Archive for June, 2003

Jun 23 2003

Dharma Punx

Published by Brian under memoir, reviews

review by Brian Charles Clark

Dharma Punx: A Memoir
by Noah Levine
Publisher: HarperSanFrancisco, 2004


Dharma PunxThe spiritual rags-to-riches genre is an ancient and venerable one. The earliest example may well be St. Augustine’s Confessions, in which he writes of his misspent youth as a sexually active “pagan” (the Latin word meaning “redneck” or “country bumpkin”), and his conversions, first to the wrong brand of Christianity (Arianism), then, finally, to the correct brand, now known as Roman Catholicism.

Noah Levine’s Dharma Punx is a fascinating, if somewhat repetitive, account of growing up as a punk-rocking drug addict. As the son of Jack Kornfield, the noted Buddhist teacher, Levine was exposed early in life to the “dharma”, the law of Buddhist spirituality and right living. But his early years were also marred by his parents’ divorce, his mother’s multiple and sometimes abusive boyfriends, and the drug use of all these adults. Levine, filled with anger as a boy, stole pot from the adults in his home, traded the pot for harder stuff, and just generally indulged in the “underworld that fill[ed]” his “dreams”. Continue Reading »

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