Hot Best Seller

Dharma Punx: A Memoir

Availability: Ready to download

Fueled by the music of revolution, anger, fear, and despair, we dyed our hair or shaved our heads ... Eating acid like it was candy and chasing speed with cheap vodka, smoking truckloads of weed, all in a vain attempt to get numb and stay numb. This is the story of a young man and a generation of angry youths who rebelled against their parents and the unfulfilled promise of Fueled by the music of revolution, anger, fear, and despair, we dyed our hair or shaved our heads ... Eating acid like it was candy and chasing speed with cheap vodka, smoking truckloads of weed, all in a vain attempt to get numb and stay numb. This is the story of a young man and a generation of angry youths who rebelled against their parents and the unfulfilled promise of the sixties. As with many self-destructive kids, Noah Levine's search for meaning led him first to punk rock, drugs, drinking, and dissatisfaction. But the search didn't end there. Having clearly seen the uselessness of drugs and violence, Noah looked for positive ways to channel his rebellion against what he saw as the lies of society. Fueled by his anger at so much injustice and suffering, Levine now uses that energy and the practice of Buddhism to awaken his natural wisdom and compassion. While Levine comes to embrace the same spiritual tradition as his father, bestselling author Stephen Levine, he finds his most authentic expression in connecting the seemingly opposed worlds of punk and Buddhism. As Noah Levine delved deeper into Buddhism, he chose not to reject the punk scene, instead integrating the two worlds as a catalyst for transformation. Ultimately, this is an inspiring story about maturing, and how a hostile and lost generation is finally finding its footing. This provocative report takes us deep inside the punk scene and moves from anger, rebellion, and self-destruction, to health, service to others, and genuine spiritual growth.


Compare

Fueled by the music of revolution, anger, fear, and despair, we dyed our hair or shaved our heads ... Eating acid like it was candy and chasing speed with cheap vodka, smoking truckloads of weed, all in a vain attempt to get numb and stay numb. This is the story of a young man and a generation of angry youths who rebelled against their parents and the unfulfilled promise of Fueled by the music of revolution, anger, fear, and despair, we dyed our hair or shaved our heads ... Eating acid like it was candy and chasing speed with cheap vodka, smoking truckloads of weed, all in a vain attempt to get numb and stay numb. This is the story of a young man and a generation of angry youths who rebelled against their parents and the unfulfilled promise of the sixties. As with many self-destructive kids, Noah Levine's search for meaning led him first to punk rock, drugs, drinking, and dissatisfaction. But the search didn't end there. Having clearly seen the uselessness of drugs and violence, Noah looked for positive ways to channel his rebellion against what he saw as the lies of society. Fueled by his anger at so much injustice and suffering, Levine now uses that energy and the practice of Buddhism to awaken his natural wisdom and compassion. While Levine comes to embrace the same spiritual tradition as his father, bestselling author Stephen Levine, he finds his most authentic expression in connecting the seemingly opposed worlds of punk and Buddhism. As Noah Levine delved deeper into Buddhism, he chose not to reject the punk scene, instead integrating the two worlds as a catalyst for transformation. Ultimately, this is an inspiring story about maturing, and how a hostile and lost generation is finally finding its footing. This provocative report takes us deep inside the punk scene and moves from anger, rebellion, and self-destruction, to health, service to others, and genuine spiritual growth.

30 review for Dharma Punx: A Memoir

  1. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    It's hard to read a memoir when halfway through you decide the author is a dick. His message is great -- he transformed his life and began to help others after a horrendous road as a Crusty -- on the street, using whatever drugs he could find, immersed in the CA Punk scene. He got sober, got a teacher, and is now himself teaching Buddhism. But he's still kind of a dick. It's hard to read a memoir when halfway through you decide the author is a dick. His message is great -- he transformed his life and began to help others after a horrendous road as a Crusty -- on the street, using whatever drugs he could find, immersed in the CA Punk scene. He got sober, got a teacher, and is now himself teaching Buddhism. But he's still kind of a dick.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Spencer

    Much like author Noah Levine, I have also been trying to cultivate a more positive mindset. So instead of a hate-filled review of this terrible, terrible book, here's a picture of a baby unicorn nuzzling a kitten: Much like author Noah Levine, I have also been trying to cultivate a more positive mindset. So instead of a hate-filled review of this terrible, terrible book, here's a picture of a baby unicorn nuzzling a kitten:

  3. 5 out of 5

    Gary

    I noticed that this book gets a lot of one star and a lot of five star reviews. I have read several of these reviews. I decided that the book is very meaningful to someone who can relate to the author and the poor reviews are (seem to be) looking at the book from a literary view. There seems to be a lot of emoting with many of the reviews good and bad. I like this. Divide and conquer, I have read many books that have pissed me off, what power the book must have! When I first started reading this I noticed that this book gets a lot of one star and a lot of five star reviews. I have read several of these reviews. I decided that the book is very meaningful to someone who can relate to the author and the poor reviews are (seem to be) looking at the book from a literary view. There seems to be a lot of emoting with many of the reviews good and bad. I like this. Divide and conquer, I have read many books that have pissed me off, what power the book must have! When I first started reading this I was angry at what I felt was being "manipulated" into reading it. At first I was amused and irritated with the author, I was pretty sure that I had the book "figured out from the beginning". When I finished the book I realised that it was pretty cool. These were the memoirs of a drug addict (I didn't notice any spelling errors, that would be a discredit to the publisher), not a "literary masterpiece". I really do like how the book was written, it is very accessable which I think that it should be. If you can't relate to the author, then enjoy the stories that he tells, respect the meaning and get on with your life. I have not struggled with drugs and alcoholism, but I did grow up with many of the same attitudes and interests as the author and it was nice to read about someone who shares a few outlooks as I do.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Max

    A staggeringly bad book. If you can get past all the spelling mistakes and grammatical errors you will find nothing interesting about this privileged son's journey. Another shithead loser who somehow thinks that people need to hear about his adventures in narcissism. A staggeringly bad book. If you can get past all the spelling mistakes and grammatical errors you will find nothing interesting about this privileged son's journey. Another shithead loser who somehow thinks that people need to hear about his adventures in narcissism.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Socket Klatzker

    This book was so obnoxious. I am happy that Noah Levine eventually found his way- but what a pompous ass while doing so. His rendition of Punk rock is devoid of any politics. He comes off at best as a womanizer, at worst a misogynist. Definitely oblivious, not enlightened. I don't buy it at all. This book was so obnoxious. I am happy that Noah Levine eventually found his way- but what a pompous ass while doing so. His rendition of Punk rock is devoid of any politics. He comes off at best as a womanizer, at worst a misogynist. Definitely oblivious, not enlightened. I don't buy it at all.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Thorin

