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Twin Peak’s Agent Dale Cooper is my favorite Buddhist character is Western culture. Here is the scene in which Agent Cooper uses the “Tibetan method” in order to figure out who exactly out of a group of suspects is in need of further investigation. In this scene, a Lynchian classic, the so-called Tibetan method involves an idea that came to Agent Cooper in a dream: he sets a bottle on a tree stump, announces in sequence the names of various the suspects, then throws a rock at the bottle. So each seemingly random throw of the rock is associated with a name, and the idea is that when the rock breaks the bottle, the murderer is revealed. Here is the scene:
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This scene dramatizes the idea of valuing intuition (Cooper articulates how he trusts his instincts), dreams (the idea for the method came to Cooper in his dream), mind/body coordination (he thinks of the name as he throws the rock), and the significance (or auspiciousness) of certain seemingly random physical phenomena (in other words, if the bottle breaks, the name of the culprit is revealed).
This particular scene is merely a playful, imaginative, and quirky representation of Buddhist thought, while the character of Agent Cooper himself is in my opinion a fantastic Buddhist character. His six paramita practice is impeccable, his ethics and mindfulness (or concentration) in particular. Throughout the show, Cooper is shown reading books about Tibet and performing various meditations (such as hanging from the ceiling) in his hotel room. He is deeply in touch with his subconscious, both his gut instincts and his dreams, and he values the information he gets from such sources. Moreover, Agent Cooper is just a hell of a guy: contagiously cheerful, perpetually present, and deeply compassionate. And he’s got quite a sense of humor about the darker side of life! The man is on the path—here’s to Agent Dale Cooper!

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