Some weeks ago I had had seriously bad and potentially career-changing day at work, and decided to splurge and buy myself a new book. I had been eying Noah Levine's book, "Dharma Punx: A Memoir," over the previous several months, hoping to find it at my semi-regular visits to my favorite used book store. But, I never did, and so when ever I found myself in a retail bookstore I would sneak-read a few pages of Dharma Punx. But then came The Bad Day: I threw all of Green Bean's excellent advice and restraint out the window and made a bee-line for the first bookstore I could find. It was a big box store and I didn't even care, I just bought the book, brand new. And my eyes and brain devoured it, page by page.
I suppose it is fairly ironic to have used a book about buddhism as a way to avoid thinking about my Bad Day, but I am certainly glad I bought the book, even under those less-than-admirable motivations and circumstances. Noah Levine has a way of making Buddhist ideas come alive, and showing how piercingly relevant they are in our society today, regardless of any other spiritutal/religious beliefs you may or may not have. His Dharma Punx book is an exposition of how he went from being a seriously drug-addicted young person frequenting jail, to a clean and sober maturing person living a life of compassion and service to others. It is a stark, blunt, riveting and yet ultimately joyous book. He has since written a second book, called "Against the Stream" which outlines the teachings of the Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama) , whom Levine affectionately refers to as "Sid." I really want to read that book too, but I am doing my best to wait for it second hand -- so far so good!
As a result of reading the first book, I stumbled on to Levine's two websites. On these websites are several of Noah Levine's dharma talks, in podcast form. I have been enjoying these down-to-earth talks immensely as I attempt to wait patiently for a chance to read Against the Stream. I see it is availabile through inter-library loan via my local public library branch. In the meantime, I will happily listen my way through Levine's podcasts on topics such as money, patience, meditation, impermance, relationships, forgiveness and women and Buddhism.
Now to check out those library hours....
Port Bruce: Still Alive and Well (2).
2 weeks ago