    I gave up on this book last night. I was on page 190. I can't remember the last time that I did that. The book starts out in the punk scene of Santa Cruz in the 80's; being from there I found that interesting and enjoyable. I also enjoyed and was even slightly inspired by the transformation that he found with his spirituality. . . Until I got to about page 180. At this point the book becomes (pretty much exclusively) a list of countries and retreats that the author visited—dropping names of the I gave up on this book last night. I was on page 190. I can't remember the last time that I did that. The book starts out in the punk scene of Santa Cruz in the 80's; being from there I found that interesting and enjoyable. I also enjoyed and was even slightly inspired by the transformation that he found with his spirituality. . . Until I got to about page 180. At this point the book becomes (pretty much exclusively) a list of countries and retreats that the author visited—dropping names of the all the very important spiritual gurus that he practiced with. I know very little about Buddhism, Hinduism and Dharma but from what I understand, one of the main ideas is the letting go of the ego. How ironic that this author goes to such lengths to show how amazing of a guy he is. This book is all about how a privileged kid with highly connected parents and no financial responsibility can find enlightenment despite having been rebellious and addicted to drugs at an earlier age. Good for you dude. You are holier than me.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Gabrielle

    When I first read this book (eight or nine years ago), I loved it so much. It resonated with me in many ways: obviously, the wink to Kerouac in the title had gotten my attention, but I also felt like there was a weird similarity between my experience and some of Levine’s. His father, Stephen Levine is a Buddhist teacher, his parents were divorced and his mother was struggling with being a single mom. His rebellion against a broken home and an unavailable father led him to punk rock (and to subst When I first read this book (eight or nine years ago), I loved it so much. It resonated with me in many ways: obviously, the wink to Kerouac in the title had gotten my attention, but I also felt like there was a weird similarity between my experience and some of Levine’s. His father, Stephen Levine is a Buddhist teacher, his parents were divorced and his mother was struggling with being a single mom. His rebellion against a broken home and an unavailable father led him to punk rock (and to substance abuse, but more on that later). My dad is a yoga and meditation teacher, my parents are divorced and my mom had quite a few rough years as a single mom with three kids. Punk rock was my outlet and source of comfort at a time where neither of my parents were available. While I never got into drugs or alcohol, or as far as juvenile detention, I was familiar with his reaction of outright rejecting what his father did (it had obviously not helped him or his family, had it?) and then later having a helping of humble pie when he realized there was something to what his dad was teaching and that it ended up being really beneficial to him. When I started getting interested in Buddhism, there was something that just made sense about taking the anger at injustice and suffering and using that as a fuel for spiritual practice, in what ended up being a completely non-violent “revolution”. The violent aspect of the punk scene had never made sense to me (nor the drug use – which seemed like way more trouble than it was worth) and while I hated the idea of taking part in my dad’s hippie shit, there was no denying that Buddhist philosophy espoused the same things punk rock did: it was about authenticity, about rejecting greed, ignorance and selfishness. Levine’s book was definitely right up my alley. Re-reading it now is a different experience. His experience was much, much rougher than mine, and I do find myself admiring his capacity to have gotten himself sober and healthy. Of course, this is a memoir, and not an instruction manual; it’s Levine’s testimony of how he found the practice, how it changed him and how he is now using it to help other people, but I think it would have been interesting if he had fleshed out the details of the teachings and techniques that helped him. But his focus here really is on recovery: his follow-up books are more practical guides than this one. What I did get tired off was the clunky writing: he makes so many leaps without transition and introduces so many people that it can get rather confusing because from one paragraph to the next, it’s easy to lose track of where he is or what’s going on. I was also uncomfortable with the fact that he never addresses his relationship with his parents and how he came to forgiving them. I’m sorry, but the fact that his mother had (not especially well hidden) drugs in the house where she was raising kids and that his father put his career as a spiritual teacher ahead of taking care of his children just makes me cringe. Why is this never really discussed? Because it seems hard to deny that a lot of the problems he had growing up were products of that unstable environment. Forgiveness is great, but it just felt like he glossed over that aspect of his upbringing, which I find strange. His reflections on punk also struck me as a bit superficial this time around. He mostly talks about the way his fellow scenesters dressed and did their hair, but never really gets into the politics of the bands he loves so much. How do you worship Black Flag and the Clash and manage to avoid discussing politics?! The scene he portrays is simply violent and nihilistic, and never engaged in social actions, protest or anything constructive. Overall, and interesting re-read, but it ended up coming down in my personal ratings. This book is an inspiring memoir, especially for people struggling with addiction, but it’s not really about Buddhism.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Terry

    A seventh grader once told me this was "the best book I've ever read," and I'm one of those sucker teachers who just can't resist that gambit. So, I spent the weekend with Mr.Levine. The first section passed easily, in the way all descent -into-Hell stories are kind of nice - after all, it isn't the reader who is falling. But the rest of the book lacked any substance or immediacy. Levine never allows the reader to understand his appreciation for punk music, or Buddhism, or his fellow man, or any A seventh grader once told me this was "the best book I've ever read," and I'm one of those sucker teachers who just can't resist that gambit. So, I spent the weekend with Mr.Levine. The first section passed easily, in the way all descent -into-Hell stories are kind of nice - after all, it isn't the reader who is falling. But the rest of the book lacked any substance or immediacy. Levine never allows the reader to understand his appreciation for punk music, or Buddhism, or his fellow man, or anything else. He writes in a clunky, amateurish plod that is at once forgettable and annoying. So I returned it, doubly saddened. Once, for wasting my time in a predictable, superficial book, and again for the young man who's reading (in)experience let him think that this was the best we have to offer. I wish I could have read the book that the five-star reviewers read, but it just isn't on these pages.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Josh Bisker

