Hi there, I’m Barry, The Practical Buddhist. My friends call me Baz and, yes, those are my big, bad, Buddha tattoos. I refer to the first one as my 6.5-hour exercise in intense mindfulness.
I got my first tattoo at 55 and now at 57 I have five. I just got the fifth one below -it’s part of my dharma-sleeve project.
I’m the founder of Buddhist Buddhism, a minimalist approach in which the robes and rituals of tradition are shed in favor of focusing solely on three active practices of meditation, mindfulness, and compassionate kindness.
I’m not a monk nor have I taken any monastic vows. I’m lay practitioner of Practical Buddhism, a phrase and movement I created in 2012. I’m on a path to achieve freedom from suffering and, as I said earlier, I’m on a mission to help others kick the habit of needless suffering, too. I do this through my writing and teaching.
My journey to Buddhism was a long and tortuous one. I was raised in the extremely conservative Southern Baptist denomination of Christianity, graduated with a science degree from a Christian university and later attended a Protestant seminary for a year.
My search for secular meaning in a religious world led me first to Kriya Yoga. I learned to practice meditation but the center where I attended relied too much on a supernatural deity.
Then I bought and read two books by Zen teacher, Steve Hagen – Buddhism Is Not What You Think and Meditation, Now or Never and instantly knew that Buddhism was not only the end of my searching, but only the beginning of my spiritual journey.
I guess you could say that Practical Buddhism is a derivative of Zen Buddhism in that its focus is extremely simple. If I had to sum it up in one thought it would be:
“Practical Buddhism is about being fully present, right now. You have an innate goodness that doesn’t need fixing. Be fully present in this moment and all those that come after.”
Join the Rebellion
I love the word rebellion. Whether is the galactic type (Star Wars nerd here) or the inner type, the metaphor is one that brings up images of a struggle against tyranny and oppression.
We are all being oppressed, but not by an evil Emperor from far, far away. Instead the societal mainstream torrent of consumerism, cut-throat violence, and all the suffering that we create around it oppresses us on a daily basis.
My mission to to create a worldwide movement of individuals liberated from suffering and building phenomenal lives, businesses, families, and anything else they can dream.
Pain in life may be certain, but suffering is optional
TPB is focused on helping you stop the endless cycle of reaction to pain in forms of worry, troubling thoughts, blame, violence, and guilt. You can stop the endless suffering.
My sweet spot
Writing and teaching are the areas in life and business that I feel most fulfilled. I’m the author of three books, including The Practical Buddhist: Buddhism Without the Robes & Ritual.