sort.
“Do you know the story of the Zen farmer?” he asked.
Bridges told a (somewhat) abridged version of the fable, in which a farmer takes a laid-back approach as events in his life that seem to be bad turn out to be good (a mare runs away but returns with a black stallion) and vice versa (the farmer’s son breaks his legs riding said horse).
“Every time the neighbour comes and says to the farmer, ‘Isn’t that good luck or [is that] bad luck?’ the farmer says, ‘We’ll see,’” Bridges said. “And we will see.”