    Reading Levine's from-the-gutter-to-the-Gotama memoir may make his instructional tract Against the Stream more engaging, as it is hard not to credence the transformative abilities of the Dharma when voiced by someone who was so radically transformed, but there is a lot to not love about Dharma Punx. "Show, don't tell" problems occur throughout, as does a surprising lack of critical reflection about many some problematic parts of his life story, and there is a frustrating void where actual teachi Reading Levine's from-the-gutter-to-the-Gotama memoir may make his instructional tract Against the Stream more engaging, as it is hard not to credence the transformative abilities of the Dharma when voiced by someone who was so radically transformed, but there is a lot to not love about Dharma Punx. "Show, don't tell" problems occur throughout, as does a surprising lack of critical reflection about many some problematic parts of his life story, and there is a frustrating void where actual teachings are concerned. Considering these problems from last to first: although it's powerful to know that a person can be saved, and Noah's story clearly and vividly illustrated this, Dharma Punx is largely silent when it comes to recalling the methods and teachings which led the author to recovery and transformation. The twelve step program and certain kinds of meditation are alluded to, but the only specific teaching he shares occurs in a small post-script with instructions (very good ones!) for breathing meditation. On the whole, his story reveals very little about the activities, lessons, and insights that helped him reform his life. This is a life story told as simply as possible, in which the narrator retells events, peppering them with recollections about his feelings at different times, but doesn't share much about the actual teachings that helped him find a better path. Secondly, some of the most complex and troubling aspects of the story are just not talked about, like Noah's spiritualist parents' failures to provide safe and stable homes for their children. Yes, forgiveness is a key to compassion, but Noah's lack of any kind of criticism towards his parents' obvious failings is incredibly conspicuous. Is it not a teaching of the Dharma to embrace even the painful things in our lives? Yet in a way that feels frightened and deliberate the narrative refuses to broach this difficult topic: yes, the author's father was a spiritualist teacher with a lot of great wisdom to offer, and his mother was struggling as a single mom with several kids, but none of that mitigates the fact that their child-rearing style was characterized by neglect and instability, that they kept households where drugs were readily accessible to their children (he started smoking pot when he was eight!), and that they prioritized their adult lives well ahead of the support of their children's growth. The narrator's total lack of discussion about his parent's shortcomings seems blind and untrustworthy. Punk rock, too, presents a minefield of internal conflicts, and these don't get much discussion in the narrative either. The book emphasizes the importance of going "against the stream," and so I find it deeply suspicious that punk rock as a whole is simply taken for granted as being individualistic and counter-culture supportive. True, punk is not (or was not, anyway) mall culture per se, but it was and remains a glaringly conformity-driven scene. Within the Dharma Punx narrative, there's lots of evidence of this and lots of gleeful support for it and indulgence of it by the narrator. Identifying pocket subcultures by their clothes, discerning who's a punk or not a punk by their dress, by their hobbies, by their drugs. The author does recall a brief mini-epiphany about feeling distanced from punk's aggressive language and attitude, but he makes no comment at all on the hypocritical significance placed upon shitkicker boots, plaid miniskirts, and 1-4-5 power chords as sigils of how "against the stream" you are. Lastly, although many might argue that the book's ultra-simplistic writing style may allow it to appeal to a broader audience, I felt that it wasn't a simplicity of language but a lack of sophistication in structure and approach that kept the book disappointingly superficial in scope. Noah traces his life from proto bad boy to punk teen to recovering adult to hopeful guru, but the almost stream-of-consciousness, back-to-front ramble could have benefited from more editorial guidance. When we meet a character near the end of the book, for example, a recovering alcoholic who had been a biker gang leader and a kind of street-life mentor during Noah's teen years, the narrative tells us that he felt happy and awed to see how much his life had changed. That's wonderful, but why didn't we meet this character during the book's first chapters? Then we could have experienced this revelation with the narrator, instead of just reading about it. Isn't that writing 101? The short sentences and chapters and the simple language will keep the book accessible to a wide range of readers, but those readers deserve a story that's put together with sophistication and vision. That all said, Noah's journey is an interesting one, especially if you share his affiliation with the punk rock scene (I cannot call what we have today a 'movement'). I wish he actually wrote about some of the Dharma teachings that he found enlightening; I wish he had had the courage and editorial guidance to more honestly explore the internal conflicts that stand out like cracks in glass as you read the thing; and I wish that the whole thing was just written a bit better. But it was great to read that a life can be redeemed, and encouraging to know that there's a teaching out there with such a potent ability to heal, inspire, and save.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Allison

    I think it is neither a book about a recovery program, nor a book about Buddhism. It is a book about the life experiences of one man, whom easily can be scoffed at for being different (tattooed punk rocker from the gutter). If you read it as an addict I am sure it can offer inspiration. If you read it as a Buddhist you'll find empathy. If you read it as a punk memoir I'm sure you'll find it interesting at least. I liked it as a person, interested in Buddhism, who picked it up because it IS so di I think it is neither a book about a recovery program, nor a book about Buddhism. It is a book about the life experiences of one man, whom easily can be scoffed at for being different (tattooed punk rocker from the gutter). If you read it as an addict I am sure it can offer inspiration. If you read it as a Buddhist you'll find empathy. If you read it as a punk memoir I'm sure you'll find it interesting at least. I liked it as a person, interested in Buddhism, who picked it up because it IS so different from other books in the categories you might find it shelved under. I read it as someone who struggles with her own demons (even if they are not drugs or alcohol) and empathized with struggle and seeking personal peace.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Paula

    Sexist, privileged, annoying.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Leilani

    I read this book because a lot of the kids I work with have mentioned it as a book they enjoyed reading, especially while in prison. I figured it would be nice to be able to discuss it with them. Unfortunately, this book is horrible. Noah comes off as vain, and even worse, incredibly boring. He never really goes in depth into much. It reads like a shitty romance novel, total brain candy. Many things in this book left me seething, the worst of which was his stories of traveling with his Australian I read this book because a lot of the kids I work with have mentioned it as a book they enjoyed reading, especially while in prison. I figured it would be nice to be able to discuss it with them. Unfortunately, this book is horrible. Noah comes off as vain, and even worse, incredibly boring. He never really goes in depth into much. It reads like a shitty romance novel, total brain candy. Many things in this book left me seething, the worst of which was his stories of traveling with his Australian friend. First off, you go to seek spiritual enlightenment in the east and then sit on your ass all day with other white people who aren't from the country of which you are supposedly seeking enlightenment from. Why the hell did you bother traveling at all? If there was any honest evaluation of his privilege, I would cut him some slack. Yet he writes about his supposed meditative journeys without real self-reflection. Reading this book would have been a total waste of time, however, it helped me realize that I have to work harder to get decent books into the hands of the kids at the drop-in!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Crckt

    Talk about your disappointments. This book is just barely okay. As a formerly drug-addicted, aging punk rock type with a budding interest in Buddhist practice, I thought this book would appeal to me on a deep level. Instead I found myself reading a memoir of a self-important guru-type. There is way too much emphasis on supernatural nonsense, and Mr. Levine comes of like a guy wjo really thinks quite a bit about himself. I could be wrong, I'd probably sound like a dick if I wrote a memoir too. Wa Talk about your disappointments. This book is just barely okay. As a formerly drug-addicted, aging punk rock type with a budding interest in Buddhist practice, I thought this book would appeal to me on a deep level. Instead I found myself reading a memoir of a self-important guru-type. There is way too much emphasis on supernatural nonsense, and Mr. Levine comes of like a guy wjo really thinks quite a bit about himself. I could be wrong, I'd probably sound like a dick if I wrote a memoir too. Wait a minute, you have to suffer from a certain amount of narcissism to write a memoir anyhow, and I am kind of a dick. The point is its precisely the brand of self righteousness and god this, god that talk that turned me away from the punk scene and religion respectively.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jason Kolowski

