“The Dude abides” — Meaning, Context, and Practice

Finding the right mantra is an important step to finding inner peace. A personal philosophy must be short, sweet, and easy to follow. Y’know, brevity, that whole thing. Nobody knows this fact better than The Dude from The Big Lebowski.

For The Dude, there is only one way to go through life, and that’s to remember a simple rule: The Dude abides. Life will always give you strikes and gutters, the ups and the downs, but you just have to bowl with the punches. Just tell yourself, The Dude abides. But what exactly does “The Dude abides” mean? Here, let’s break it down into four easy steps.


“The Dude abides” meaning:

Before we get into The Dude’s four easy steps, let’s first look at the mantra itself. To abide something is to follow it, to obey the rules. But when The Dude says it, he doesn’t mean being a square or listening to the man. When you abide, you go with the flow. You accept life as it comes. And if there’s anything that The Dude will always do, it’s go with the flow.

Of course, there’s also the man behind the mantra, The Dude, AKA Duder, or His Dudeness, or even El Duderino if you’re feeling chatty. Let’s get one thing straight, though — he’s not Mr. Lebowski. He’s Dude-r than that. His name itself tells you everything you need to know. The Dude doesn’t get caught up in all that fancy stuff. He’s an easy-going guy. Which reminds us…


1. Take it easy.

It doesn’t matter what day it is, just take it easy. Sit back, relax, and enjoy whatever makes you happy. But whatever you do, don’t call it nihilism. That’s almost worse than pacifism. Yikes.


2. Aggression will not stand.

Look back at Rule #1. You gotta take it easy, man. Nobody wants to deal with aggression. Around these parts, aggression just won’t stand. Probably because it’s too busy taking it easy, y’know?


3. Don’t live in the past.

Listen, the past is the past and there’s no reason to keep dwelling on it. It’s over. Finito, kaput, donezo. The best way to forget the past is to live in the now. Plus, if you know how to relax the right way, you won’t remember the past anyway.


4. Keep your mind limber.

Keeping your mind limber is important. Your mind, like a good rug, ties it all together. Why be a square when you can be your own shape? Just take it easy, man. Far out.


The Dude offers many wise quotes in The Big Lebowski to help make sure you keep it Dude. And when all else fails, enjoy a nice bowl. Since The Dude abides, you can interpret that piece of advice however you’d like.

After you check out The Dude Sixth Scale Figure (His Dudeness comes with a rug-themed base, a bowling ball, some refreshing beverages, and more), you can pick out a fine art print from The Big Lebowski to tie your collection together.

Then, let us know what you think “The Dude abides” means and keep the conversation going over at side.show/geekgroup. And don’t forget to Let Your Dude Sideshow!