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punk rockers meditate

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We sat over coffee today, catching up after three months of busy lives. My friend told me of a young relative who has lived with heroin and recently celebrated two years of being drug-free. A few years ago, in the midst of a most trying time, my friend had given him a book he thought might be of use. It landed on a shelf and there it sat. A while ago, getting ready for a road trip, the young man reached for “something to read” and discovered a book “he can’t put down.” 

What an amazing chain of cause and effect: a man lives a certain life in a far away city, he writes a book about his turbulent life, a publisher sees fit to print what may well have seemed a marginal title, someone buys and gives the book out of compassion, book sits neglected for years, and, on the spur of the moment, its current owner finds someone who speaks his language, knows his world, and points towards a spiritual practice.

The book is Dharma Punx by Noah Levine M.A., who teaches meditation and leads groups in prisons. See his website for a lengthy book description (see excerpt below) and MP3 Talks.

This book is about those of us who didn’t die young and are still around in the new millennium. Those of us who haven’t totally sold out, who go around talking about punk as a phase they went through as a kid, this is about those of us who, fueled by our dissatisfaction with life and the material world, have turned toward Spiritual Practice. It is a book about finding the freedom we were seeking as young idealistic punk rockers. Having clearly seen the uselessness of drugs and violence and having found positive ways to channel our rebellion against the lies of society, still being fueled by anger at injustice we now use that energy to Awaken rather than for self-destruction.

source: Levine, N. (2003). Dharma punx. San Francisco: HarperOne.

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