    I can get past the fact that Noah Levine is a poor (at best) writer who apparently didn't employ an editor at all. My problem with Dharma Punx is that I found myself waiting for this guy to become "spiritual" in any sense of the word. I don't believe that he did. I found him to be very close-minded all the way through, judging other people on ludicrous and materialistic bases. I also found there to be heavy tones of pride when recounting his former, unsavory behavior patterns. I was recommended this I can get past the fact that Noah Levine is a poor (at best) writer who apparently didn't employ an editor at all. My problem with Dharma Punx is that I found myself waiting for this guy to become "spiritual" in any sense of the word. I don't believe that he did. I found him to be very close-minded all the way through, judging other people on ludicrous and materialistic bases. I also found there to be heavy tones of pride when recounting his former, unsavory behavior patterns. I was recommended this book and thought the idea of a Buddhist/Punk intertwined relationship sounded intriguing. But having Doc Martens and tattoos while attempting to meditate (but having difficulties because you're so angry at all of the hippies in the room) hardly constitutes success.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Sydlik

    There are many books available about Buddhism, from all the various schools--Theravada, Zen, Nichiren, Vietnamese, Tibetan. There are books about Buddhist ethics, about meditation, about dealing with grief, anger, and depression through Buddhism. But I doubt that there are many books like this, describing the intersection between the rebellious ethos of punk rock and the transformational spiritual practice of Buddhism. There are, as Levine points out, many differences between the two, but they s There are many books available about Buddhism, from all the various schools--Theravada, Zen, Nichiren, Vietnamese, Tibetan. There are books about Buddhist ethics, about meditation, about dealing with grief, anger, and depression through Buddhism. But I doubt that there are many books like this, describing the intersection between the rebellious ethos of punk rock and the transformational spiritual practice of Buddhism. There are, as Levine points out, many differences between the two, but they share more in common than one might think. And most important for Levine, and for anyone who can relate to his story, the two are not mutually exclusive; both can be valid, healthy ways of expressing oneself. One important thing to keep in mind is that "Dharma Punx" is first and foremost a memoir. It is not a book about Buddhism or about punk rock. Levine writes very honestly (or at least with a willingness to talk about his faults) about his life, giving us all the raw details, the good and the bad. He also makes it clear that there is more to him than either punk rock or Buddhism; he enjoys other forms of music, takes influences from other spiritual paths, but he also talks about more than music and religion. He also discusses his family life, experiences with his friends, his jobs, and the depths of drug addiction and violence that he had spiraled into during his early and mid teens. Levine makes an interesting point when he talks about the trajectory of his pre-Buddhist life, that when his days were spent getting high, or stealing, beating someone up, getting beat up, or getting arrested looking for the next fix, he wasn't connected anymore to his punk rock lifestyle. He had stopped caring about the music and the identity, and most other punkers scorned him when he got to that point. The book unfolds in a series of short chapters, each taking a title that often sounds inspired by song titles, the events described in the chapter usually having some ironic relation to the title. Examples: "Who Killed Bambi?" (Sex Pistols), "Meditate and Destroy" (from Metallica's "Seek and Destroy"?), "Die, Die, My Darling" (The Misfits). Levine starts by showing him at this lowest point--locked up in a padded cell after a suicide attempt, wishing for death, finally realizing the pain he had inflicted on himself and others by his ways, wanting to get out of it but not seeing any other solution than death. He half-heartedly tries to follow his father's (Stephen Levine, a spiritual teacher in his own right) meditation instructions. It helps a little, and becomes the seed for Levine's spiritual development, but there is a hard road ahead for him. But before he goes into his recovery, he tells us how he got there. In another startling anecdote, he then goes into being five years old, holding a knife to his stomach and wanting to die while his mother and stepfather scream at each other. His parental situation as a child, while not the most horrifying one could imagine, is not exactly optimal, either. His mother always seems to end up with abusive men, and his father and stepmother, while loving, seem a bit distant and wrapped up in their own lives to give Levine the attention he--rightly or wrongly--craved. While Levine does seem to hold his parents accountable to an extent, he later also makes clear that he had to realize that he was the one to choose to follow the path that he did, and that his circumstances were not as horrible as many in the world have to live with. Most of all, it took him to be able to realize that his circumstances do not justify his actions, nor do his past actions prevent him from changing. The twelve-step addiction recovery program, as well as Buddhism and spiritual practice, were instrumental in him coming to these realizations. From contemplating suicide at five, he went on to become an angry and rebellious youth, and when he found punk rock, it seemed to fit that perfectly. He found others into the same music and way of being, and by the age of ten, they were drinking alcohol, smoking pot, and worse. He moved back and forth between his mother and father, between California and New Mexico, due to his continual run-ins with authority, getting into trouble at school, getting caught with drugs, vandalizing, etc. He attended many punk shows, shaved his head, wore boots and studded leather, and brandished the logos of his favorite bands on stickers, shirts, and tattoos. But as I alluded to earlier, the anger and frustration with not just authority, but life itself, of never feeling satisfied, led to his total immersion in drugs, violence, and sex--the supposed hallmarks of a rock n roll lifestyle, yet the very things that can disconnect people from the music they love. Even in the worst moments, though, Levine keeps a sense of humor and humility, pointing out the ridiculousness of his behavior, though maintaining a serious enough tone to not lose the impact. I found myself stopping at various points when he was describing his early life and thinking, "Wow, that's messed up!" Like in one episode, him and his friend break into another friend's house, steal the VCR and jewelry, then sell the VCR for coke and weed. They meet up with a guy who takes them around in his car and drink, and they end up crashing. The car flips and catches on fire. Levine escapes by kicking out a window, but makes sure to grab the beer and stolen jewelry before getting out. They walk away from the upside-down burning car, drinking their beers. One of the most inspiring things about this book is hearing how low Levine got in his life, and was yet able to become a respected spiritual teacher, counseling people dealing with addiction, working with AIDS patients, and helping his community any way he can. So, for those who think that there is no hope for reform, you can look at Levine's story and say that if he could do, so can I. Recovery and discipline in one's life, whether you're dealing with addiction, illness, tragedy, or just plain old anger, confusion, and fear, happen only with practice. It takes time, it takes pain, and it takes a lot of humility--Levine outlines how he spent years going to the many people he stole from or hurt, physically and mentally, and making amends. But Buddhism's draw for many people is that it gives them a structure and purposeful way of achieving this, just like the 12-step plan (which is why it's so effective). Though he at first resisted the spiritual elements of recovery, trying to just ween himself from drugs and alcohol without the religious trappings, his relapses and frustrations push him toward spirituality, particularly Buddhism, as a way of living a better life. Ironically enough, one of his first teachers (who did not align himself with any particular religion, though drawing heavily from Eastern ones) ended up getting married to a woman (breaking a vow of celibacy) who caused much pain and suffering to his disciples, manipulating him into being a power-hungry guru. Levine could have regressed to his old ways from that, and though it took him a long time to deal with it, he moved on to other teachers and to his own investigations. This perhaps underscores the way in which punk rock can connect with Buddhism: both have a sort of anti-establishment, anti-authority ethos. They express this in different ways. While Buddhists, lay or monk/nun, often follow teachers, the emphasis is on what actually works to transform them and break them from the fetters of suffering, from samsara. In punk, this takes expression in music, looks, and acts that differ from "the norm" (though a lot of these have been commercialized and normalized now), and in anger and rebellion towards those in power who cause widespread suffering by their greed, apathy, and malice. Both call one to resist the ignorance that leads to unawareness about suffering, about its causes and the ways to resist it. Levine remarks that when he first met monks in Asia, he felt they were the most "punk" people he had met; they had truly resisted and transcended the system, to live a totally radical way of life. One of the disappointments I found with Levine's description of his spiritual development is that he doesn't really explain the Buddhist concepts and practices that have affected his life so much. He mentions karma, the eightfold path, the four noble truths, etc., but doesn't explain what these are. I have investigated Buddhism enough to know what these mean to me, but I think it would have been interesting to hear Levine explain how he interprets them and relates them to his life, and for someone not as familiar with Buddhism, I think it would have been helpful. Also, he goes into his travels to Asia, where he encounters monks and teachers of both the Theravada and Mahayana traditions, which can also be sort of confusing. I also found it a bit odd that he mentions trying to be as sensitive to the ecological ramifications of his actions as possible, sticking to a strict vegan diet out of compassion, for example. And yet he seems to travel a lot, with many international flights, which have a devastating environmental impact, but he never mentions this. I'm not saying it's "wrong," just that you would think he would be a little more conscious of this. I do give Levine credit though for not showing himself as some perfect spiritual being, in contrast to his previous drugged out, destructive self. He points out various flaws in himself that being sober and dedicated to a spiritual life have not necessarily stamped out: pride, anger, vanity, even doubt and despair. This only serves to make his story sound more human and sincere. I get put-off by spiritual writers who give me the feel of having a superior attitude with little awareness of it. Levine does feel superior at times, but the fact that he admits it makes those moments less irritating to me, and makes me feel less distant from some elevated, untouchable guru. One very interesting chapter in his spiritual life is when he takes on his father's "a year to live" practice--living his life as if he really only had a year to live. He goes through periods of confusion and fear, actually getting into the mindset of believing that he would soon die. It also turns out to be a very liberating experience for him, helping him to overcome some of his attachments and fears. So in conclusion: if you are looking for a spiritual-oriented memoir, especially one in which the protagonist comes from a punk rock background, you will enjoy this book. If you're looking to learn about Buddhism or punk rock, this is not the place to start. It does show how both can affect a person's life. I give it 4 stars only for the slight flaws I mentioned, but it's a very powerful book that I highly recommend.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Hayley Brentmar

