putting the punx in dharma punx

what is punk?

punk rock as a rejection of self-indulgence in music, specifically long guitar solos, tolkeinesque lyrics, complex interludes set up to display musical chops, 10 minute sludge like, plodding songs of pink floyd, the whispy melodism of pop music.

—for every decent act like hawkwind or syd barrett, there were countless dozens of yes, emerson lake & palmer, etc.

—trying to make rock palatable to make it more commercial, it sabotaged the beauty of eddie cochran, jerry lee louis, chuck berry, etc.

—the core energy & power of the music became diluted. ("lets spend the night together" "mother's little helper" turned to fleetwood mac, chicago, journey.)


punk rock revolted, espousing short songs, bereft of solos and needless show offy musical passages, lyrics about real challenges of inner city life, etc.

—a return to the purity of the form

—it dared to question the established order; more is better, include everything in the pie less we offend anyone.

—an attempt to restore the core value of the art form, delivering a message to a thunderous beat. ("blank generation" "no future" 53rd & 3rd")


dharma punx in a similar way has the opportunity to clear out the flotsam & jetsam that has drifted into buddhist centers, trying to make buddhism more palatable, only to dilute the true power of the buddha's message.


people come into buddhist centers bringing in all kinds of metaphysical ideas that they want to incorporate into the dhamma.


1) "interconnectedness"

Myth: the idea being that ecological awareness, globalism, economic exploitation should be jammed into the teachings of the buddha, which were a psychological phenomenology.


Dhamma: the buddha taught a goal that was not based on interconnectedness, but in fact based on being an "island or lamp to oneself" finding true peace within, not basing our search for happiness on feeding off of the world.

—Interconnectedness is at the heart of the dependent co-arising, showing how our emotional over-connectedness with the world creates our suffering. Interconnectedness of global trade in fact causes suffering. Clinging, upadana, means "eating"

—the buddha's teachings do make for a better world, for in finding happiness within, we are less likely to consume the world for it..

—the buddha in the snake sutta clearly states that developing a true self that identifies with the cosmos creates suffering. The cosmos is beyond our control, contains a lot of suffering.


2) spontaneity and intuition

Myth: many people want buddhism not to have a moral foundation, but instead be about liberating the mind from all its worries and doubts, reifying the idea of following one's gut feelings wherever they might lead.


Dhamma: The buddha didn't teach spontaneity, he taught in fact the opposite to his son, RAHULA, to ask before every thought word action if it would cause suffering for self or others.

Following vedana, the buddha taught, leads to stress, for our intuitions are generally based on avoiding difficulties, and much of the spiritual practice is difficult at first.

—The buddha in fact taught that inner peace is developed through rigorously becoming aware of the intentions being our actions, purifying our intentions of greed, hatred, self-centered delusion, acting instead from gratitude, generosity, good will and renunciation of causing harm.


3) everything, including happiness, is impermanent, so stop, smell the roses and grab a good time while you can

Myth: The idea Anicca teaches us that everything is impermanent—

and when we don't understand that there is a happiness beyond change—we believe all our happiness derives from embracing experiences without clinging to them, enjoying what will soon enough change.

We believe this makes even terrible situations bearable, as they will soon pass.


dhamma: The buddha didn't spend 6 arduous years in largely solitary practice looking for a temporary solution to life's unhappiness.

—what would be the point of all that effort if the goal was fleeting?

—there's a reason nibbana is called the "deathless," its because the buddha was trying to find a path to inner peace that didn't end.

Sankharas are anicca, or unreliable. The world as we perceive it and cling to it is a production based on craving that tells us happiness comes from grasping and owning things.

—The deathless is a state beyond change. It is an action, not a place or thing, based on letting go or releasing of our attachments and dependencies to fabricated, conditional states..


Buddha nature story:

Myth: There is a an immortal, compassionate element within the depths of the mind that is in essence a buddhic self. Once we rid ourselves of greed, hatred and delusion, it naturally appears without our effort or intervention.


Dhamma: TAny notion that we can find a true self that is not subject to change runs counter to anatta, which states it is not possible to locate a lasting self in our experiences.

—Furthermore, the idea that all we have to do is let remove hinderances and voila, awakening, runs counter to hundreds of suttas that show a process conditioned upon effort, without any naturally internal compassion.

—the buddha refers to the untrained and developed mind as that which causes suffering.

—the natural mind jumps from pleasure to aversion to delusion, searching externally for sources of happiness.

—The path, in fact, is against the stream of the mind, based upon the development of wisdom, good intentions, the effort of bringing about skillful thoughts that aren't present, etc.