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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Taking Comfort In Suffering

A few posts back I mentioned a co-worker that became a teacher. He recently sent me the gift of Netflix free for a month. I love it! I’ve canceled my movie channels and use Netflix and Xbox live for streaming movies along with the famous red envelopes. How does this apply to Precious Metal? I was finally able to see the Meditate & Destroy DVD because Netflix offers it. See Nate’s review by clicking here.

Something Noah pointed out on the DVD is that we take comfort in our suffering. His example was how abused children will cry when they are taken from abusive parents. The child was treated terribly but he finds comfort with his parents, even though they cause him pain. It sounded crazy at first but then I realized I’m living that life right now. No, I’m not abusing a child. I’m taking comfort in my suffering.

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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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Introducing a new contributor to Precious Metal

As you all know, and I’ve mentioned before, time is not my best friend right now. So I began a search for a new contributor and received a promising response. I was hoping to hear from someone who has similar interests as far as the core of this blog goes, and I was lucky to have found that person. This person, like myself, is relatively new to the Buddhist practice. So as we both evolve in our lives this blog will hopefully follow suit. So I’d like to introduce to you Precious Metal’s newest (and first besides myself) contributor, Todd Schaffer.

Thanks Nathan I hope I can be an asset to your blog.

I’ve basically been studying Buddhism for several years and find myself drawn to the new teachers including Noah Levine (author of Dharma Punx and Against The Stream) and also Calvin Malone (author of Razor Wire Dharma). I work for a library in Florida where I teach computer classes and assist patrons with their computer issues. Recently, due to the economy, lots of my time has been taken up assisting people in filing for unemployment and also immigration issues. I like to breed snakes as a hobby. I have no children, but have three dogs.

As you see, Todd seems like the perfect fit here, and I look forward to the direction this blog will continue to go in. I hope you all welcome him warmly as I have. Thanks for coming on board Todd!

Buddhism And The Zen Of Punk Rock

From NPR
By Anil Mundra

The word “punk” doesn’t usually bring to mind meditation. But the growing popularity of Buddhism in the U.S. is attracting an unlikely fan base among punk rock enthusiasts.

What does punk rock have to do with Buddhism? “There’s a disdain for authority. There’s a strong sense that the individual is responsible for herself or for himself,” says Brad Warner, a bona fide punk rocker and ordained Zen master.

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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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