    This book would have been great had it simply been a memoir about the Santa Cruz punk scene in the 80's. Therefor I would highly recommend (the first half of it) to SC locals or anyone interested in the history of that scene. But unfortunately it goes on to describe a spiritual journey that was incredibly boring and frusterating to read. I've even spent some time studying the philosophies of Hinduism and Buddhism, and loved learning about both. But this book did neither justice. The author is ob This book would have been great had it simply been a memoir about the Santa Cruz punk scene in the 80's. Therefor I would highly recommend (the first half of it) to SC locals or anyone interested in the history of that scene. But unfortunately it goes on to describe a spiritual journey that was incredibly boring and frusterating to read. I've even spent some time studying the philosophies of Hinduism and Buddhism, and loved learning about both. But this book did neither justice. The author is obviously a "trust-a-farian" who can just travel the world at will. Meanwhile the rest of us have to actually work for a living. So to us, this book becomes more frustrating than inspiring. 3 days ago I put my copy of this book out by the street in front of my house in Santa Cruz. It's a busy street, and in this town when you put things out for others to take they tent to disappear FAST, sometimes within minutes. However that being said... Dharma Punx is still out there. A couple of birds shat on it, but so far that's the only action it's seen.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Nora

    Finally read this one after maybe 15 years of meaning to get around to it. While Noah's message is great, it's not very well written, and horribly proofread--I don"t know how they published this thing with so many errors in it. Anyway, because the writing wasn't so great, and because there was a streak of immaturity in this that surfaced from time to time, I couldn't help but think a lot about the power of nepotism at work here (Noah's father is famous Buddhist teacher Stephen Levine, and he cop Finally read this one after maybe 15 years of meaning to get around to it. While Noah's message is great, it's not very well written, and horribly proofread--I don"t know how they published this thing with so many errors in it. Anyway, because the writing wasn't so great, and because there was a streak of immaturity in this that surfaced from time to time, I couldn't help but think a lot about the power of nepotism at work here (Noah's father is famous Buddhist teacher Stephen Levine, and he cops to the benefit of being born into this particular family himself near the end of the book). Maybe if I didn't have my own experience of coming to Buddhism at an early age I would have been more moved or affected by this work; maybe I should have read it 15 years ago when I was still actively in that process. In the end---I'm glad this book is out there; it will surely continue to help many---but I was kind of underwhelmed. I did start wanting to reconnect with practice sangha after I was done though.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Anthony

    A bit indulgent. After a rather long, drawn out pat on the back about how badass the author fancies his rough (RE: Relatively privileged) childhood, he eventually gets to the point, which is that he has a very addictive personality and Buddhism seems to be his latest vice. He writes with the depth and clarity of mind of a know-it-all college freshman after a few weeks of intro to world religions. There is almost no wisdom, almost nothing to actually be gained from this book. I can see how if he' A bit indulgent. After a rather long, drawn out pat on the back about how badass the author fancies his rough (RE: Relatively privileged) childhood, he eventually gets to the point, which is that he has a very addictive personality and Buddhism seems to be his latest vice. He writes with the depth and clarity of mind of a know-it-all college freshman after a few weeks of intro to world religions. There is almost no wisdom, almost nothing to actually be gained from this book. I can see how if he'd just written a handful of experiences differently, just tell the truth but bury the lead for a moment, it'd have been emotionally engaging on some level, but he just tells you this happened, then this, and oh yeah, I hung out with this band, no big deal. The epilogue, a mere 3 paragraphs on page 247, was the only good writing in the entire book. Even the following 4 pages of zazen instruction on how to sit and do nothing felt overdone. Interesting, but ultimately I'm really glad I borrowed it from a friend.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Mitchell Mercer

