Book Review: Heart Of The Revolution

“Heart Of The Revolution”
Written by Noah Levine
Published by Harper One

Appropriately, Noah Levine’s third book is less of a memoir than the first two. His previous books, “Dharma Punx” and “Against The Stream” have become staples in the Gen X Buddhist library.

“Dharma Punx”,his first book, was an in depth look at where Noah came from. From his childhood, teen years and into his adult life we see someone who not only blossoms into a beacon of compassion, but someone who bucks the typical idea of what you or I may have of what a Buddhist “should be”. His tattoos and rough exterior are not every day indicators that we are witnessing a true revolutionary lead his troops into battle. That said, his second book “Against The Stream” is consequently subtitled “A Buddhist Manual for Spiritual Revolutionaries”.

“Heart Of The Revolution” is less of a manual per say, but has a very similar tone to “Against The Stream”. He does get into more of the nitty gritty teachings, and explains them in his own way. His line by line break down of the Metta Sutta defies the established meaning, and sheds a different, and less religious light on one of the most important Sutta’s in Buddhism.

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DVD Review: Meditate And Destroy

Meditate And Destroy: A documentary on punk rock, spirituality and inner rebellion
Alive Mind/ Blue Lotus Films

By now, most of us have heard the name Noah Levine. You’ve probably even read one, or both, of his books “Dharma Punx” and “Against The Stream”. You may have even been to a retreat he has run or meditate regularly at his Against The Stream Buddhist Meditation Society (at least those on the West Coast might).

“Meditate and Destroy” is the brainchild of Sarah Fisher, Blue Lotus Films. The documentary follows Noah through various forms of media using some cool footage recorded directly from the online community of Second Life), telling his story of growing up a drunken and drug addled street punk, to his many times in juvenile hall/ incarceration and his growth in learning from those experiences now. If you’ve read the books he’s written, you pretty much know the story that is told, but “Meditate and Destroy” speaks a bit more intimately, as you actually hear and see Noah telling the story.

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A Place to Mellow Out, Without Losing Your Edge

From The New York Times

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Every week, dozens of people, usually young and artfully scruffy, climb three creaky flights of stairs off this formerly gritty stretch of downtown Manhattan, a block from where CBGB, the hallowed hall of punk, once stood. Often shrouded in hoodies, inked with tattoos and studded with piercings, they look primed for a serious rock show, and perhaps a few related vices. But in a softly lighted loft, in earshot of the traffic’s roar, they instead find a spot on the floor, close their eyes and take long, deep breaths.

Called Dharma Punx, the gathering is part of a nationwide Buddhism-based meditation network that is part Sid Vicious and part Dalai Lama.

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Dive-bar Dharma

From Salon.com – Sitting cross-legged on a meditation cushion on the floor of a Bowery yoga studio, 29-year-old Ethan Nichtern — a community organizer, writer and Buddhist teacher — looked around at the roomful of 20- and 30-somethings.

“Remember the Road Runner versus Wile E. Coyote cartoons? In New York we often feel like a drugged-out version of Road Runner — running all over the place, but not getting anything done, right?”

The room nodded. What New Yorker doesn’t feel like Road Runner?

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Noah Levine on Cape Cod

This past Saturday, May 26th ’07, I attended an event hosted at a local yoga studio, The Sanctuary of Cape Cod. I was actually quite lucky to even know about the event. I had no idea it was happening, I stumbled upon it a few weeks back.

Noah Levine, author of “Dharma Punx” and his new book “Against The Stream”, came to studio to teach a class and some guided meditation. Earlier in the day he had taught up at the Plymouth location of The Sanctuary. There were 30+ somewhat people at the Plymouth class, only about 10 at the Cape Cod one. But, the class still went on. I arrived 10 minutes early, thinking I was actually going to be late due to the amount of traffic on the roads of Cape Cod on Memorial Day weekend (which is insane if you’ve never been here around this time). The 10 people at the class were so different from each other, meaning from all walks of life, it was nice to share the same room with them. It showed right off the bat that Buddhism and the teachings of the Buddha effect us all in one way or another.
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