Saturday, December 13, 2008

Dharma Punx on the Bowery

The Times features the Dharma Punx movement today:

Punk is not dead, though these days on the Bowery it’s a whole lot quieter. Silent, even.

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.

In case you haven't read about this in recent years (the NYC sessions have been going for nearly three years), there's no new-agey mumbo-jumbo. The group here is lead by 48-year-old Josh Korda.

Mr. Korda freely uses four-letter words and makes frequent references to his favorite bands, like the Suicidal Tendencies or the Cro-Mags, a seminal hard-core group. Dharma Punx regulars like the fusion of grit and Zen, and they appreciate that there is no preaching, no proselytizing, no chanting and no mention of dogma.


Anonymous said...

I read his book and I hate to be negative but I'm not convinced. I feel (sort of) the same about Jay Bakker's Revolution Church. I understand the need for faith, but as an atheist I do question why it needs to be so codified. I guess religion is the one thing I'm cynical about.

Anyhoo, Levine's thoughts on addiction are super-meh.

EV Grieve said...

Thanks for the comment. My parents made me go to Catholic schools K through 12. So my views on faith/religion, etc. are super fucked.

Anonymous said...

Hey, me too! When I announced my atheism at 10, my mom replied, "OK. Just don't tell your Girl Scout leader."

(my GS leader was a Jesus freak. Mom was lookin' out for me. :p)

EV Grieve said...

Thanks, anon...Good one!