    **I have to start this review with the fact that I found out about Noah Levine's sexual misconduct and assault allegations halfway through this book. I have decided to review the book, not the person. That said, as this is a memoir so that could be the exact wrong decision. I engaged with this book and got quite a bit out of my reading of it and couldn't leave those feelings and intellectual interactions off the table. That said, the act of even reviewing this feels like an act of my male privil **I have to start this review with the fact that I found out about Noah Levine's sexual misconduct and assault allegations halfway through this book. I have decided to review the book, not the person. That said, as this is a memoir so that could be the exact wrong decision. I engaged with this book and got quite a bit out of my reading of it and couldn't leave those feelings and intellectual interactions off the table. That said, the act of even reviewing this feels like an act of my male privilege, and I need to acknowledge that.** Levine and I share a lot of our stories. I, too, was the 80s and 90s punk, but I missed the entire drug addiction path and quickly aligned with the straight-edge scene once I came across it. That probably had something to do with someone very close to me being an addict. While I'm not sure I understood the depth of their addiction at the age of 15 or 16, I knew I was struggling enough as it was, and using drugs wasn't going to be my answer. Through reading Dharma Punx, I was able to understand better my struggle as a young frustrated, and angst-ridden kid, even if our paths didn't go the same direction. The bands that Levine listened to, the kinds of people he spent time with, and the political rebellion he engaged in were all mine too. They also lead me towards a spiritual path in my late teens and early twenties. To me, a spiritual question always fit into every question I had. During high school, I went to various churches, attended bible studies, and read the entirety of the bible with one of them. After high school, I expanded my religious studies to read the Bhagavad Gita, mystical Islam, Jainism, and Celtic druidic texts. Western privilege has allowed me then, as I do now, to understand all of these texts as part of a larger spiritual cannon that ignores any actual doctrine and enables me to cherry-pick quotes and concepts that I find beneficial or inspiring. This path eventually led me to Taoism and Buddhism. I am only comfortable calling myself a student of these two spiritual paths and will never consider myself more than that. That said, in-depth reading of Taoist and Buddist texts have played a critical part in my own life and helped me find a balance that my younger self never had. Levine's path, his journey East with friends, and his practice could have easily been mine with a few turns one way or another. Reading Dharma Punx, I have been able to reconnect with that spiritually curious and rebellious heart that had gotten lost through a challenging and dark decade in my life in the 2000s. Levine's struggles with addiction and his matter of fact, confessions have allowed me to understand the addicts in my life better. His need to make amends has encouraged me to do the same with lost friends and people I've hurt. I'm not ready to, but in time I feel this will be a necessary part of my growth. Levine has inspired that in me. Levine's spiritual punk rock path has felt familiar to me. While he is quick to suggest these two divergent paths are surprisingly brought together within him and his friends, I would suggest they are easily relatable. Punk has always been a search for community and answers in a world of chaos, Buddhism and other spiritual traditions can be the same search. Not always, but often. I don't know Levine, though we have mutual friends I've found out. I can't speak to the allegations against him. I could hope he can apply those lessons in making amends that were so moving to me in this book. That is his path, though, and not mine. Dharma Punx was a powerful and moving read for me that has awakened and strengthened my dormant spiritual resolve, and I take that from my reading. The right book at the right time for me.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Patrick Taylor

    Let me start with this: if you are looking for an introduction to the dharma or Buddhism, or the twelve steps, or punk rock philosophy, or how to combine all three, this is not that book. It is not meant to be that book. Like it says, it is a memoir, and as the title suggests, it is inspired by Jack Kerouac's Dharma Bums, which was also a memoir about a lost young man searching for something more. Also, this book is not well written. I don't mean that to be a hater, but to be honest. I've seen N Let me start with this: if you are looking for an introduction to the dharma or Buddhism, or the twelve steps, or punk rock philosophy, or how to combine all three, this is not that book. It is not meant to be that book. Like it says, it is a memoir, and as the title suggests, it is inspired by Jack Kerouac's Dharma Bums, which was also a memoir about a lost young man searching for something more. Also, this book is not well written. I don't mean that to be a hater, but to be honest. I've seen Noah interviewed and watched videos of him speaking, so I know that he is an intelligent person who is a good public speaker and who has some sound ideas. Not much of that comes across in this book. It is written in the vernacular and from the perspective of a Santa Cruz punk/spiritualist, so is full of words like "bummer" and "funky" and every curse word you could imagine. There is a frustrating lack of self-reflection in the book, which is surprising given that it is a memoir that is all about his voyage to discover his true self. He's suicidal at 5, getting high at six, and clearly comes from a chaotic home life, but there is zero analysis of that. His dad is a meditation teacher and yet he is a total hot mess for the first twenty years of his life, and there is no analysis of that. Did his broken home life, his mother's mental instability, and her rotating cast of drug-abusing, sometimes violent boyfriends contribute to Noah's rebellion? Probably, but he never draws the lines. He trades drugs for religion, on an endless, restless quest to find himself in whatever mish-mash of spirituality he can put together. Buddhism? Sure, why not? Hinduism? Sounds cool! Sufisim? yeah, sure, whatever! I get it, but at the same time I was a little put off how he and his friends seemed to swap faiths and deities like they were leather jackets. His explanation of punk rock also never quite clicked with me - he's angry at society for being fucked up and materialistic and oppressive, but it never seems to go beyond "the squares are all lame!" Still, I enjoyed the book, mostly because I'm from the area he grew up in, and I was on the outskirts of the scene he was part of. I knew the violent punk kids, and I knew the older surfer gurus. It's an interesting tale of someone trying to find their way out of addiction and redeem themselves, and for that it is worth reading.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mrs. Europaea

