Zen and the art of slam dancing

Not so sure there's a relationship between U2 and Christianity? Well, would you prefer punk rock and Buddhism? From today's Boston Globe, a review-essay discusses not one but two books on that topic. Hardcore Zen: Punk Rock, Monster Movies & the Truth About Reality is by Brad Warner, veteran of punk bands Zero Defex and Dementia 13 and a recent recipient of Dharma transmission. Dharma Punx is by Noah Levine, once a West Coast punk, now a Therevada Buddhist meditation teacher. Levine claims that "to some extent the whole punk movement is based on the Buddha's first noble truth, the truth of suffering and the dissatisfactory nature of the material world." And several people have comments about the connection they perceive between thrashing around in a mosh pit and sitting zazen. A third book on the same topic is in the works.

Some readers may also remember, from perhaps 8 years ago, a flurry of press coverage on Orthodoxy connecting with the punk subculture through a zine called Death to the World. There are archived excerpts of that zine here. A reprint of the best-known article about it, "Punks Turned Monks," (which originally appeared in the late lamented re:generation quarterly) is here.

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