Reviews by Alex T. of Cambridge, MA
Buddha – ⭐⭑⭑⭑⭑
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: super rich guy leaves his wife and kids, goes on an insane diet, and then discovers the key to everything is chilling under a tree in the shade. Srsly? What about the wife?
Buddhism – ⭐⭐⭐⭑⭑
Oh wait, there’s like a method to chilling in the shade? And 500 million people around the world do it? And you can get like, spiritual credit for it and people will think you are all wise and holy because you are just sitting around? Yeah I’ll give it a whirl. 🙏😇
Zen – ⭐⭑⭑⭑⭑
The presentation is clean and crisp, but is someone here colorblind? I mean, would it hurt to add a little pop of neon somewhere?
You know what did hurt? When the bald guy whacked me with the stick. That was just about the only part I liked. However the bald guy did not seem to like it when I said, “Thank you sir may I have another!” Nor did he like it when I asked, “Why so serious?” He wasn’t fazed in the slightest. He never smiled! Well, actually, it seemed like his eyes were smiling, but that tweaked me out, because it seemed like they were smiling at me. Wouldn’t go back.
Incense – ⭐⭐⭐⭑⭑
Remember when you were a kid and you sniffed all the markers and ended up with a rainbow colored tip of the nose? Well incense is kind of like the adult version of that minus the rainbow nose. The scents are varied and quite sophisticated. But my wife complained that one of them smelled like Indian food. What’s the problem with that, I asked? She was adamant that the smell of Indian food, though delicious, should not permeate your home. I was like, who wouldn’t want to bask in that smell all the time? I would give that incense five stars. She’d only give it one. Hence, I have split the difference. 2.5 stars.
Compassion – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭑
What if I told you that you could pretend to be kind to people, and then they would treat you really well in return, and then you’d have all these good feelings from that, and you’d continue to pretend to be kind to people, only now maybe you actually weren’t totally pretending, and these good feelings kept intensifying, and one day you found yourself like, sort of weeping from the seemingly inexhaustible well of kindness that you were discovering, and the way that kindness could actually vibrate each strand of the web of your relations, and each strand of the webs of those relations, and so on, until you saw that being kind was not just a means for attaining good feelings but a way to connect with all the strands that exist, have existed, and will exist?
Happened to someone I know. I’m still in the pretending to be kind stage.
Mindfulness – ⭐⭑⭑⭑⭑
So this is like, a super watered down version of Buddhism? You just sit around and no one actually thinks you are wise and holy? All of the work but none of the spiritual credit? You just… notice stuff? I noticed it was boring. Would much rather get whacked by the stick. Of course, that would entail seeing the bald guy again. No thanks.
Robes – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭑
You know what they say: once you go robes you’ll never go back. There are so many things to like about the airy, flowing, freedom of a robe. You can sit, you can squat, you can leap, and nothing is ever constricted. It is the ultimate garment for chilling in the shade.
There is one drawback, for which I had to detract a star. When you go to the bathroom, there is like a five percent chance that you will accidentally tuck part of your robe in your briefs, and exit the bathroom unawares that your backside is totally exposed, until you realize that the airiness is a bit too airy, and the freedom is a bit too free. It, uh, also happened to some I know.
Tibetan Buddhism – ⭐⭐⭐⭑⭑
Lions, tigers, garudas, dragons… oh my! Finally, some color! Although a tad garish at times, I’m really drawn to the brightness. They know how to make mindfulness a real party. So much so that at times I was like, wait, what about the mindfulness? Still, ain’t no party like a Tibetan Buddhist party.
Gongs – ⭐⭐⭑⭑⭑
More like 2.5 stars. I could hit gongs all day. Some make a real epic like, bwa-wa-wang reverberation type sound, while others soothe you with a radiant dinnnnng. My wife is a fan of neither. You see where I’m going with this.
Emptiness – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭑
At first I was like, okay major scam. There is nothing here! I get that it’s empty, but at the same time, I was hoping to see the emptiness, like looking into a cup that has nothing in it. There it is, the emptiness is in the cup. But there’s not even a cup. I mean, that’s ridiculous. But then I started thinking about how relaxing it was to not even have to find the cup. It was like, I didn’t have to look for anything at all, since there was nothing to even find.
I don’t know though, part of me still thinks this is a major scam. But, I guess it’s a scam that I don’t mind being scammed by? It’s very hard to describe and I can’t recommend to all, but I like it.
Enlightenment – ⭐⭑⭑⭑⭑
Definitely a scam. Is this it?
Oh wait, oh my god, ohhh I see…
Enlightenment – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Yes, this is it.
Alex Tzelnic is a writer and Zen practitioner living in Cambridge, MA. He believes Yelp is the perfect digital example of suffering (⭐⭑⭑⭑⭑), the cessation of suffering (⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐), and everything in between.