    I really wanted to love this one. I did. Levine is someone I personally admire as I have followed him for a few years now. While I commend his personal triumphs, the writing and format of Dharma Punx just doesn't appeal to me as much as I would have hoped. Levine comes off as a spoiled rich white brat who uses his parent's high up connections, along with their wealth to (as it sometimes appears) "purchase" enlightenment. Aside from my personal judgement of his character which may or may not be r I really wanted to love this one. I did. Levine is someone I personally admire as I have followed him for a few years now. While I commend his personal triumphs, the writing and format of Dharma Punx just doesn't appeal to me as much as I would have hoped. Levine comes off as a spoiled rich white brat who uses his parent's high up connections, along with their wealth to (as it sometimes appears) "purchase" enlightenment. Aside from my personal judgement of his character which may or may not be relevant to a prospective reader, the chapters are jumpy, the scenes sometimes end abruptly leaving you to wonder what the point of including the fragmented experience was. Overall, I do like the story of a former addict turning his life around and creating a space for other addicts that does not follow the traditional path of AA or NA.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Dan Seljak

    Read this as the author founded a Buddhist alternative to tradition 12 Steps programs I've found beneficial in my recovery. Found it completely lacking in self-reflection and full of self-congratulatory bravado. For someone taking a massive number of international flights, this guy congratulates himself on how little harm he inflicts as he practices spiritual tourism. Honestly, I was surprised by the extent of the unexamined misogyny and racism present through the book--so I Googled the name and Read this as the author founded a Buddhist alternative to tradition 12 Steps programs I've found beneficial in my recovery. Found it completely lacking in self-reflection and full of self-congratulatory bravado. For someone taking a massive number of international flights, this guy congratulates himself on how little harm he inflicts as he practices spiritual tourism. Honestly, I was surprised by the extent of the unexamined misogyny and racism present through the book--so I Googled the name and was unsurprised to find the author is an alleged sex pest who has been removed from a position of teaching this year. I am deeply dissapointed. I would recommend those in recovery who have found Refuge useful consider giving this a pass (or give it a read if you want some perspective).

  23. 4 out of 5

    CookieMaxie Samson

    Yeah this book is really, really badly written. Levine doesn’t know when to omit details or when to get to the point, or even know what point he’s aiming for. His thoughts lack nuance or precision, and usually go something along the lines of “damn, wasn’t that crazy when I did x punk thing as a kid?” It’s bad. Read Scar Tissue for an actually interesting story about the youth of a rock and roller. God, really really awful writing. More important than how bad the prose is, Noah Levine is an incred Yeah this book is really, really badly written. Levine doesn’t know when to omit details or when to get to the point, or even know what point he’s aiming for. His thoughts lack nuance or precision, and usually go something along the lines of “damn, wasn’t that crazy when I did x punk thing as a kid?” It’s bad. Read Scar Tissue for an actually interesting story about the youth of a rock and roller. God, really really awful writing. More important than how bad the prose is, Noah Levine is an incredibly shitty person who seems to somehow tarnish both Buddhism and punk. Pity.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jackrabbit

    I'm not really too into this book. It is as though someone said to this guy "you have a really interesting life story, you should write about it" and then he went on to detail all the events of his life from age 5. There was a saying I was just reintroduced to: don't confuse the map with the territory. This guy isn't drawing a map, he is trying to take you on a tour of the territory and it is just too tedious for me to want to read. I doubt this is going to be finished. I'm not really too into this book. It is as though someone said to this guy "you have a really interesting life story, you should write about it" and then he went on to detail all the events of his life from age 5. There was a saying I was just reintroduced to: don't confuse the map with the territory. This guy isn't drawing a map, he is trying to take you on a tour of the territory and it is just too tedious for me to want to read. I doubt this is going to be finished.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kye Flannery

    Street punk turns buddhist, saving his life. Periods of insight ensue. Finding compassion for: learning by making every single mistake on the planet, pain and fear and fear of pain and fear, struggling with writing, trouble finding joy, self-hatred, curiosity. Not finding compassion for: endless second chances, obsession with self & appearances, spirituality as a thing to achieve, stopping short of plumbing real core issues of transformation, unexamined entitlement. I do honor his courage and desir Street punk turns buddhist, saving his life. Periods of insight ensue. Finding compassion for: learning by making every single mistake on the planet, pain and fear and fear of pain and fear, struggling with writing, trouble finding joy, self-hatred, curiosity. Not finding compassion for: endless second chances, obsession with self & appearances, spirituality as a thing to achieve, stopping short of plumbing real core issues of transformation, unexamined entitlement. I do honor his courage and desire to tell as much truth here as he's able. Are other people real or shadows to Noah? Not sure i know the answer for myself all the time either. I don't think he'd give a f- what I think. Which gives a person power of one kind, and also isolates. I find myself leaving the book about halfway through, while he's in Thailand, with a mix of pity and guardedness. i know he's telling a story that he believes and which feels profound. I hear that his journey has been harrowing. I feel I've learned what I can.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Marta Lapczynski

    I believe context, almost all of the time, is relevant. I read this as a very young person, very angry, trying to avoid having to confront the realities of my life and the world via inappropriately excessive substance use and other reckless and destructive forms of escapism. I was also maybe one year into a yoga and meditation practice that felt very meaningful and important, but I still lacked a tremendous deal of clarity and purpose. Dharma Punx meant the world to me at that time; it helped me I believe context, almost all of the time, is relevant. I read this as a very young person, very angry, trying to avoid having to confront the realities of my life and the world via inappropriately excessive substance use and other reckless and destructive forms of escapism. I was also maybe one year into a yoga and meditation practice that felt very meaningful and important, but I still lacked a tremendous deal of clarity and purpose. Dharma Punx meant the world to me at that time; it helped me hone my focus, and it was the first thing to set the precedent for me that it is possible to be angry but not destructive. Two years later, living in NYC, I learned there was a Dharma Punx meditation group that met on Bowery, and spending two nights a week in that space for several years did a great deal to keep me on a constructive trajectory. (Many thanks to Josh Korda and his generous sharing that continues through the present day.) Even that group, though, began a rapid descent away from anything I found relatable, and by 2013 I had all but disassociated myself from DP, never to return. Much has transpired since then — both in the expansion of my understanding of myself and the world, and within the “community” of Dharma Punx. I no longer perceive Noah Levine as a person of integrity, and I no longer trust Dharma Punx as an “institution.” However, this book remains a stronghold of my foundation as a person finally able to stand on my own two feet. Today, I couldn’t recommend it in good conscience; modern western society has come a very long way since I read it at the beginning of my 20s, and I can’t imagine this book would land right anymore for just about anyone. (Exceptions being, I suppose, those entitled individuals lacking a sense of personal responsibility in the same way Noah Levine does, as demonstrated by the email communication he and several others shared with the DP/Against the Stream “community” following accusations of sexual misconduct on his part. I read every word. The whole ordeal was vile. I disassociated myself entirely from Dharma Punx once he’d shown his true self on this occasion.) Just the same, I’d be dishonest were I not to state the value this book holds for me. I’ll never revisit it; I can hold the preserved memory of how much it meant at the time, but I have to think that now it would anger me, given all I’ve learned in the past 12-13 years — and all that has come to light about Noah Levine’s conduct in the world. Such is life. It’s hard to know how many stars to issue. At first reading? Five. Now? I don’t know, because I won’t reread it, but I’d have to guess two. I’m settling on three. I don’t want to recommend the book, but simultaneously just cannot deny how extraordinarily valuable it was to me as a young person.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Romuald Bokej

