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Monday, August 23, 2010

Buddhists in Punk Rock; +Seeing Clearly website

Buddhism and Punk Rock

Though most folks would associate punk rock with atheism (Joey of DOA is my favorite prominent atheist) and Rastafari (punk and Reggae shared many roots in rebellion and protest), Buddhism has permeated the punksphere and it makes perfect sense. The two main dances at early punk concerts were the Pogo and the Standing Still, and each of those has spiritual elements. The Pogo represents total abandon and it was dozens of Us doing this crazy thang that created the first mosh pits in the late 70s. The Standing Still represents total self control in the face of chaos and mayhem, the all-seeing eye in the heart of the storm.

Two books on this topic arose on a Google search:

Hardcore Zen; Punk Rock, Monster Movies and the Truth About Reality, by Brad Warner

Sit Down and Shut Up; Punk Rock Commentaries on Buddha, by Brad Warner

When small groups of fun-loving, music-driven social rebels played punk in the late 70s and early 80s, there was tremendous camaraderie and in Vancouver especially (where I sang for The Reactors at Smilin Buddha and other venues), about half the crowd was often musicians from and friends of other bands on the scene. Ya had to be there, but Joe Keithley's book I Shithead, A Life in Punk will give you a great taste.

And Now, for Something Completely Different...

Secular Humanism and Buddhist Thought

My sister Debbie is a secular humanist who practices and teaches Buddhism, and her own site represents a profoundly delicate synthesis of Eastern spiritualty and Western manifestation. Her website is called Seeing Clearly, and it is a great read, clearly illustrating how POV or point of view distorts our perceptions of reality, as most of us assume our view is the truth. There are stories that demonstrate these concepts, and Debbie updates the site several times a year. Her background and foundation are Shambala, yet her teachings on the website are universal in application and personal in feel.

Here's an excerpt from the Intro to Debbie McCubbin's Seeing Clearly website:

There are many different spiritual paths, and for good reason – people are touched and opened in different ways. What I’m writing about here is one kind of journey. On one hand, the layers of learning and seeing are endless and always continue. On the other hand, it feels quite tangible that my mind has changed noticeably over the past ten years. It’s more present, less reactive, less prone to getting caught up in neurotic thoughts, less speedy, and much more comfortable with uncertainty and ambiguity. It’s a mind that’s less in search of defense and perfection, and more comfortable with the full range of the brilliance and the pain of the human condition. Though I still have lots of foibles and flaws, I can feel the difference in my mind and in the quality of my life. I feel alive, not like I’m living a tentative and anxious life in my head.

Check it out!!!

Peace 2 All,

Yuya Joe College

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