    There comes time in our lives when we rebel, we go against the stream, we do things “normal” people would considered awkward, we play with fire just for the sake of it... All this is usually triggered by our search of something else, something better in our lives, some meaning. And since life is full of surprises, you never know where will this search lead you to... This is an autobiographical story of a young man, Noah, who threw himself into a punk lifestyle and all the addictions that surround There comes time in our lives when we rebel, we go against the stream, we do things “normal” people would considered awkward, we play with fire just for the sake of it... All this is usually triggered by our search of something else, something better in our lives, some meaning. And since life is full of surprises, you never know where will this search lead you to... This is an autobiographical story of a young man, Noah, who threw himself into a punk lifestyle and all the addictions that surrounded it. Crime, alcohol, lack of financial stability, destruction – these were the things that became so usual in Noah's life. But he was a truly searching man, and he didn't stop there. Somehow life led him to the first meditation experience, and from there his long searching path - searching for his true Self - have started. He roamed in searching of something that would please himself only to find that this was not the important thing at all. Living for others and a subtle harmony with the world around him became central points of his life, while at the same time he has never rejected or condemned the things he truly loved all his life – the punk culture. The book shows us that even the most weird combinations of lifestyles – one of a Buddhist and one of a punk-rocker – can be well combined. And the author, who is not really a writer, does well to tell us his story without preaching, without any moralization – instead, we are left to judge him and his fascinating story ourselves. And, come to thing about it, it is not such an unusual story after all - many of us can relate to his search, quite a few of us traveled to Asian monasteries in search of the Truth. Maybe because the story is sincere, and because we get to learn about all of the author's mistakes he made and still probably makes during his search in life, we accept this book the way it is, and are attracted to it right away as we can easily see part of ourselves in it. This is a great book for spiritual seekers, amateur yoga and meditation practitioners, and all those who are desperate to find a way to combine life pleasures with sacred spirituality – and at the same time, advanced Buddhists might grin - or not, as it is against the teaching - to immaturity of the story. Whatever your position is, Noah's experience can definitely sparkle a small debate inside you.

  28. 5 out of 5

    edinblack

    A very readable recovery story, perhaps precisely because the book is not schmaltzy or cloying and says nothing about Jesus carrying someone on a beach. Written in a very conversational and direct way, starting from a violently rebellious punk and ending with a Buddhist who still feels an allegiance to the power of punk. Having read a few other reviews, I wonder if I've forgotten some obnoxious aspects of the book --- it's possible! It has been a while since I read the book, and I took no notes w A very readable recovery story, perhaps precisely because the book is not schmaltzy or cloying and says nothing about Jesus carrying someone on a beach. Written in a very conversational and direct way, starting from a violently rebellious punk and ending with a Buddhist who still feels an allegiance to the power of punk. Having read a few other reviews, I wonder if I've forgotten some obnoxious aspects of the book --- it's possible! It has been a while since I read the book, and I took no notes while reading it. On the other hand, the book does start out as the story of an angry young punk, so it would not make sense for the reader to be surprised at some attitude. To put it another way: I generally read memoirs to meet a person, and, having read it --- I feel that I met Noah Levine. (As for the typos that many reviewers mention, I have to wonder if the book was re-edited for the Kindle, because I wasn't distracted by typos, and normally they get on my nerves.) One aspect of his story which came back to me recently was that, when he first tried meditating, he experienced panic attacks, which is apparently something that does happen to some people when they try meditating. Addendum (2019): Noah Levine has been removed from the Against the Stream board and barred from teaching at Against the Stream centers" after being charged with sexual misconduct. See "SF meditation center to close after famous founder accused of sexual misconduct" Michelle Robertson for SFGATE (September 4, 2018) https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/articl...

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jimschofield

    I went back and forth a lot with this book. There were moments of profundity to which I related on a spiritual level but there were also moments of extreme douchery on the part of the author. By the end of the book I had the sense that he is very pleased with himself - "look at me, I'm so clever, I'm so punk, I'm such a non-conformist, I'm so humble" etc etc. Also, I think the message of him being in recovery and not making meetings more of a part of his life is a dangerous. I have never been no I went back and forth a lot with this book. There were moments of profundity to which I related on a spiritual level but there were also moments of extreme douchery on the part of the author. By the end of the book I had the sense that he is very pleased with himself - "look at me, I'm so clever, I'm so punk, I'm such a non-conformist, I'm so humble" etc etc. Also, I think the message of him being in recovery and not making meetings more of a part of his life is a dangerous. I have never been nor will ever be a "punk," at least in the context of this book. I feel like I would relate better to certain aspects of Levine's story if I were. I agree that society sucks but I don't express it the same way that he does. End rant. All that being said, the I enjoyed reading the book for the most part, and it did help me beef up my meditation practice, which is probably the point. The message: anyone can recover and anyone can use meditation as a tool for spiritual growth and as a coping skill (Even punks! And everyone knows how badass punks are! Especially him! A Buddhist punk?! Wow!! Ugh, I digress) Which..I knew and you probably know, but it never hurts to be reminded. The writing was nothing too spectacular, but it was highly readable and pretty well-paced. I read it at work and at the beach - it's a good book for leisure reading. Again, I enjoyed this book more than it sounds like.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mwoodsh

    this was one of the worst books i've read in a while. the author seemed to have no depth or understanding of 'spirituality' as the book was full of judgement of difference and self praise. one part that really bothered me was during one of the trips to thailand, after being denied a place to stay and being verbally abusive to the homeowner, the 'enlightened' author laughed as his friend defaced the thai man's sign to his house. i guess that's punk rock peacefullness, and i hope the children he t this was one of the worst books i've read in a while. the author seemed to have no depth or understanding of 'spirituality' as the book was full of judgement of difference and self praise. one part that really bothered me was during one of the trips to thailand, after being denied a place to stay and being verbally abusive to the homeowner, the 'enlightened' author laughed as his friend defaced the thai man's sign to his house. i guess that's punk rock peacefullness, and i hope the children he teaches do not learn this sort of reactionary practice.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...